Threading the Needle

Threading the Needle - Clam Bay to New Castle Island - June 7, 2022

We were up at 6:45 pm this morning so we could get a jump on the day.  Our destination today is Newcastle Island, which is just outside of Nanaimo BC.  The reason we where up early was so we could make it through Dodd Narrows before the current got ripping. 

The anchor was up and we were on our way by 7:25 am.  Today the weather is more like summer.  The sun is out, and it is already getting warm out.  Heather took over piloting the boat toward the narrows, which is a little more than 11 miles away.  While I had my first mate steering, I worked on another article I am writing about my recent offshore sailing adventure.

Dodd Narrows is a small waterway that boats transit between Mudge Island and Vancouver Island.  They transit this route when going and coming from Nanaimo BC.  The cut between the two islands can’t be over 50 meters wide.  When the currents are flowing their strongest, we are not able to buck the current to get through the narrows. In fact if you happen to be there when the current is really rolling you can actually tell that the water on one side of the narrows is higher than the other side.  Today the current is not that bad, so timing our transit through the narrows is not as critical.

As we motor toward Dodd Narrows there is no wind.  The water is completely flat. On our trek to the narrows we did not see any other cruising boats.  Guess cruising season has yet to start.

We transited Dodd Narrows a little before slack tide.  as we approach the narrows, two other sailboats came through the narrow cut in the opposite direction.  We threaded the needle through the narrows with about a ½ knot of current going in our direction. After transiting the narrows we followed Northhuumerland Channel toward Nanaimo.

We arrive at Newcastle Island a little before 11 am.  It amazes me how many local boats are anchored out here.  We motor around looking for a big hole between all the boats were we could anchor.  We find one, and drop the anchor.  By the time we back down and dig the anchor in it a 11:09 am.  Short run today, only 17.4 miles.

Once anchored I put the dinghy in the water and fill up the outboard with gas.  We are now ready to go ashore after lunch. Time to relax for a while.  I lay in my bunk writing and snoozing while Heather sits in the cockpit reading. 

Heather and I finally made it to shore in late afternoon, due to the fact I had an afternoon nap.  Love walking around this island.  Saw a few local critters and a few walkers.  The facilities on the uplands were closed.  That meant “NO ICE CREAM” for me.  I could almost scream.  I miss my ice cream.

Threading the Needle at Dodd Narrows