Tony Fleming, the founder of Fleming Yachts, is one of the most accomplished cruisers we know. Aside from what he’s done on other boats throughout his career, he’s put 64,000 nm under the keel of Venture, his personal Fleming 65, starting from his homeport in Newport Beach, California, and going up to the Aleutians, down to the Galapagos, through the Panama Canal and all the way up to the St. Lawrence and back down to Annapolis.
Fleming has just finished his 15th summer cruise on Venture, deciding to explore the beautiful waters of British Columbia. He started on May 27 in Sidney and cruised through the Queen Charlotte Islands, traveling 1,848 nm, and spending 34 nights at anchor and 29 at a dock. A graceful writer, Fleming posted a log along the way, called Summer Cruising Through Sidney, Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert; it’s in four parts.
The final days of the log are below, but you’ll also want to see the pictures Fleming took along the way: he’s a highly skilled photographer and videographer:
July 25th Thursday
Underway at 0725 under rain showers. Out in Johnstone Strait we see a smaller Regency cruise ship heading north. We anchor in Waiatt Bay, Octopus Islands at 1217. Chris and Christine take kayaks ashore and walk across a narrow neck of land to Small Inlet where we anchored two months ago on our way north. Louisa and I take the large tender around the bay.
July 26th Friday
Underway at 0645. We elect to negotiate the trickiest of the two exits from Waiatt Bay. We arrive at Surge Narrows after they have started running in our direction. We are swept through on the wings of the turbulent water at 14.5 kts. We proceed down the eastern side of the Strait of Georgia. Initially mirror calm, a brisk southerly wind blows up in the afternoon. There is plenty of traffic – mostly sailboats under sail which is a rare sight in these waters. We anchor in Buccaneer Bay in the Thormanby Islands in late afternoon. This is not far from the city of Vancouver and is a busy holiday spot.
July 27th Saturday
At 0500 wind gets up. The boat next to us drags anchor and strikes the sailboat behind it. The two, together, then collide with a larger trawler style boat. It takes a while to disentangle the mess but no one is hurt or significant damage sustained. After all the excitement we are underway at 0713. Wind is from now NW down the Strait of Georgia which is from aft so not too uncomfortable. We go through Polier Pass at near full flood with the tide against us. Like all Flemings, Venture has ample reserve power so we experience no problems. We anchor in Montague Harbour at 1226. It is the height of the holiday season and there are large numbers of boats in this popular anchorage and float planes come and go. Several small boats stop by and people tell us how much they enjoy the videos. One couple had only watched their first video the day before and, lo, here is the actual boat! A recent 65, Valinor, enters the harbour and anchors nearby. The owner comes over on his paddle board and introduces himself.
July 28th Sunday
On the last day of our cruise we are underway at 1130. It is a gorgeous sunny day with plenty of traffic, including massive BC ferries, plying the waters. We arrive at Delta at 1330 where Brian and Kevin are on the dock to meet us. Despite the hiatus in Queen Charlotte, which disrupted our plans, we have traveled 1,848 nm with 34 nights at anchor and 29 at a dock.