What better way to celebrate Leela’s return to Vancouver than heading out for a weekend of carefree sailing with our good friends Sally and Eesmyal! They were both curious about the sailing lifestyle, wanting to explore if this is something they would want to get into as well.
There was one problem though. Our engine didn’t work. We will explain the engine issues in another blog post, but suffice to say we could start and use our engine for a total of 30 seconds, no more, before it would overheat and blow the radiator cap.
But the weather looked stellar and the wind decent as well. So we took a big gamble and decided to head out to Gambier sans engine! Who says you can’t sail these heavy displacement boats in light Pacific Northwest summer air?
Sally and Ees showed up at the dock early Saturday morning. Coincidental timing, our Live-Aboard community friends Jean and Helen were departing that morning for their multi-year adventure to the South Pacific. We sent them off with a bottle of bubbly.
We used the mooring lines to flip the boat around so it would point in the right direction. We got everyone aboard, I started the engine just long enough to get us off the dock and pointing West towards English Bay. As it was still early in the morning there was a nice outflow breeze. We rolled out the headsail and voila! Not 150’ from the dock and we’re under sail out of False Creek!
We enjoyed BEAUTIFUL sailing all the way to Port Graves on Gambier Island, riding a lovely tailwind into the Bay. We were mighty proud of our 26 nautical mile track that day, all under sail.
We were lucky to get to Port Graves nice and early so we spent the afternoon swimming, relaxing, sipping on fancy drinks and enjoying a lovely dinner.
Sunday morning was again magically sunny. As we had no engine to work with, we had to get going fairly early to ensure we had sufficient daylight to make it back to Vancouver. The inflow wind into Port Graves had not started. We lashed the dinghy to the side of Leela and we used our trusty little 2.5 HP outboard engine to push the mothership out of Port Graves and into the wind.
It was smooth sailing from that point on. We were able to ride a gentle breeze right into False Creek. We started the engine a few hundred feet from the marina and used motor propulsion for a minute or two to get us back into our dock. Piece of cake and another wonderful weekend of sailing with friends!