B.C.'s West Coast
May 8, 2009
|So we finally got a glimpse of what we hope will be an awe inspiring trip. After leaving the busy and noisy city of Vancouver, we headed north dropped anchor in a sunny little anchorage called, Smuggler’s Cove on Musket Island. We arrived in the early afternoon and were able to open all the hatches, pull off the jackets and just relax in the beauty of the quiet and yes, warm, anchorage. What a treat. We learned to stern tie to shore to hold us in position. Sounds like this is standard procedure up here due to depths of the anchorages, wind drift and to prevent swinging when there are many boats in the anchorages. We started our trek a little early (first of May) north in order to delay the inevitable crowding we will experience when the weather turns warmer.
So some months back we met a woman that said that Princess Louisa Inlet is a must see on our way north. She likened it to, “God’s gift to humanity”. It lies at the end of the Jervis inlet and is a fjord. We were not disappointed. She did forget to mention that in order to enjoy this treat you have to shoot through Malibu rapids. So we timed slack tide and made it through. Rapids swirl and should they have much velocity it would be very hard to keep on course through it. Mike did very well. After the rapids, we took in all the waterfalls surrounding us inside the fjord. We’ve never experienced anything like it.
There is one guest dock there which we heard people raft to (tie up to other boats side by side with fenders in between) in the summer. Lucky for us, there were just a handful of boats and a day of good weather. The main attraction very near the guest dock was Chatterbox Falls; a huge waterfall with really beautiful white noise which we could see and hear from our cockpit.
So we enjoyed a hike or what seemed more like a climb to see an old trapper’s cabin that most people attempt to see but give up somewhere along the trail. I was definitely elated when we arrived. The story is that a trapper lived in a cabin which we found next to a huge, beautiful waterfall and during a winter storm an avalanche took out his cabin, luckily without him. To my amazement, the springs from his mattresses were still visible in the demolished cabin. The really amazing part is how he got them there. I love to hike but this was really something. Much of the hike required using hands and feet, ducking, climbing, sliding, etc. you get the point. All in all, definitely worthwhile…at least that’s what I keep telling my quads. Yeah, Mike felt it in his calves too.
After a couple of nights we left in cold and rainy weather. Anchored in Thunder Bay near the entrance to the Jervis inlet and enjoyed an evening alone once again watching a movie at anchor.
We spent a night in Lund. This little Native town’s fame is that they are at the end of Highway 101. We stopped to buy provisions at their store (buying supplies is much harder now and expensive), did lots of laundry and spent a bumpy night at their dock with no facilities. At first light I ran up to a little coffeehouse & bakery for a scone and off we went to Grace Harbor in Desolation Sound. We are told that in the summer the water is warm enough to swim in. Unfortunately, we won’t be here to see that unless we swing in on our way southward. It was lovely and calm however and we met up once again with Alec, a single hander on his trawler, Abductor, heading north to Alaska as well – for the ninth time. We first met him at Princess Louisa inlet. Of course we picked his brain for tidbits of his wealth of knowledge. Really nice man we hope to meet up with again sometime soon. We took a very short hike to see a lake this morning but it was too muddy to pass as we didn’t have mud boots with us. For a little excitement, Mike almost stepped on a snake (garter?). Oh well.
We stopped in Refuge Cove to unload my email box. Someone (who shall be nameless) has been sending me lots of jokes I can’t get to, thus overloading what I really need to get to. Unfortunately, they aren’t open till June 1st and they changed from the internet provider we bought as an alternate to our Verizon broadband card. So I am updating at a very high rate right now and will upload pics when internet is cheap and easy again.
Hope this finds you all doing well.
P.S. Happy Birthday Suzanne!