|We have been at anchor for the last couple of weeks with some really special scenery. After checking the log book so that I could share our experiences with you, it became apparent we have stopped in no less than 13 different locations since Prince Rupert, our last post. Guess we’ve been on the move….
There was a very nice waterfall next to a defunct cannery in Butedale, similar to many old cannery settlements in SE Alaska which have seen better days. I hear you can walk through the decaying buildings but decided to push onward.
We had some lousy weather in Tuwartz inlet on Pitt Island and finally made a run for Hartley Bay. We were in a real confined but beautiful anchorage with a rocky bottom that was very disconcerting at night with a blow as the anchor chain rolled over rocks as we swung on the hook. Not much sleep for me.
We stopped at Hartley bay, a First Nations settlement, for fuel and a late evening tie up with 25kt winds as we docked. Luckily a nice couple assisted and all was well. A couple with 3 boys pulled up shortly after us on their little 21 ft. fishing boat and mentioned they had just hit a log and bent their prop. They were so kind to offer us a nice sized pink salmon which we happily took. As the dad was repairing the prop, rain poured down and momma was soaking wet. Having spent lots of time camping, skiing, fishing, etc. with my husband and two boys over the years, I saw myself standing there soaking wet and just couldn’t take it. We made a big pot of salmon chowder and cookies and all was well on their boat. Spirits were definitely uplifted after that. They hadn’t planned on camping on the boat and they were all sharing a cold can of corn when Mike arrived with the chowder. It’s nice to pay it forward now and then.
Speaking of pay it forward, we went to stunning Khutze inlet. We anchored right in front of a giant waterfall which provided white noise all night, took a tidal river cruise on the dink, enjoyed an enormous amount of seals and eagles and anticipated seeing a grizzly (which didn’t happen on our watch) and got skunked crabbing. But, another boater had 18 crabs in his bulging trap and threw 3 in our dinghy for us to enjoy. Guess it’s our turn to pay it forward again!
We entered Fjordland, a large national forest area here in B.C. In Bolin bay, Mike got lucky crabbing and caught 5 nice crabs. We have enjoyed crab cakes and crab omelets and have two more frozen bags to go. Luckily the ladies in Newport, Oregon told us how to do that as we came up the Pacific coast (freeze the meat with milk in the bag). Fjordland is incredible. The walls are 3,500 ft above the shoreline with vertical granite! We were treated to waterfalls, snow peaked fjords and beautiful wall faces. Coolest thing that came to mind while we traveled the fjords was the thought that my brother Mike is on a cruise in Norway, Sweden and Finland and may very well be looking at fjords on the other side of the world at the same time.
An evening was spent with a lovely sunset at Fougner Bay. Next morning Mike caught 3 kings as we were leaving, just as he was feeling most dejected about not catching many salmon. So here’s how it goes; FISH ON!....have to launch the dink off the davits to effectively land the fish…get the net….too big, get the gaff..…gaff him…get him in the dink while blood splatters everywhere like a war zone…beat him on the head to get him to stop spraying blood everywhere(the fish, not Mike)…get the filet knife…clean the
blood off everything….filet….get the freezer bags….wash more blood…OKAY…FISH ON AGAIN…repeat all processes…FISH ON AGAIN !...repeat all processes. Freezer is now full of king. Pull up the dink and tie down and off we go. As for the blood, it will be scrubbed with deck cleaner when we arrive in a marina to remove all evidence of the carnage that took place aboard our boat (aka our home). So for those of you than are non- fish aficionados, like me, a salmon isn’t just a salmon. Any number of names and references are made to them so here’s a quick rundown. There are pinks/humpies and (not so desirable here) silvers/bluebacks/cohos , sockeye/red, chum/dog or king/Chinook/spring/tyees (top of the food chain and priced at a premium). Did I mention Mike is out fishing with a friend for the day on a fishing boat? It will be nice to enjoy more fish without morning carnage.
So, the last week or so we have enjoyed warm sunny days. We hear this is one of the best summers in a long time due to the el nino effect down south. We are enjoying the quaint town of Port Hardy, the northernmost city on Vancouver Island, B.C. and giving me a break from galley duty. We head off to the Broughton Islands archipelago tomorrow. Word is that we will love them.
Oh yeah, Happy 21st Birthday to our son Devon. I’ll drink to that!