Thursday, August 13, 2009

#64 - Miller Inlet to Hartley Bay, then Emily Carr Inlet

Today we leave the anchorages on Pitt Island hoping to tie to the dock in Hartley Bay. The central part of BC doesn't have great drinking water. The water has tannin, is brown in color and the marinas that offer it have signs that say boil before drinking. Hartley bay is a thriving Indian Village with good water and we want to top off the tanks before heading into “tannin water country”.

The sun has returned and we exited Miller Inlet on the morning slack tide at 7:30AM. We entered Principe Channel on the north side of Banks Island, probably named after Joseph Banks a prominent 1790's supporter of England's exploration. About 9:30AM at the southeastern end of Pitt Island, Ron and Bonnie on Z-Worthy decided to stop and fish. We continued to Hartley Bay to secure moorage and water.

The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter was shadowing BC Ferry Northern Adventure as it passed Gil Island in Wright Sound.

Today's meandering route ending at Emily Carr Inlet.

We passed over the northern end of Gil Island, crossing Wright Sound nearing Hartley Bay just after noon. Two motor vessels were slowly entering Hartley just ahead of us. The lead boat was Gael Force with Jim at the helm. Jim and I have been exchanging emails earlier this year about cruising Alaska. We spoke briefly over the VHF as they left Prince Rupert on Monday. After he entered the marina, I called Jim on the VHF to ask about dock space and he reported that none remained. Turns out Gael Force, a Fleming 55, was towing Kodiak, a Grand Banks 59, who had just lost their hydraulic pump, which powers the windlass, thrusters and stabilizers. By the way, Jim has an awesome Alaska Blog with many photos here.

So with no room at Hartley bay, we had to find a nearby anchorage and notify our buddy boat Z-Worthy of the change in plan. After repeated VHF calls to Z-Worthy, we realized the islands blocked our transmission. So we decided to continue on to Emily Carr Inlet on the west side of Princess Royal Island. Emily Carr was our original destination before we started getting worried about the water supply.

As we motored out of Whale Passage and into Caamano Sound we were able to raise Z-Worthy and informed them of the new anchorage plan. They reported having caught many salmon which we they later restocked a good portion in Wild Blue's freezer.

Emily Carr was not a person of Captain Vancouver's era and it's nice to find a place named after a contemporary Canadian. Carr was the famous and revered 1910-1940's artist who's work depicted the remote villages of the northwest coast. She used her art to document the sculptural and artistic legacy of the aboriginal people that she encountered. And beyond that, her namesake Cove is difficult to enter.

The chart shows the Inlet and the Cove.

The one-boatwidth, skinny entrance to Emily Carr Cove.

Pat put on the headphones, parked herself on the bow, and talked Alex through the entrance. The water was dark and the forward looking sonar helped us avoid the rocks. Large bull kelp obstructs the entrance and usually means shallow rocks so we keep alert and focused on the sonar and depth sounder. Yard-by-yard we made our way into a beautiful anchorage, arguably the prettiest anchorage in all our cruising.

Emily Carr Cove is our number one anchorage recommendation.

No comments:

Post a Comment