Monday, June 7, 2010

#12 Skull Cove

Last night's turkey cooked in hot oil was really great. It was served with mashed potatoes, turkey gravy, cranberry sauce and stuffing: the things to remind us of home and family. We enjoyed the company and stories of Mike and Susie from Seeker. They're headed around Cape Caution on the way to Alaska and we'll tag along as far as Skull Cove.

A movie panorama of Sullivan Bay located on BC's mainland coast across QC Strait from Port McNeill.

Just before 5AM today Seeker and Wild Blue left Sullivan Bay bound for points north. The early morning departure allows for more cruise time before the westerly winds and seas build, making crews uncomfortable. When attempting to round Cape Caution, the first of two ocean exposed crossing for Alaska bound ships, every captain has a Plan B. If it gets nasty you may need to bail, and put into a safe port. That was the Seeker crew mentality for today's run north. Fortunately the weather gods smiled on the boats revealing flat seas and calm winds for Queen Charlotte Strait, Sound and the Cape Caution rounding. The boats shadowed each other as far as Skull Cove. Seeker continued in the great conditions, while Wild Blue anchored in the Cove for easy access to Seymour and Belize Inlets, 50-mile long waterways, stretching easterly into the BC mainland.

Tugs and tows: a typical scene on the inside passage between Washington and Alaska.

Seeker prepares to round Cape Caution headed for Alaska

On the approach to Skull Cove anchorage, a series of small islands offers relief from ocean swells via narrow passages. Wild Blue enjoyed the flat calm seas and scenery of this shortcut.

At last the Wild Blue is anchored in Skull Cove.

Once anchored we launched the dinghy and explored the approach to Nakwakto Rapids, the barrier we need to cross for access to the Seymour and Belize Inlets. These Rapids are among the fastest in the world, approaching 20 mph peak speed. A 10 mph boat is no match for 20 mph current. So we'll time are crossing at slack current which is forecast to occur at 1133 tomorrow. The slack water lasts about 8 minutes while the current direction reverses. It should be another thrilling day aboard, one that Pat isn't particularly excited about.

While exploring in the dinghy we entered Cougar Inlet. We didn't see any Cougars, but then we haven't scene any Skulls in Skull Cove so far. We did see a black bear along the shore on our return. We couldn't get him to pose for a photo. We suspect he ate all the cougars and skulls.

Cougar Inlet was a cat free zone.

1 comment:

  1. not named for 'daily cougar displays', a creature very reclused anyway - you're not funny, but thanks for the great photos n vids.