Sunday, 29 July 2018

Return to the "South Coast" (Cape Caution rounded)

We are currently at the docks in Sointula, enjoying warm sun (well, "hot" to us) and a respite from the fog (sort of... the fog comes in at night but burns off by morning).

We had a very foggy passage around Cape Caution; never did catch a glimpse of it, with visibility of only 1/4 to 1/2 nautical miles for hours. Shortened the trip from Pruth Bay by stopping for the night at Millbrook Cove in Smith Sound (which was very foggy but calm and quiet), then next day going around to Miles Inlet (also foggy).. [SV Carousel continued on, so we may not see them the rest of this trip.]. Next morning, we woke up tothick fog, but were pleasantly surprised to have it lift for most of the calm (6 hour) motor to Sointula.

It's easy down south here in Sointula (relaxing with mod cons such as CBC radio reception, cell phone with data, internet sortof, and stores etc). And did we say it is (relatively) hot here? Well, low-mid 20s with sun sure seems a bit warm to us. It might be hard when we reach the upper 20s and even low 30s they are having in Desolation and further south.

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Back south to Hakai...

At "The Lookout" in Hakai (note the fog coming back in...)

After three nights in the Bella Bella/Shearwater area (1 night at docks in Shearwater, 1 night in quiet, isolated Kakushdish Harbour, and 1 night in Fancy Cove), we headed down south to Pruth Bay. The main attraction being able to go for a walk/hike in Hakai. (The free Wifi from the Hakai Institute is nice too....)

Foggy nights and mornings, with mostly sun in the afternoon, it really is a beautiful place. Busy anchorage, but good.

Enough for three nights!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Shear(water) crazy!

After being in Haida Gwaii for nearly a month, arriving in the Bella Bella/Shearwater area is quite a shock. In one day in Shearwater, we saw more cruising boats than we have in the previous 6 weeks. (Most of our anchorages in Gwaii Haanas were just us.) Shearwater was especially crazy (though Christophe the Shearwater harbourmaster does an admirable job managing the boats).

Food shopping at Shearwater was "ok"; the new store in Bella Bella is far superior,

We are currently anchored in Fancy Cove in Lama Passage, a few miles south of Bella Bella/Shearwater. We may head south to Pruth Bay tomorrow.

Friday, 20 July 2018

Goodbye Haida Gwaii... Hecate Strait crossing completed

Leaving Haida Gwaii (looking back at Houston Stewart Channel)

We are now in the Seaforth Channel area on B.C's mainland coast, having completed our overnight passage from Rose Harbour on Kunghit Island (bottom of Haida Gwaii). 

Our last night in Haid Gwai, we celebrated by having an excellent dinner at Susan's in Rose Harour (cooked/organized by Francis). Leaving Rose Harbour at 10am the next morning, we arrived on the other side of Hecate Strait off the McInnis Island light at 510am, and had our anchor down in Berry Inlet by 9am. A quick breakfast then a 3-hr much-needed sleep. 

The crossing was 103 nm, 54 of which we sailed. The first half was very frustrating, with not quite enough winds to sail especially with rolly seas. The last half was just the opposite: a wonderful, comfortable easy sail requiring no sail trimming and only occasional course corrections. When David was on watch, he used Finn our Hydrovane; Michelle preferred Waggie our Wagner autopilot. 

We had to up-anchor and move to a better anchorage in the afternoon. But then had a celebratory dinner on Pelagia with David and Gillian from SV Carousel. 

A great trip in Haida Gwaii -- the best of our three trips there!

Dinner at Susan's in Rose Harbour (Michelle, Gillian, David & David)

Sunday, 15 July 2018

SGang Gwaay Haida Heritage Site

SGang Gwaay Haida Heritage Site
As we have done twice in the past, we decided to dinghy over to SGang Gwaay (Anthony Island) from Louscoone's Etches Point Cove. Takes about 1 hour to SGang Gyaay's North Cove, and is mostly protected (only about 10-15 min exposed). A glorious, sunny day.

Nearing SGang Gwaay, we saw puffins on the largest of the Adams Rocks - always a thrill to see these birds.

The watchman at SGang Gwaay warned us that the tide was too low to use the North Cove -- he was right, we checked anyways -- and we continued the extra mile to "South Cove" (noted as Gray's Cove" on charts). The extra distance was protected and we enjoyed the low-tide wildlife along the way (although now there are far too many sea urchins... sea otters are needed).

A little bit of a surf-landing at the South Cove for both our dinghies (Carousel and Pelagia), but we made it OK. We were met by young Haida Watchman Torrey, who gave us an enjoyable tour. This is our 3rd visit to SGang Gwaay, yet we still learned new facts. And the site is so beautiful.

Having been here in 2002 and 2011, we definitely noticed the deterioration of the many totem (mortuary) poles. Haida believe they should be left to deteriorate and fall as the natural way of things, thus this is what is happening. We wonder what the site will look like in another 10-20 years.

[We were the first visitors to come to day. But as we finished our tour, group tours started "lining up" to come in. It was going to be a busy day for the 2 watchmen. Parks Canada limits all group sizes to a maximum of 12 persons.]

Uneventful (safe) dinghy ride back to the boats, albeit a little wet as the wind was picking up and blowing spray on us. Wind was up to 21 knots into the anchorage. As I write this, I am hoping it abates by dinner.

Update: the wind did end by about 8pm....

Ikeda Cove to Rose Harbour and on to Louscoone Inlet

After a day-and-a-half (2 nights) relaxing in Ikeda Cove (including a dip in beautiful but very cold Ikeda Creek), we decided to head around to Rode Harbour. As it turned out, the first 1.5 hours was a very uncomfortable rolly-polly motor with moderately-large seas (due to opposing current coming out of the inlets) and little wind. Things smoothed out soon after passing Garcin Rocks and we arrived relatively quickly at Rose Harbour due to a 1-2 knot current in our favour. In 2002 and 2011, we had had great dinners by Susan who lives in rose Harbour and does dinner for kayak groups, etc. We were lucky getting the single mooring buoy in Rose Harbour (not 3 as suggested by guide books) but learned there was no space for dinner until July 17th. We made a reservation for July 17th, even though our tentative plan was to do an overnight passage leaving Haida Gwaii on the 16th. One never knows with weather. (FYI: Susan is semi-retired, but now Charlotte-local Francis has joined Susan's team for cooking, etc. Contact Susan/Francis on VHF channel 6 by calling "Old Squaw".)

As we could not do dinner that night (or next day), we decided to continue on to Louscoone Inlet, to set us up to visit SGang Gwaay Haida Heritage Site (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) the next morning.

No other boat was in Louscoone's Etches Point Cove, but also, the mooring buoy of past years was also no longer there. So we had to anchor (Pelagia anchored in somewhat deep water -- 60' -- after being surprised by much much shallower water than up-to-date charts indicated... we may have touched the sandy bottom).

The winds really picked-up in the afternoon -- oddly, straight into the cove -- but died off by dinner time.

Friday, 13 July 2018

POSITION REPORT: Ikeda Cove

TIME: 2018/07/14 03:31 UTC (2018/07/13 20:31 PDT)
LATITUDE: 52-17.79N
LONGITUDE: 131-09.40W
COMMENT: anchored Ikeda Cove, Haida Gwaii, British Columbia

In case anyone is wondering where we are. Tomorrow Rose Harbour or Louscoone Inlet.