Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#42 Ucluelet

Last night we enjoyed the camaraderie of the Porosity crew. We swapped sea stories, traded foods (duck breast for salmon), and consumed a bit of beverage. You could say we upheld the traditions of noble seamen. And today our heads were a touch soggy at 5:30AM as we departed Tofino for Ucluelet.

The 35-knot winds of the last couple days are again calm at Tofino allowing us to make easy passage to Ucluelet.

As soon as we untied from the Selene 59 Porosity and the dock, we were swept out of the harbour by Tofino's 4-knot ebb current. We wound our way down Templar Channel staying away from the shallow spots. After just a few miles we stopped in front of the Lennard Island Light Station and began bottom fishing.

Our route from Tofino to Ucluelet.

Lennard Island Light Station

After fishing a bit and landing a small bottom fish, we moved on down the course towards our destination, our plan being to fish the rocky points. Soon the fog filled in, cutting our visibility to about 300 yards. We could hear the motors of boats around us but only able to see them on the radar. The seas built at times becoming nicely spaced out at about 6 feet in height, but they kept us from wanting to fish. We soon came across a fish boat hauling, unloading, baiting and setting crab traps in the fog. Many crab floats dotted our route in 100 feet of depth. Unfortunately some of the trap lines were too short, causing their floats to submerge in the big ocean swells, and making them invisible to us. Even as the fog lifted a bit, the crab floats were still tough to spot. Once as a big swell receded, a crab float appeared just under the bow before we could react. We heard a bounce noise, and the boat slowed a bit. The boats speed was about 1.5 knots slower than normal.

We eventually arrived in the Ucluelet area and began bottom fishing in calmer waters. After awhile, the crew noticed a trailing line in the water. We stopped the boat but couldn't see a line in the water. We backed down, running the boat in reverse hoping to lose the line. No luck fishing, but we had caught a line!

We found room at the Ucluelet public dock and moored the boat. Steve Ford the Ucluelet dock manager, is also the local diver. He donned diving gear and checked out Wild Blue's hull, stabilizer fins, keel, and wheel (propeller). Soon he surfaced with about 100 feet of line of which most had been cut from the propeller. Looks like the boat will be back up to speed tomorrow.

Diver gets help from dock hand to retrieve line from the depths.

Crab float line cut from Wild Blue's prop displayed by relieved skipper.

Beautiful and clean public dock at Ucluelet.

The Canadian Princess looks healthy but has been retired to serve as a restaurant for a swank hotel chain.

Like Tofino, Ucluelet is transitioning from fishing and logging, to tourism and retirement community. Here's a new condominium development overlooking the boat harbour.

Tomorrow we will start cruising the Barkley Sound area. We will be at anchor for 3 or 4 days without wifi, so the Blog will resume after that. See you then.

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