Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 18- Thursday, August 30, 2012- Hootla Kootla Bay, W. Clayoquat Sound (49°22'32.30"N, 126°13'36.31"W)- Somethings Fishy!

Day 18- Thursday, August 30, 2012- Hootla Kootla Bay, West Clayoquat Sound (49°22'32.30"N, 126°13'36.31"W)- Somethings Fishy!

I woke up during the night to the sound of pouring rain, again!  Fortunately, when the alarm went off at 5:50, the skies showed promise and so we anchored up, pulled the empty shrimp trap up from 350’ and set sail 14 miles off shore in pursuit of salmon and halibut.
We didn’t catch any keeper salmon, just a small coho.  We didn’t catch any halibut, but I wrestled with a monster for about 10 or 15 minutes on my salmon pole but he won, I lost.  We did, however, end up with some huge ling cod and rock fish.  I caught a 37” 18 ½ pound ling cod.  Val caught another very respectable one.  We both caught some really nice sized red snapper and a black cod, I think it was.
The swells were amazing…maybe 10’, Connor thinks 13’, but there were only 1 or 2’ wind waves.  It was like driving through hills on the ocean.  Sometimes you could see a long way and sometimes it felt like we were in the bottom of a bowl of water.  No worries but very interesting.  When we throttled up, we’d go whizzing down the swells and then bogging up them doubling our halving my fuel economy.
The skies were clear and the sun was warm on our skin.  We rounded Estevan Point, a notoriously rough crossing, with ease.  Although we were tired from our early morning and there were fish to clean and vacuum pack, we decided to make a quick pit stop at Hot Springs Cove for a soak in the warm sulpher springs.
We were all surprised to see so many boats there.  There were water taxis, seaplanes coming and going, and private boats as well.  Even the trail to the hot springs was all boardwalk.  I can tell we’re close to Tofino now.  I even had a bar on my cell phone today, but not enough to make any calls. 
After a quick bowl of Val’s incredible clam chowder, which, unlike most, was heavy laden with the bivalve delicacies, we made the 40 minute hike from the public dock to the baths and, oh, did they feel great after fighting the swells all day.  It’s really hard to stand or move when the boat is bouncing all over the place.  My back was grateful for the hot soak and my nose was grateful to get rid of the fish smell.

A beautiful mushroom along the way.

We ended up in a delightful one boat cove called Hootla Kootla Cove, (who names these places?) only 4 miles from the hot springs.  Connor went to his berth to do his schooling as it was too rough for him to do anything out in the swells earlier today.  Val and I packaged 21 meals of fish in our little vacuum bagger and got them tucked happily into our freezer which is now 60% full….although, I wish there were more salmon and halibut in there.  I threw some steaks on the grill and Val made a lovely salad with some fresh baked bread and it was a great meal in no time at all.

The sunset was amazing and the bright, full moon is poking through the pine trees in our cozy littlebathtub of a cove.  Yes, it was another great day.  I hope yours was too!