Friday, 6 July 2018

Anna Inlet to Sac Bay to Murchison Island cove (Gwaii Haanas)

After 3 nights in anna Inlet (two of them the only boat), we reluctantly left Anna Inlet. (Technically, one is limited to 3 consecutive days at any one spot in the park, subject to weather. This is not, however, monitored.)

We stopped at the freshwater dock off Hoya Passage to fill one of our water tanks (treating it with the same treatment as we used in and leftover from Mexico), then continued on to Sac Bay in De La Beche Inlet. Another dramatic locations, with the San Christoval mountain range towering over the bay. Again the only boat, the next day we kayaked over to Skittagetan Lagoon and back. SV Carousel rejoined us on the second night.

New-to-us* Sac Bay is known for "williwaw" winds (katabatic winds that rush down into the bay from high up in the mountains) under certain conditions, and we experience a mild version of these on our second night. So we decided to move over to a cove at the entrance to De La Beche Inlet. The entrance into this cove was very narrow and shallow. Carousel draws less and went in first, indicating 14 feet depth. At the last minute, we decided not to chance it and instead head over to Murchison Island (where Carousel had spent 3 nights while we were in Anna Inlet).

Murchison Island cove* and the area around is beautiful (in a very different way than Anna Inlet or Sac Bay), and we were fortunate to get one of the two park buoys.

Unfortunately, our first night at Murchison was marred by two issues. First, we had noticed an American sailing vessel was likely fishing (well) within the Rockfish Conservation Area surrounding these islands. NO fishing with hooks of any sort are allowed in RCAs, in an effort to improve rockfish populations. When the boat came in to the other mooring buoy, and proceeded to gut and clean large rockfish, David could not help but to tear a strip off them for illegal fishing. Their response? "We'll check the regulations" (the Gwaii Haanas guide everyone gets is VERY clear about this, as are fishing regulations in general). We have no patience for this behaviour, especially by visitors.

The other issue our first night was a group of 5 kayakers who decided to party until 2am, including belting out "O'Canada" at midnight (yes, 5 Canadian guys...). Next day David had a friendly conversation with these obviously hungover kayakers who promised they'd be quiet our second night (after all, they had no booze left...).

On our second day, we dinghied over to Hotsprings Island to visit the Haida Watchmen and the hotsprings. The hotsprings stopped flowing after the 2012 earthquake, but they are returning. Not real hot (40 degrees C) but very nice. worth the trip.

Our second night at Murchison Island indeed turned out to be very quiet and calm. (Thank you quiet kayakers!)

*not visited during our 2002 or 2011 trips to Gwaii Haanas NPR.

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