Long winter drive ahead

I can't believe how much time it has taken just to get ready for this Vancouver Island sea trials trip. I can't imagine what it will be like when I am getting WiTHiN ready to leave La Gomera, Spain on her human powered voyage across the Atlantic ocean in a year from now.

I've spent the last few days packing two giant duffel bags and going through check-lists. Today, I loaded WiTHiN onto the trailer and packed the Suburban.

Pat and I leave tomorrow morning. It's about 1000 km from Calgary to Vancouver through various levels of winter driving conditions. I have the 9:00 pm ferry form Vancouver to Nanaimo reserved, so I hope 14 hours is enough time. We'll spend the night in Nanaimo, then drive a few hours across Vancouver Island to Tofino on Friday.

The surf forecast for Monday isn't looking fantastic at this point - about 15 foot waves on Monday - our "big seas" testing day, but 26 mph winds, which might make the conditions a bit nutty - I'll play it by ear, and take advice from the support boat skipper and my local guide.

What am I concerned with? I guess anything unknown is always a concern. I don't know how cold it will get inside WiTHiN - the forecast is calling for average temperature of around 5 to 8 degrees C during the day and around 1 to 2 at night. I have a pretty warm sleeping bag and plenty of warm clothes. I have pedalled inside WiTHiN when it was about that temperature here in Calgary and it got fairly warm inside - warm enough to wear a sweater, so it should be OK. The windows will definitely fog-up though, so I made sure to bring my anti-fog solution, and plenty of rags. I have my GPS for navigation and there shouldn't be too many other boats around since this is the middle of winter.

I am also concerned about rain - it rains constantly in Tofino in the winter. I added a rubber lip around the top hatch to prevent it from leaking, so I don't think rain will leak in, but you never know. I have a hotel room booked just in case.

High winds blasting WiTHiN is also an unknown at this point - I would definitely be concerned about that. It should be OK because WiTHiN is pretty aerodynamic, but she's also a lot bigger than a sea kayak, and as such could get thrown around by the wind. Again, I need to play that by ear also and that's exactly what this sea trial is all about.

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10 Responses to “Long winter drive ahead”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Take care with the drive. Watch the boat has clearance to the back of the car if you go through a dip or backing over a gutter.

    I am looking forward to your report on the mini voyage.

    Just hope that prop is fixed well to the gearbox.

    Rick W.  

  2. # Anonymous HotPluto1


    Bret from HotPluto here. Best of luck with the drive across Canada's icy highways. We are all keeping track of you through your Blog.

    I'm sure the trials will go fine. Send us any video of the trials if you can and we'll get it on the home page.

    Question: I know you have GPS and other Nav abilities but is there any support boats out there with you?

    Stay safe!


  3. # Anonymous Anonymous


    In our country is not permited to drive with a load longer than the vehicle. Perhaps is a goog idea signaling this for the rear driver.

    In a panic stop, may be that the rear driver touch your boat with jis face...

    Good luck.



  4. # Blogger Bernard

    Hello greg, what about a round the world trip?  

  5. # Blogger David Tangye

    Good luck with the Tofino tests. WiTHiN looks great, and your preparation sounds great. I will be very interested to hear how the floats, especially their struts, perform if extended in 20kt seas.  

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