|Motoring towards Brooks Peninsula|
|Solander Island (Brooks Peninsula behind)|
After rounding the Brooks Penninsula, we anchored with SV Carousel in the west side of Battle Bay. Dotted with rocks with beautiful beaches, this was a beautiful place. It felt like the wildest place we'd anchored in so far. The following day, we were joined by Rolly and Marian on MV Tropic Isle for a dinner with 8 of us on Pelagia. (This rendezvous had been arranged a couple days earlier via HAM radio on the Great Northern Boater's Net.) We first met Rolly in 2002 while on a mooring buoy at Columbia Cove (only a few miles away from Battle Bay; the mooring buoys have been removed), and have crossed paths a few times since then. Rolly is well-known up-and-down the B.C. coast (and even in Alaska): at 80 years young, he has circumnavigated Vancouver Island at least 25 times. Every Summer he does a long trip, with Marian joining him at different points. We had great fun at dinner on Pelagia, Michelle having cooked up at wonderful chicken curry in the pressure cooker.
|Battle Bay anchorage|
|Bear on the beach (Battle Bay)|
|Rolly & Marian (MV Tropic Isle) in Battle Bay|
After Battle Bay, Rolly offered to "guide" us through rock-strewn "False Gay Passage" (not the official name, but a passage cruising guides warn "not to enter") and then to an unknown, uncharted special anchorage not in any cruising guide. The passage was a little nerve wracking but following both MV Tropic Isle and SV Carousel, it turned out OK. Passage into the secret anchorage was a little more eventful: the other two boats draw 4.5 feet, Pelagia draws 6 feet. Rolly indicated the narrow pass into the anchorage would have more than enough depth. After Carousel and Tropic Isle went in with no issue (and reporting 15 feet depth), we followed. We probably were 5-10 feet off-centre in entering, and "found bottom". That is, we skidded over the top of a rock: didn't stop moving and the touch was pretty "smooth". We anchored and then surveyed the entrance: turns out there was indeed a rock with about 5-6 feet over it when we entered (3-4 feet at zero tide).
[Update: weeks later, in Pipestem Inlet, with water temperatures as warm as 24 degrees C, David finally got to dive and check Pelagia's keel. As expected, there was only a small nick on the bottom. clearly, we had barely hit the top of a flat rock. No big deal.]
|Following SV Carousel and MV Tropic Isle in the Bunsbys|
|Entrance to secret anchorage (from inside): a rock lies in the middle...|
|Anchored in the Bunsbys|
|Kayaking in the Bunsbys|
|1st Nation's Burial Cave|
|Battleship Island (Bunsbys)|
|Green Head (Bunsbys)|
Next day, Rolly and Marian headed over to Columbia Cove, while Carousel and Pelagia headed to Kyuquot (sometimes referred as "Walter's Cove"). The winds were still blowing SE 20-25 knots, and we had to spend an hour or so beating through a narrow passage surrounded by waves crashing on nasty rocks in order to get to a more-protected route. An engine failure at any point could be very bad news, and David was always on the lookout for an escape route by sail. Happily, once through the rocks, the rest of the trip was fairly easy and comfortable. We arrived in Kyuquot in time to do a little grocery shopping (and water fill-up) at the Kyuquot store (currently only open MWF, 1-5 pm). We then went out for fish (halibut) and chips at "Java the Hut" (which also had free WiFi: trouble is, its WiFi "acts up" whenever it rains -- which it does routinely in Kyuquot -- so we had no WiFi).
|Kyuquot public dock and store|
|Goodbye to SV Carousel -- leaving Blue Lips Cove|
|Kayaking at entrance to Dixie Cove (Kyuquot Sound)|
|Grogan Rock, Clear Passage|
|Nuchatlitz -- a favourite anchorage|
|Raft of sea otters (Nuchatlitz)|
sunny day to go ashore and visit this very historic (and scenic) place: visiting the small church, the former village site, graveyards, lake, and the Nootka Lighthouse. While we were anchored, the old MV Uchuck III arrived and docked, full of day-tripping (but respectful) tourists. Back in 2002, we anchored in Friendly Cove in thick fog, and didn't go ashore; we were glad to be able to have a better visit in 2016.
|Entering Friendly Cove (Nootka lighthouse on left)|
|MV Uchuck III at Friendly Cove|
|Stained glass in Yuquot church|
|Pelagia at anchor (photo from Nootka lighthouse)|
|Rounding Estevan Point of a calm, windless (and foggy) day|
Clearly, we were no longer on the "wild west coast".