P/C Don Mercer, Vancouver Squadron, and his wife Susan had sailed their brand-new 40-foot North Pacific sedan trawler over to Nanaimo from False Creek, looking forward to taking part in the Nanaimo student cruise. They, and many other boaters, were disappointed when the cruise was cancelled due to the threat of heavy weather.
On Sunday morning, though, Susan suggested a harbour cruise, and she soon had John and Doreen Hinksman and my wife Annie and me, hastily jumping aboard.
The "harbour cruise" soon became "just a peek outside" to see what conditions were like. Don is very proud of his boat's handling, with its four-and-a-half foot displacement, and Simbuyo took the rather lumpy conditions beyond Protection Island in her stride. Nothing ventured, then, but to pull out the student cruise materials, much to John's delight, since he had spent some hours preparing for this back in Toronto, and to start work conning the way.
Down Northumberland Strait we motored, transiting Dodd Narrows against a stiff current. Conditions deteriorated in the Stuart Channel with heavy rain and increasing wave height. Our skipper concentrated on quartering the waves, and Simbuyo easily handled the rough water. As we made the turn into Ruxton Passage, we took the waves beam-on, while the crew leapt about, securing loose objects which threatened to become airborne. It was comforting to hear that Simbuyo will recover, theoretically, from a 105 degree roll.