On Wednesday the wind was up to 30 knots in Johnstone Strait, the next waterway between us and our next port, so we stayed another day in Blind Channel. No phone but great wifi internet. We even did a few phone Skype calls before it became too slow. We also purchased our Canadian Fishing license online. Alex diagnosed the refrigerator compressor after downloading the manual over the internet. Turns out the compressor cooling fan was beginning to fail, and was drawing too much startup current, causing the compressor unit to shut down. He will order and replace the fan later in Port McNeil. Pat went looking for the local black bear with no joy.
Thankfully we have completed the last viewing of "Pride and Prejudice" and can now continue life back in the real world. I think somehow the P&P DVD got damaged, as it doesn't seem to want to play anymore. I guess we'll just have to see back to back viewings of "Hunt for the Red October"...... forever.
On Thursday morning at 6AM we departed for Lagoon Cove on East Cracroft Island. To get anywhere north from here requires entering Johnstone Strait and heading west at least 20 miles, before being able to leave it. The Strait is notorious for big westerly winds, and those winds combined with large westbound current mean giant, choppy seas. The Selene loves these conditions, but the crew can't stomach it! To make it easy on us, our early morning departure was timed for a building eastbound current, same as the forecast wind direction. By 6:30 we entered the Strait enjoying flat seas and little wind. Johnstone is a boat traffic choke point on the Inside Passage and we saw five other pleasure boats all westbound, the most in a week.
Above Port Neville on the Vancouver Island side of the Strait, an ex-BC Ferry has been put to use by a logging company. The ferry which was moored to logging barges, looks to be in excellent condition. It's just too sad the Washington State Ferry system didn't have a clean looking ferry like this one to replace its aging equipment.
Even though the Johnstone's seas were glassy flat, were we still happy to leave the Strait and turn into Havannah Channel. This Channel has small islands scattered throughtout its length. One island is appropriately named Hull Island, as documented by our photogragh of the hull on its western shore.
In 2008 it started on May 1st. Last year they moved it to May 15th and there was too many complaints. So for 2010 they compromised and started the BC commercial prawning season today at high noon. And that's why before noon we saw five commercial prawn boats idling at various locations, waiting until 12PM to drop their traps. Time to get the Wisers ready for trading!
We worked our way up the east side of East Cracroft Island and entered Chatham Channel. Chatham is narrow but well charted channel. Halfway up the 4-milechannel, Alex spotted a large dark boulder on the shore. Then it moved, and became our first bear sighting of 2010. Mister bear totally ignored our presence just about 150 away in the channel. So sometimes it's OK to be ignored!
We exited Chatham Channel and made a hard left turn through the Blow Hole, a narrow channel with 6.5 feet of depth, and pulled into one of our favorite resorts, Lagoon Cove. Bill and Pat greeted us at the dock and tied up the boat. We relaxed then took a 40-minute trail hike and missed stepping in fresh bear scat three different times. We finished off the evening with Pasta carbonara per the Chef Vince Fonte recipe. What a nice day!