Day 29 & 30 Chased by the Wind and Breaking the Law

I set out that morning to explore a number of lakes down to the southwest of Courtenay. There are quite a few including Comox lake, Great Central lake, Elsie Lake and National Lake. As I got to the south end of Comox lake the wind really picked up from the Southwest and there was an enormous amount of marine layer clouds dumping into the valley from the direction I wanted to go. I turned around and decided to head East across the channel and check out the lakes in the Powell River area instead. It was beautiful crossing, the channel and the winds were very calm, I could even see the clouds laying still around the mountains to the East. Powell Lake is a very large lake, it is over 30 miles long and 1100 ft deep. It also has an enormous number of floating cabins on it some of them are basically very large homes with even garages attached for their boats. When I got there the winds were already getting strong on the majority of the lake, I continued up to the far Northern tip and the strong winds had not gotten up there yet. I found a landing spot but there were quite a few logs floating around. I then taxied up to the river inlet but there was kind of a forest of dead trees.

As I taxied though them I imagined what would happen if I lost power and the wind kicked up, they looked like they were just made to take wings off of float planes. Sure enough the strong winds soon reached the Northern end of Powell Lake where I was and I took off and headed back south. The winds were extremely strong across the lake and I was getting tossed around with quite a bit of turbulence. I had not had any breakfast yet because I expected to be landing  just 25 miles away from Courtenay and having  a breakfast stop on some peaceful lake, instead,  I had been chased around  by the wind for over two hours and really wanted a break.

I noticed a nice lake that was mostly protected by a large mountain on the west side, I looked it over and landed. I noticed it had a walking path along the shoreline and just a few row boats at the South end. I was a little concerned that float planes might not be allowed on it so I landed at the far north end away from everybody and looked for a place to tie up on the leeward side of two small islands. The rocks around the islands in the shallow water were definitely prohibitive of me tying up.  I just drifted for a bit in the wind and took a quick break before I took off to the Northwest avoiding the other end of the lake where I saw the rowboats. (Now when I Google that lake, I see that it has a maximum 10 horsepower restriction on it so I hope I do not get a citation in the mail one of these days)! I then went all the way back across the channel to Courtenay and used the rest of the day and evening to work on this trip report.

Day 30, The weather continued to deteriorate and the next day was off-and-on rain and low clouds so I spent that entire day in the Pilot’s Lounge with the Wi-Fi working on this trip report.