Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 25- Thursday, September 06, 2012- Toquart Bay- Abundant Life!

Day 25- Thursday, September 06, 2012- Toquart Bay- Abundant Life!
Today was one of those special days that I will never forget.  It was my dream day of cruising, even though we never started an engine, except the genset.  Last night we were lulled to sleep by the sound of thousands of little fish (mackerel, pilchards, or herring, maybe) jumping making the water look and sound like a boiling pot of water.  The sea lions were all around the boat hunting them and so were a pair of hungry humpback whales.  The seagulls were retrieving the scraps while the eagles were chattering in the tree tops.  These are not just quiet little sounds.  These are massive big splashes.  We watched and listened all evening and fell asleep to the wonderful sounds.
This morning, we woke up to the same sounds and sights.  It was a bright, sunny, warm day and the bay was like a mirror, except for all the fish splashes that surrounded us on all sides.  I finally jumped out of bed the last time when a huge humpback breached right beside the boat…I mean, right beside.  We could feel his wake move the boat and smell his bad morning fish breath.  I sat on deck in my underwear for an hour just watching the whales, sea lions, and seals enjoy their brunch.  Connor and Val joined me and all felt like we had been given a miraculous gift from God.  We burned a lot of film but our timing is never perfect but here are a couple of pictures that turned out pretty good.

I thought it would be great fun to go kayaking in the midst of the action so down it came. Val and Connor wanted to go clam digging on the beach.  All the toys were in the water and the fun began.  We all dug clams and picked oysters with great success.  It was very warm and the sun was extreme so I went for a nice swim.  Then we each took a turn in the kayak.  My turn lasted a couple of hours as I was on the hunt for bear and whale but both seemed to take the afternoon off.  Val spotted one on the beach earlier but I think he went to take a snoozer in the forest.  I still had a great time paddling up the Toquart River and sneaking up on hundreds if not a thousand seagulls and just enjoying this amazing creation.

I was pretty stealthy sneaking up on these guys.

This photo was taken from my kayak...the water is so clear and the seaweed is so colorful!
When I got back to the boat, Val was playing Scrabble and Connor was doing his schoolwork.  I checked the forecast and charts in preparation for our run back into Washington through the Strait of Juan De Fuca.  This crossing makes me nervous!  The weather looks good for tomorrow and Sunday.  Val and Connor voted for Sunday.  Yeah!  We’re not ready to leave yet.
I decided to take the dinghy to check out the Lucky River, just around the corner.  Connor opted to play his PS3 video game as he hasn’t played for weeks.  His loss.  Val and I went alone (aka, no dogs) so we could get the dinghy up on plane and get their quickly.  Wow!  This place was amazing.  The scenery up and down the river was stunning and the falls were awesome.  There were cliffs and pools and falls….great jumping and swimming for me!  The cool water was so refreshing on a hot day.  Connor would have loved it!

Back on the Dakota Roamer, Val made a big pot of the most fantastic Cioppino I’ve ever had.  A great Italian red base with lots of the fresh shrimp, clams, mussels, salmon, and halibut that we caught, along with a side salad and fresh baked home made Italian bread.  Oh, wow.  Words cannot describe how wonderful it was!
The little fish are gone tonight.  So are the sea lions, seals, and whales.  It’s interesting how the bay can be so alive one night and so quiet the next.
Val is playing Scrabble again.  Connor is working on an art project.  I'm blogging.  Life is good.
A few posts ago, I showed you the inside of the boat.  Here are a few pictures of the mechanical aspect of the boat.  As you can see, we have Volvo Penta twin diesel main engines each with 4 cylinders and 260 horse power.  We also have a Northern Lights 3 cylinder diesel 5kw generator for our 110 volt needs.  (We also have a 2,500 watt inverter to make 110 volts off the 12 volt batteries.)  Additionally, we have a 9.9 horse Yamaha kicker motor with a separate gas tank that sits in a cooler bolted to the swim step.  Finally, our dinghy is also powered by a 9.9 horse Yamaha engine.  So, we have redundant power and plenty of sources of energy (aka, a lot of bucks on fuel.)  At the helm, the Garmin is at the center of things and provides a 15” display with radar, gps, depth sounder/fish finder, fuel management, trip and route planning, etc.  It’s all touch screen.  Additionally, Volvo Penta provides lots of information through their GMI displays…one for each engine with multiple pages of displays.  It really is amazing all of the information that is available.  The Garmin, Volvo Penta information, and the VHF radio are all tied together (NMEA 2000) and provide a pretty complete system for managing the boat’s systems.

I hope your day was as wonderful as ours. It was truly a special day for us and we hope it was a special day for you as well.