The Summer Sunshine Row. The tide was high at 6:47am at 4.3 meters or 14.1 feet. It will be going out until 1:40pm at .5 meter or 1.6 feet. The next high is at 8:32pm at 4.8 meters or 15.7 feet.
The rowing plan is to row across the shipping channel, South along Stanley Park, West along Kits, Jericho and Point Grey beaches, across English Bay, back to the West Vancouver shore and return to Hollyburn Sailing Club.
I have Gwragedd Annwn on the beach at Hollyburn Sailing Club at 8:45am. The weather is perfect.
Just as I launch Gwragedd Annwn, a deep sea freighter comes out of Burrard Inlet and sails West out from under Lions Gate Bridge headed for the Strait of Georgia. I have my VHS radio tuned to channel 12, Vancouver Harbour Traffic radio. There are no freighters due under the bridge for a while, so I make for the crossing.
Leaving the Club behind, there is almost no wind, only a slight Westerly drift to rustle the flag.
Crossing the shipping channel, the ebbing tide creates quite a current. The swells always build here.
In the picture you can see the edge of the current. Sometimes the Maelstrom goes all the way to Lighthouse Park (Point Atkinson). In the distance you can see the freighter heading out. The freighter is only ten minutes past where I am now. Those things really move.
Again, you can see a boat on the North Side of the current. I am almost at the South edge of the Maelstrom heading for Siwash Rock.
I think that this is a water taxi. I have seen her in False Creek at Granville Island.
Sort of a cute name…”The Prince of Whales”. A whale watching tour boat? How far do they have to go to see whales, I wonder?
It has taken me about 30 minutes to get here. I will row up to the gap between the Seawall and Siwash Rock to see if it is deep enough to navigate.
There is a breaking rock in the middle of the channel. The tide is falling. I will not be able to circumnavigate Siwash Rock today. I am too late for the tide. It is 9:20am and the tide was at 3.4 meters at 9:00am. The ballpark is for a 3.5 meter tide for Gwragedd Annwn be able to float in the gap.
The Urban Oarsman in his natural habitat. I was speaking to a fellow on the Seawall, an oarsman named “Mike” and he offered to take my picture with my camera. I do not often (or ever!) get to have a picture taken of me in Gwragedd Annwn. Mike used to do a lot of rowing on the lakes in the interior. He was bicycling around the Seawall.
The Urban Oarsman in his natural element without sunglasses. Stanley Park casts quite a shadow just South of Siwash Rock. Mike was trying to get a photo of me with a freighter in the background. I would like to thank Mike for taking these pictures. One meets oarsmen in the most unlikely places.
Most people who see this structure (from above) think that it is a viewing platform. It is not.
I have seen people on top of it looking out at the view. A good view for harbour defence.
A tour boat zips along the Seawall. Looking for whales I guess.
The Harbour Patrol boat “Takaya” was putting out floats to mark the exclusion zone around the fireworks barges.
This buoy marks the Southern boundary of the False Creek Shipping Channel.
Three wooden rowboats at the Heritage Harbour. The floathouse is the Heritage Harbour Wooden Boat Shop.
In the Heritage Harbour there a number of wooden boats tied up. The North Star of Herschel Island is probably the biggest one.
Nice looking rowboat on davits. Too bad that is is made of fibreglass. Even in calm water, the reflections always dance on the hull or transom.
Probably a good spot to spy fish from.
Big sailboats always look more impressive from the water. See how smooth her hull is.
I wonder if she has the same number of planks on each side. Hard to tell from this photo.
A cat -rigged boat called Sylvester. Too cute. The Mariah Sea is the power boat behind her.
Following the current, I row West along the South shore towards Jericho Sailing Centre.
When I was at UBC, and in the UBC Sailing Club, My friends and I entered a 24 hour enterprise race held here. We did quite well, getting a medal and only one crew member got bonked on the head by the boom. Those were the days….
The “telephone” pole breakwater is quite impressive. Some of the piles are loose and you can see them working in the swell. The club holds its Optimist training programme to the South and East of the breakwater.
This structure and the light is marked QY on the charts. It is the RVYC Jericho weather station.
Because of the dry burger last time, I have brought my lunch this time. A better deal.
All I need now is a cold one to go with it. Or perhaps a cup of tea.
I drifted around the pier while eating my lunch because the rubber ducks took up all the room at the float. Why are there so many? Are they in for lunch too?
Almost two years ago, I went to the city works disposal yard, they were trying to sell a bunch of lifeguard boats in pretty rough shape and wanted real money for them. This was before I built Gwragedd Annwn, and I was looking to see if it would be worthwhile to buy a lifeguard rowboat and rebuild it. The answer was no, it was not worth it. I estimated that it was cheaper to build from scratch rather than try to rebuild on of the lifeboat hulls. A real shame. I suppose that the boats were all trashed eventually.
Leaving Spanish Banks/Point Grey Beach for West Vancouver. The water is a little choppy, and the tide will be turning to flood into Vancouver Harbour any time. Should make good time across.
This deep sea freighter is coming into English Bay on it’s way into Burrard Inlet. Thanks to Vancouver Traffic for the info. Twenty minutes later it is at the bridge.
Film clip of the freighter passing the Besiktas Azerbaijan (Istanbul) going into Burrard Inlet. These deep sea freighters really move!
I guess that sometimes you just want to get ashore. Now. Right Now.
Stern shot of the Besiktas Azerbaijan. I believe that she is anchored at anchorage 9.
|Crab trap line float showing which way the current is flowing.
The flood tide is coming into the harbour at 1.5 knots. The incoming swell is astern of Gwragedd Annwn. What could be better?
I wonder where this Rubber Duck is based? How long to False Creek? Well it is good that they are out. Note the deep sea freighter in the centre of the picture. It is far off of Point Grey and inbound for First Narrows and Burrard Inlet. 30 or 40 minutes?
Good thing that I am already on the West Vancouver side of the traffic separation buoy. An easy row along the shore to Hollyburn Sailing Club.
The famous “Pink Building”. It is called Villa Maris. Its street address is 2222 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver. It was built in the 60’s.
It has been twenty minutes since I last took the freighter’s picture. She is moving fast.
Five minutes after the last picture. She is closing fast. It is always a good idea to stay out of the freighter’s way.
Another five minutes later. Passes by in front of the Sailing Club. I will have to wait until her bow wave reaches the beach before I land Gwragedd Annwn. I do not want to have a panic party landing at the club. Too many cameras.
Time to beach Gwragedd Annwn. Row time: six hours forty-five minutes. Twelve and one-half miles. Quite the row.