Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015-19 Rescue Bay, Shearwater, Cape Caution, Miles Inlet, Sullivan Bay, Echo Bay and Port McNeill

August 22, 2015: Rescue Bay to Shearwater

This morning we followed calm Mathieson Channel to its southern end, shot through Perceval Narrows, then down Reid Passage to Seaforth Channel where we ran across Saltheart reeling in fish.  We moved eastward down the Channel eventually ending the day in Shearwater.

It was time for a hike and Dick led us through the trails and back country around Shearwater.  Later we provisioned at the mini-market and dined at the Fisherman's Bar and Grill.

The Saltheart, a Selene 62, fishing in Seaforth Channel
Tribute to the native people who make their home in the area.
Denny and Lori on the trail on "Denny" Island.

August 23, 2015: Shearwater, Cape Caution then Miles Inlet

The weather is supposed to get stormy in a couple days and we don't want to be caught north of Cape Caution.  A low might stall over Northern BC creating  nasty ocean off the Cape delaying our southward progress. So today's 7-ish start allows us to get close to the Cape for an early morning transit tomorrow.  

After nearly circumnavigating Denny Island in a counterclockwise path, we plop out onto Fischer Channel headed south just before 9AM.  By noon Fitz Hugh Sound's current is adding to our speed abeam of Calvert Island, but were not nearly fast enough for a most beautiful cruise ship, the Disney Wonder.  Soon Mickey's and Donald's giant bodies are fading away off our bow after she passes close to the Wild Blue.

The prettiest cruise ship is the Disney Wonder.
The light winds and seas continue all the way to Rivers Inlet and since Millbrook Cove has a couple boats already at anchor, we change our plans.  Here off Smith Sound we are so near Cape Caution, the weather is good so we press on.  The open ocean is lumpy but our semi-inside route towards the Cape behind the rocks, islets, False Egg, Table and Egg Islands means we avoid most of the big seas.  By 3:30PM we are surprised to be passing just 1/2 mile off Cape Caution in 30 feet of depth and near calm conditions.  By 5 we pull into the glassy waters of Miles Inlet and set the hook.  It's been a productive day.

Miles Inlet is glassy.

August 24, 2015: Miles Inlet to Sullivan Bay

Our 7:30AM sunny start from deep inside the Inlet turns into patchy fog on a mile out.  We're glued to the radar and sound the foghorn but keep the speed at 8 knots.  Suddenly just off the port side a lonely kayaker appears through the haze, headed north.  Eventually the sun burns off the fog as we turn eastward up Wells Passage.  By noon the boat is tied up in the suburbs of the Sullivan Bay Resort.
Lone kayaker off the rugged BC coast in Queen Charlotte Strait.
Looking up Wells Passge and clearing fog.
Lori was a naughty girl!
As soon as she was released, she chef-ed up a delicious salmon omelette.
Hard hats can become targets for branches.

August 25, 2015: Sullivan Bay to Echo Bay

Today we journeyed just 2.5 hours over to Echo Bay and Pierre's Resort.  Along the way we passed the Seeker, a Selene 50, with crew Mike and Susie also residents of California's Central Coast.  Shortly thereafter the Selene 55 Spirit with crew Patrick and Miriam of Seattle passed.  We've been cruising near these boats in the same Alaska and BC neighborhoods all summer.

After secured to the Resort dock, we did a hike to see Bill Procter's museum.  Billy been living close by and collecting local artifacts all his life.  At around 90 something years he has collected enough to fill his museum which attracts lots of visitors. Old bottles, fishing gear, down-rigger balls, anchors, and almost anything that you could find on the ocean floor is here, and some of it can be purchased.  Next to the museum is Billy's bookstore with works from local authors.

The Selene 50 Seeker of Shell Beach, CA
The Selene 55 Spirit of Anacortes, WA
The Selene 53 Wild Blue of Morro Bay, CA
On the trail to Billy's Museum.
Dick yaks with Billy Procter then heads inside.
Pierre's resort is quite tidy even on the back side.
This weather forecast is never wrong!
Cruiser gathering spot for refreshments and snacks.

August 26, 2015: Echo Bay to Port McNeill

Today is the last day for our professional crew from California YC.  Alex enjoyed Dick, Denny and Lori's company and expertise.  They will depart from Port McNeill, today's destination, via Port Hardy airport.  By 8:30AM we're off the dock headed down Retreat Passage.  Next we cross Blackfish Sound heading west along Malcolm Island's southern coast pulling into the North Harbor Marina just before noon.

Down Retreat Passage towards Port McNeill

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