A great day for a cruise, and a rescue!
As Friday’s are our day off and the sun was shining, we decided that it would be a great day to go for a cruise. At 0715 we started up the engines and left the marina at 0730, running at 2 knots. At 0751 we lined up on the range, and a GPS fix placed us at L49˚ 03.4’N, Lo 122˚ 53.5’W. We checked our GPS and found that as the sun rose at 0540 and wasn’t due to set until 2110, we would have plenty of time for our trip. Our plan was to motor to the eastern entrance of Active Pass to drift while fishing, have lunch in Campbell Bay and then to return to Crescent Beach Marina.
We started down the range seaward at 0751, at 6.0 knots, steering a compass course of 194˚. We noticed that aid QR was incorrectly placed on our chart (it should be on the other side of the range). We made a note to advise NOTMAR (Notice to Mariners) about the discrepancy.
At 0825 we changed course to 168˚ compass and maintained the same speed. Although we have a GPS on board, we decided to practice some of the basic skills learned in our navigation class by doing a running fix on the South Cardinal Bell Buoy. At 0850 the buoy appeared 045˚ to starboard; at 0900 it was abeam. Based on this info we were able to plot our fix and calculate that the buoy was 1 NM away at a bearing of 284˚T.
At 0900 we changed course for Georgina Point Lighthouse, at the northern tip of Mayne Island. We were steering a compass course of 228˚C / 251˚T. We stopped the engines to drift and fish at 1040. At 1135 we set up prawn traps at the 70 metre depth as recorded on our depth sounder.
Upon arriving at the disabled vessel we stood off a bit and radioed them, asking if they would like a tow. When they responded in the affirmative, we asked if they would waive all claims for any damage, etc. caused by our rescue efforts (we made sure to obtain a Waiver of Claims). After deciding on a Long Tow, we threw them a line and asked them to make it fast (secure it).
As we began our tow we checked our GPS and it placed us at L49˚ 0.1’N, Lo123˚ 24.4’W. The Why Not’s home port was Steveston on the south arm of the Fraser River. We plotted our course for the Sand’s Head Light at the entrance to the Steveston Jetty (at the south end of Sturgeon Bank). We planned to tow at a speed of 6 knots, steering a course of 024˚ compass.
Of course, none of the above actually happened, but we did end up doing all the plotting, as it was a take-home exercise from our navigation course. And yes, it was a sunny day, and had it been about 15 degrees warmer, and our boat was back in the water, perhaps we would have actually been out cruising instead of just pretending.