One of the greater challenges of cruising in the Pacific NW is dealing with tides and currents. The water levels rise and fall large distances (today, around fifteen feet) four times a day. As the water rises and lowers huge amounts of water moves creating currents.
Roberta and I spent the last few days anchored in a large bay called “Turnbull Cove.”
One of the fun things to do in Turnbull Cove is to hike to a nearby lake. The hike is short; only about a half mile. To do the hike you park your tender on the beach and follow a trail to the lake. Sounds simple, but it isn’t.
Here’s a picture of the beach:
Start of the trail to the lake. The tree stump you see has a sign on it that says “TRAIL” and the beach is barely visible at the center of the picture
A closer view of the tree stump and the beach. It’s probably seventy-five feet between the beach and the stump. It’s farther than it appears.
Here’s that same beach six hours later:
Picture of the beach at low tide
Note that stump poking up. It was barely visible at high tide and now it is on dry land!
Roberta, I and the pups tendered to shore to do the hike (at high tide). The approach to the beach was dangerous because the water is murky. You can’t see the bottom in order to know what rocks are there for the propeller on the tender to hit. If we hit a rock with the prop on the tender, it is game over for the tender for the season. Thus, you have to tilt up the motor and paddle the last twenty feet or so to shore.
As we arrived at shore I wasn’t sure what to do. If I tied the tender to a tree, the tender would be sitting on land by the time we hike to the lake and return. The tide would be dropping rapidly and our tender is too heavy for Roberta and I to lug down to the water.
Thus… We went back to our boat and decided to watch other boaters to see what they did.
There weren’t a lot of boats in the anchorage. The first group we watched were on kayaks. They had it easy. They just beached the kayaks and dragged them down to the water later.
The next group had a small tender. Lightweight and easy to drag to the water. They paddled in and then dragged it back.
The next group had a tender like ours. Heavy. They tied one end to the stump and the other to a tree on shore. This didn’t work out so well in that when the tide went down the tender wound up on shore and a tender from another boat had to help them drag their tender to deeper water.
Roberta and I do have kayaks on the bow and thought about putting them into the water, which probably was the best solution. The only reason we didn’t is that it was our last day in the anchorage, and lowering the kayaks from the bow (with the davit), digging out and attaching all the accessories, and them loading them back onto the bow is a chore. If we planned on staying for several days we would have done it, but we had plans to depart the next day. There was also the issue of my recent knee surgery. The half mile walk to the lake would be easy, but if I were to trip on a boulder and mess up the surgeon’s work, that would not be good.
I’m not 100% certain what the right solution to this puzzle is. Normally I carry a long (100’) bungie cord for these situations. I anchor the tender in deep water using the bungie cord. Then I take the tender to shore and attach a second (non-stretchy) long line. We step off the tender and attach the line to a tree. The tender then is pulled to deeper water by the bungie cord, but can be pulled close to the beach for getting on. It hovers in deep water between the two lines; one to the anchor and one to a tree on shore. Some form of that would have worked in this situation, but it’s a new tender and my bungie cord never made it onto the new tender. I need to remember to buy one after the trip.
Anyway… if you want to post your ideas on what to do, visit my website: www.kensblog.com
and post a comment at the bottom of the article, or visit my facebook page: www.facebook.com/kensblogdotcom
and share your thoughts.
And, lastly here are some random pictures from the last few days…
Keely and Toundra on the tender frustrated because they can’t go to shore
Making a pizza on the barbecue! It worked great! We flipped the dough over and applied all the fixings, allowing both sides to brown
On our last day at Turnbull Cove we had the entire anchorage to ourselves. Very cool!
There are several tight entrances to passages where you need to wait for high water to traverse them. We like to wait for “high slack” when the water is highest and there is no current as the water reverses direction
Towing the tender. Note how flat the water is in every picture. We’ve seen almost no wind and nothing but calm seas this whole season so far (But… I’m sure that will change sooner or later)
Roberta was cleaning a table top yesterday and noticed that the cleaner came from Turkey. I had her look to see what else was in the cabinet and she found items from Japan, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Spain, and more.  Sans Souci has been all over the world!
And, that’s it for this edition of the blog.
As always, thank you!
Ken and Roberta Williams (and Keely and Toundra)
MV Sans Souci