The Halloween Night Run

Getting a real Halloween Scare!!!

A late night boat run that really got our blood pumping. Brendan and his ideas again… so much fun.

It was a frightful Halloween day, the pumpkins turned evil and sitting low in the evening sky glowed the brightest of moons incapable of illuminating the shallow dangers of the strangely calm sea. 😉

Danger was everywhere… and… well, it really was. Covid is still here, shattering the nerves of many parents. Many children kept safely indoors, away from the tricks and potentially hazardous treats. No laughter for many, as a sadness plagued the souls of so many of our children. An older brother choosing a scary movie sleepover and the evil little sister posing as a sweet princess on a sinister mission to terrorize grandmas house. Brendan here however was now alone. Bummed from the missing tradition, he searched for a replacement for the fun and had a great idea. A night run.

Recently decking out the boat with various quick mount Scotty accessories, we rigged up our super bright camera lights and headed for our usual launch spot. Ultra smooth conditions on a dropping tide we skimmed under the narrow Tillicum bridge flowing with the out going current, thinking nothing of it… Reaching the old train bridge trestle we discover the channel markers beyond it become more important as ever as there is now dark shadows of granite exposing itself well above the surface. Definitely one of the lowest tides we’ve experienced this year.

Our goal was to reach the breakwater and the mouth of the inlet and just hang out for a while.

Slowly passing past the loud voices of a section of the city, we wonder if we were mistaken for harbour patrol or police in our stealthy looking Stryker boat, and avoided getting too close to the rowdy groups. The rest of the city was eerily vacant for a night like this.

Reaching the breakwater and passing the onlookers of our uncommon mission, we opened the throttle and flew along the ultra smooth conditions to the wide open spaces of the Salish Sea. Sitting still on top of the ocean, under the bright night light of the moon, next to the vast beaches of James Bay we sat back, kicked our feet up and watched the variety of fireworks displays from the many beach going partiers. Still, quiet and very relaxing we find ourselves chatting together in a unique situation thanks to this little boat.

Then comes the TERROR!! Making our way back on the vacant waters we quickly reach the narrow passage under the Tillicum Bridge.

The water flowing much more turbulent than an hour ago we nose the boat into the current and inspect the severity of our situation. Much too dark to see, we’re aware of the rock known as the Can Opener in the dark water, and let the current spit us out to pull ashore for a closer look. Now less than a foot below the water we spot it just to the left with our super bright NEBO headlamp. Spotting also another more centred to the channel but a little deeper, we took our time to assess the chances of successfully passing through the narrow 6’-8’ gap of deep enough water in the fastest flowing current. Discussing our alternatives, they were not small in effort to get us safely home.

Option 1 - Drive the boat all the way out the inlet again and over to Macaulay Point boat launch and walk the boat to Grandpa’s house for the night.
Option 2 - Drive the boat to the nearest beach, dismantle it and load it in the truck, with the help of a driver.
Option 3 - Run this little beast of a boat full speed into the current and hope for the best!!

Option 3 it was! After a safety meeting of what to do in the event of a variety of possible outcomes, Brendan stayed ashore to be picked up on the other side… if I made it. With bright lights shining I aimed for the narrow target of the biggest wave which was also the deepest section, and gave’er full throttle. In a moment strongly reminiscent of my white water kayaking years long ago, I planned to take control the current with speed and accuracy, and I blasted across the swirling water, over the breaking wave and up the fast flowing tongue. Like that, the heart pounding moments leading up the attempt become an exhilarating success.

Super stoked, B ran to the other side where we exchanged some pretty pumped high 5’s and hugs of glory.

A life jacket costume and a small adventure. Great idea and a night truly to remember