Boating

Whale watching in Tofino, BC (Part 2: Boats)

Whenever there are boats around, I just can't resist firing away with the camera, analyzing various design details, and generally wishing I had hundreds of thousands of dollars to build up a fleet of my own.

We recently took a whale-watch cruise with Weigh West Marine Resort in Tofino, BC. A moment ago, I posted about the animals; now, here are the boats.

Whale Watching in Tofino, BC (Part 1: Animals)

One little indulgence Katy and I allowed ourselves on our Western Canada trip was a whale-watching tour in Tofino, BC.

On the recommendation of a family member who has lived on Vancouver Island for a few years, we booked a late-morning cruise with Weigh West Marine Resort. We weren't disappointed. The combination of good weather, a fast boat and a knowledgeable captain made the $80/person cruise well worth it.

But let's leave the talk to a minimum. Here's a whale.

Wolfe Island, and high water on Lake Ontario

There's a good reason why Kingston is considered the freshwater sailing capital of North America. The weather is generally good, navigation is relatively straightforward, and there are several dozen nice anchorages and tourist destinations within day-trip distance.

Wolfe Island has quite a few nice little spots, of which the Big Sandy Bay nature area is likely one of the most popular.

Boarding ladders for small boats

Getting into a boat from the water is HARD. The drag of the water makes it difficult to jump, and there's often no bottom to stand on. Even if you're in good physical condition, it's quite difficult to heave yourself more than about 15 to 30 cm (6" to 12") vertically out of the water. Take a look at a swimming pool: the copings are rarely more than 15 cm above the surface; in the best modern pools, they're level with it. Most people just can't jump any higher out of the water.

Let's look at Sunset Chaser for a moment:

Eye splicing single braid rope

Most of the lines on an average boat are either double braided or twisted three-strand, but single braid does show up on occasion. If you do have it, here's how to splice it.

My advice: Avoid single braid rope. Splicing it is very tedious (an hour or two per eye for 12-strand, although 8-strand is much faster), and without a protective cover it's more easily damaged and more prone to chafe than double braid. But now and then, you just happen to have some, and wouldn't it be nice to have proper spliced eyes in it instead of bulky bowline knots....

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