Aaron and I decided to meet this morning and go for a little cruise with a boat from the Oak Bay Sailing school, a cal 20 named red current. These boats really feel like dinghys, but overall it was like sailing its bigger brother just bit more nimble in turns and a bit wilder in container ship wake. Today was glassy water and light winds in most of Oak bay, so we motorsailed most of the time and sailed off the motor when the wind was enough to push us over the currents.


I got to the marina at about 10 and met Aaron for a quick coffee. Aaron had just been handed the keys, so we walked down to the boat and rigged her up as well as we could to deal with the light winds. I watched as Aaron hanked on the jib and I helped set up the sheets. It was a pretty quick process and we were on the water in moments. Aaron knew the marina, so he did the honors of leaving the dock. We got out past the turkey head breakwater and found we were the only sailing vessel out on the water. That's always a good sign, right?


Aaron pulled out the chart and we made a course for Baynes channel to see if the east winds would be there. The buoyage is fairly clear in Baynes and plumper, and we stayed out of most of the rocky places. The water got glassier as we passed Cadboro bay and we were totally on motor, the mainsail flapped listlessly from side to side. Cadboro point was our first glimpse of wind patterns on the water. Once the wind freshened a bit we turned off the motor and had a little light wind practice. The variable directions made it kind of hard to consistently keep our sails full, but we were still at the edge of Baynes, so as the little wind patch passed, we just got dragged toward Strongtide island.


I tuned into the weather and heard a report for 4 knot winds at Trial island. That was about the best we were going to get, so we turned tail and headed toward Trial island. We passed through mayor channel and out to Trial island. We got a little distracted by some other sailboats heading out toward the traffic lane. We followed them a little ways to see if they knew any secrets, but they seemed lost, so as we became becalmed again, we decided to maybe try Juan de Fuca.


Right near Staines point, we began to get the predicted 4 knot wind and we were immediately back to sailing. We kept to the outside of Brodie rock and played with points of sail in order to get to Gonzales point and line up for our eventual docking. The wind and little bits of chop made for a couple of happy... us. We tacked as we got near Gonzales point and got another great little boost of power. The boat sailed nicely back to the Lee Rock Buoy, where we took down the sails and headed back.


For some reason, one of the boats we passed on our way out turned around and came back in as we came in. We were also followed in by a bright yellow boat called "Tigger," and I snapped a quick photo of his boat on the glassy water as we came in. We docked nice and easy and made the boat fast. It was a pretty successful day despite the challenge of sailing in light air.

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