Friday, May 4, 2012

#6 Up Johnstone Strait, Then through the Blow Hole

We were up early again in Gorge Harbor on Wednesday, May 2nd.  We aren't normally early risers but it’s either that or challenge Mother Nature’s swifter currents, bigger waves and stronger winds.  Slack current at Beasley Passage, Surge Narrows, Upper Rapids and Lower Rapids in Okisollo Channel occurs around 8AM so our oh-dark hour shove-off means we’ll have the least tricky current conditions. We entered Beasley Passage with a 1-knot push, much better than the 7-knot peak current that tries to drive boats into Tusko Rock.  Then it was through Surge Narrows and into Okisollo Channel without incident.  Upper Rapids was a breeze and Lower Rapids was so flat we decided to run it instead if detouring through Barnes Bay.  All-in-all it was a smooth transition into Discovery Passage and then Johnstone Strait.

 Now the flood current was building against us and we continued to hug the edges of the Strait to minimize the adverse current.  Finally at the west end of West Thurlow Island the water was flowing over 3 knots against us.  At $4 per gallon of fuel, one thinks, and so quickly we bailed out, anchoring in Vere Cove.

After a tabouli lunch, quiet nap, and fish pole casting practice, we resumed cruising under gray skies, showers, light winds, flat seas and less than 1 knot of the "anti-current".  Not long after leaving, we spotted our boat neighbors on the Selene Seeker via AIS pulling into Port Neville for the night.  We made our goal of Cutter Cove by 5:30 and settled in under anchor. Leftover tabouli, our dinner, is always great as the juices get time to mix bringing out lots of flavor. 

Gordon Jensen plows through stiff 3-knot current up Johnstone Strait

Our favorite boat wreck.  We seem to snap this shot year after year.

Prawning season opens at noon so the boats "guard" their areas ready to drop traps.

On Thursday the 3rd we wanted to make our annual spring visit to Lagoon Cove.  Just across from Cutter Cove is Minstrel Island and the Blow Hole, a narrow passage that connects Chatham and Clio Channels, saving a bunch of time if you’re headed for Lagoon Cove.  The Blow Hole can get big breeze funneling to cook up 40-knot plus winds at times.  At mid-morning it was calm and in a few minutes we tied up behind Seeker at the Cove’s resort.  Within a few minutes, owners Bill and Jeanie arrived for the season.  

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