|A busy day on Jervis Inlet|
Malabu Rapids is passable only every six hours at slack tide, and even then only for a period of 15 minutes or so. Boats planning to transit the rapids usually arrive early, rather than risk missing the tide window and having to wait six hours for another chance. And so we did. The slack was predicted at 1125, and we arrived comfortably early at around 1100. What to do for 25 minutes? Let's just shut down the engines and drift for a bit. No wind, no current, not another boat in sight. We'll just drift and enjoy the view. Wonderful. Until we started the engines again.
|Princess Louisa. We felt as gloomy as the weather when we arrived. Lousy luck!|
But our luck was not all bad: Only one prop was fouled; the other one seemed to be clear. This was our first lucky break. If both props had fouled, we would have been adrift, and there was no possibility of anchoring. The water is very deep right up to the shoreline. No other boats around. No radio communication with the Coast Guard. Not a pleasant thought. But one prop was free! We could make it through the rapids on one engine; I just had to make sure that our guests didn't notice my white knuckles on the wheel!
The channel is very narrow, not much more than 50 feet wide at low tide, and there is a sharp right turn part way through. Not the sort of thing you'd like to do with one engine out, but there were no easy choices. We could either go through the channel and into Princess Louisa, where we could tie to the dock and hope to get the prop untangled, or make the 6-hour trip back down to Pender Harbor on one engine, hope to find a local diver, and try for Princess Louisa another day. The decision was made -- we'll try the channel.
|Safely at the dock. Princess Louisa Inlet.|
"Hi, I'm Nina off the trimaran Rikki-tikki-tavi. What's up?"
"Hi I'm Rick. Got a line wrapped around the prop. Thought we could untangle it, but the water's just too cold."
"Oh, bad luck. But maybe we can help. My husband has a dry suit on board. I'm sure he'd be willing to lend it to you."
"Fantastic! That should do the trick."
|Nina helping Clark get suited up. More help from another cruiser.|
|In he goes.|
|The offending line.|
|Underway again. Cindy and Martha enjoy the sights.|
Again, thanks Clark and Nina, and "fair winds" Rikki-tikki-tavi.