Saturday, May 9, 2009

#11 - Port Hardy

We've spent a relaxing four days here in Port Hardy at the Quarterdeck Marina. The boat has been a "dock queen" and its owners "cocktail boaters". We've cooked a bit and enjoyed the local dining flavor. This small fishing village near the northwestern end of Vancouver Island is quite pleasant. It has a good-sized grocery store, ACE and PHIC hardware stores, Napa auto parts, about five good sized hotels, several pubs and the all important state liquor store.

This dock queen is not used to sitting idle on the BC Coast.

The view of Quarterdeck Marina looking east.

One of the reasons we decided to return to civilization a bit early was to locate a replacement part. We needed a 12V macerator pump. Port Hardy doesn't really have a marine store as such. We were able to order the part for delivery at the Marina, but it didn't arrive the next day as scheduled. Then while perusing the local ACE hardware store, we saw the part on the shelf. Turns out every store in a fishing town has marine parts. The installation went well and we can macerate again!

Old leaky macerator pump. Jerry Watkins knows this pump well!

When the sun shines, the air and sea surface warms up plenty, attracting millions of bait fish to the Marina's shallow, warm waters. Suddenly it feels like we're moored in a fish hatchery. Of course the abundance of small fish attracts larger sea life like seals, sea lions, and otters. Then the eagles and crows go fishing as well. Pat spends most of the day with the binoculars nearby. In a single day she watched a Canadian goose family hatch four chicks, then later, as the male goose watched helplessly, several eagles lunched on the newly hatched chicks. Shortly thereafter a marmot came by and enjoyed leftovers. It's a wild, wild world up here!

All the waters in the Marina are full of bait fish

This river otter has a reserved slip.

Pat thinks these two are mating. Alex thinks this is just good natured fun.

This guy has snagged one of the larger-sized bait fish.

Pat leaves Sunday to return to SLO town. Alex will be joined by three crew all who lived with him as Cal Poly college roommates back in the late sixties. Should be a fun week as we continue north towards Ketchikan. Our ETA in Ketchikan is May 18th.

We cross the Queen Charlotte Strait and round Cape Caution Monday morning. The weather calls for 20 knots or less but six foot seas in Queen Charlotte Sound. We're leaving at 5AM and hope to be in Pruth Bay on Calvert Island by 1PM. If you are up, you can watch our progress live on beginning at 5AM.

We may have internet access in Shearwater. If not the Blog won't get updated until about May 16 from Prince Rupert. Have a great week.

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