Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Turning Sarah Point into Desolation Sound, however, all was forgotten as the natural beauty of the area just stunned us. Tall mountains that come all the way down to the sea greeted us, as did a bevy of sailboats, kayakers, and motor cruisers. We originally thought about going to Prideux Haven, but a quick look at Tenedos Bay indicated that not only was it closer, it was also very sheltered and had access to a warm fresh water lake for swimming.
The reason you need to stern tie in these deep harbors is that the ground under the water is curved steeply away from the shore. If the wind were to shift the boat around while you were anchor'd thus, the anchor would simply hold no traction and lift off the ground, dragging or coming loose in deep water. In strong tidal waters, you had to have enough rode for high tide while not having so much rode on low tide that you'd swing onto shore, but on a high tide you'd actually get more space from shore, so it's OK to have what looks like a dangerously long rode when anchoring.
After lunch (which doubled as a way to observe the boat's behavior over a period of rising tide), I satisfied myself that the Stray Cat was in no danger, and we dingy'd over to the trailhead to Unwin lake. We discovered once again that our boat briefing was inadequate when we couldn't figure out how to raise the motor, but fortunately a group of people were leaving as we were arriving and showed Arturo how to push that button. We tied the boat down firmly as we were in tidal waters and I fully expected to come back to find that the rock we'd tied the dinghy to would be under water.
We hiked to Unwin lake, with everyone except Xiaoqin, Bowen, and I spotting a bear while we were there, indicating that we were in bear country.
We'd checked the hand compass to ensure that we were going to be aligned with the prevailing wind that night, so I slept well, but at 1:00am was awoken by lights pointing into my eyes from other boats in the area. I wondered if things were going wrong, and so got up with the flash light to check the boat, but didn't find anything disturbing. I went back to sleep, and only discovered in the morning that one of the other skippers had panicked, dropped his stern lined, and moved out into the middle of the harbor to re-anchor. One benefit of being so close to shore was that the land really did act as a wind break for the Stray Cat, so we might have had a much easier night than those who had a longer anchor line.