Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 4 - Beaver Bay (Port Hardy) to Bull Harbor

Day 4 - Bull Harbor, Hope Island (Written Thursday night, August 16, 2012)

After a long and much needed night of rest in our perfectly calm cove, we awoke to the serenade of thousands of birds and the splashing of hundreds of Cohos all around us as well as seals.  Mr. Whale was back again feeding right in front of our boat.  Val commented that after the previous night of death, this day was filled with so much life.

I tidied up the boat, put the kayak on the roof, made some calls, checked the forecast on the VHF, did a few boat maintenance items, etc. while Val and Connor got out of bed and started fishing.  Val was so fun to watch as she caught two nice fighting Cohos.  Unfortunately, both were wild fish (vs. hatchery fish) and had to be let go.  (Canadian regs…you need to take your attorney with you fishing to know what you can and can’t keep, where, when, etc.)  Oh well, we have plenty in the fridge and freezer from last night.  Tanner jumped overboard three times thinking his job was to retrieve them.

Shortly before noon, we hoisted the anchor in the glorious sunshine pounding through what was left of the fog and made the short run to Port Hardy, where we topped off the fuel and water tanks.  I think I paid the most ever for diesel: $4.67 per gallon…ouch.  At least we are filled with everything we need to venture out into who knows what.  I guess we’ll find out.

Once again, I needed to find an Internet signal to complete some business, so we motored over to the Public Float and ran up to the grocery store/mall where we enjoyed a Subway and found our Internet connection.  By the time we got back to the boat, the wind had kicked up a bit and the bay was pretty choppy.

We were able to keep the boat on plane but the ride was pretty bouncy for about 10 miles but then settled down for the last 10 miles into Bull Harbor.  We did run into fog almost immediately but with the lumps we were taking, the speed was reduced to the point where we could see just far enough ahead to kill any headway should a log pop up.  Our Garmin radar is excellent so we can see boats and land on screen but logs, not so much.  We were IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) for about half an hour.  I’m used to that from our Alaska trip.

Bull Harbor is a well protected harbor and is the launching point to cross Cape Scott.  We’re nestled in our little cove and the fog is hanging all around us.
Nevertheless, we launched the dinghy and found a trail head that lead us through the forest across to the North Shore to a bay called Roller Bay, where the big swells roll in and crash onto the beach. 
 Surprisingly, it was relatively calm but still impressive.  We hiked up and down the beach, while the dogs swam and Connor threw sticks for them. 
As the light was fading, we headed back to the boat picking beautiful wild flowers along the path back to the dinghy.  We now have two beautiful vases of flowers on board.

It’s 10PM, the forecast is for 20 knot NW winds tomorrow morning subsiding tomorrow afternoon, which is the best forecast we’ve seen for this area in a while.  The next weather window appears to be coming on Sunday.  I studied the tides and currents and think we may have a safe shot at it tomorrow morning.  Our plans are to depart here at 6:30AM and catch the slack tide at Cape Scott.  It may be a bit windy but all the tides and currents should offset that.  Tide against wind is a problem but I hope to make the pass before that happens.  If it’s too rough, we’ll come back here and try again on Sunday.

Well, that’s it for today.  I’m not sure when I’ll get another Internet signal so you may not be reading this for several days.  At any rate, you’re getting my perspective tonight, my time.  Good night, friends.