Thursday, July 25, 2013

Port McNeill & Telegraph Cove

Friday - Sunday, July19-21st Port McNeill and Telegraph Cove (North Vancouver Island)
We spent 3 pleasant days at Port McNeill's municipal marina. Eating in restaurants, shopping, showering, bike riding and laundry kept us busy while Roger flew back to Seattle on Kenmore Air for the weekend. He rejoined us late Sunday afternoon.

We met Ivan, the owner of Kittiwake, another J-42 and spent some interesting times getting acquainted. We were to see Kittiwake again around the Broughtons later in the week.

On Sunday, we traveled 10 miles southeast to Telegraph Cove to rendezvous with the Stillmans on Gratitude. En route we were passed by 2 big cruise ships, that seem to dwarf the islands and fill the passages. We had dinner at the pub and visited the Whale Museum Monday morning. They have a good exhibit of marine mammels: whales, propoises, dolphins, seals, otters and sea lions.

We parted ways with the Stillmans as they headed southeast up Johnstone Strait for an appointment with slack water in the narrows later in the day.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stalking the Stillmans and Not Being Roger

July 17th & 18th Viner Sound and Cullen Harbour
We had a short, uneventful motor passage from Blunden Harbour southeast to Drury Inlet. Once we'd traveled up to the head of Drury Inlet, we were just 4 miles from where we started that morning. We had a few sketchy radio contacts with Susie & Charlie on the VHF, HF and 2meter radios, but usually we couldn't hear each other very well, so it was hard to arrange a rendezvous. However, we were able to stalk the Stillmans up Viner Sound, They'd found a mooring (rare) around a corner, out of sight. But we found them anyway.

We took 2 other free moorings and were the only boats there. After Susie, Charlie and Bill had a swim off the back of Jarana, we organized the first meeting of the Viner Sound Supper Society. Everybody brought lamb and side dishes and wine of course, so we had a Lambapolooza with mint jelly and everything. Colene & Bill, guests onboard Gratitude brought us up to a quorum of 8 onboard Jarana for dinner. A great time was had by all, but no photos survive to prove it.

The next day we all went our separate ways: Schatzi (Werners) went to Port McNeill, Gratitude (Stillmans) went to Greenway Sound and Jarana went to Cullen Harbour. Leaving Viner Sound a panorama of blue water, green hills and snowy peaks unfolded behind us. It was one of the most beautiful spots we've visited made even nicer by a good dinner with great friends.

Cullen Harbour is a beautiful little anchorage among some small islands on the edge of Queen Charlotte Strait. As we approached under sunny skies, a humpback whale was loitering around the entrance (photos to follow).

After poking around the islets, as we dropped the hook, a Seattle J-40 Tula passed by and invited us for sundowners. So we made the acquaintance of Bob & Margaret Liston and their guests Kay and Bill. They mentioned that we were "not Roger". They had seen many "not Rogers" in their search for Schatzi who we'd been with daily up until then.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Blunden Harbour to Cypress Harbour

Sunday - Thursday, July 14-17,2013, Blunden Harbour - Drury Inlet - Cypress Harbour
We motored southeast down Labouchere Passage from Blunden Harbour to Drury Inlet, and the morning clouds cleared to sunny skies, We turned NE into Wells Passage and then west again to the west end Drury Inlet. After 30 miles of travel, we anchored 4 miles from where we pulled up the hook that morning. Doh!

But it was beautiful and Jarana and Schatzi had the place to ourselves. After a couple tries we set the anchor in 15-20ft in Sutherland Bay. In the morning, when we pulled it up, embedded in the usual ball of mud on the anchor were a bunch of big horse clams... But we're on a catch and release program, so we dumped them off. We always set a trip line on a float in case the anchor fouls. It's also useful to hold the top of the anchor up when we release the shank to dump the mud. It's all part of the glamorous yachting life. The horseflies were horrible, so we spent a lot of time swatting flies. Lynne consoled us with yummy cinnamon rolls.

Yesterday morning we had a quick run up to Cypress Harbour. The scenery includes great views of snowcapped, 4 peaked Silverthorne mountain. The mouth of the harbour opens to a view of Silverthorne (9,200ft) and Mount Waddington (13,100ft!). We anchored in 60ft and forgot to extend the anchor float trip line. So it was submerged at high tide.

We scrambled ashore at the local log dump, bushwacked our way up a logging road and had a good walk up to a plateau of 5-10yr replanted timber. So it was open and sunny.

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Monday, July 15, 2013

Onward and Southward, Hoo Haaaa

Fri-Sat, 12-13 July 2013 - Alison Sound, via Strachan Bay (Belize Inlet) to Blunden Harbour (Queen Charlotte Strait)
Sunny, westerly breeze: Saturday we motored out of Alison Sound down Belize Inlet to Strachan Bay, passing one inward bound powerboat en route.
At Strachan Bay, we dropped anchor in a lovely little cove. There is some active logging in the area, which provided a float to tie dinghies and a road to hike over a hill to a small lake.
Jarana & Schatzi in Beware Passage

We haven't been bothered by insects too much until our last night at Alison Sound. Then, the horseflies found us. The nasty little beasties were really hard to shake. Even motoring into the wind. We finally smashed the last of them in Strachan Bay. But not before we got a few vicious bites. ugh.

Sunday (sunny and westerly breeze again), we motored down to Nakwakto Rapids, exiting near the end of the ebb in about 3 kts favorable current.
We were rewarded with a fabulous run* down Queen Charlotte Strait to Blunden Harbour during the afternoon. It was just swell... actually, no swell.
Blunden Harbour had several boats anchored already, but there was plenty of room. Since it was still breezy, Schatzi dropped her own hook. That practice had been avoided for several days, because Schatzi's anchor windless is en panne. But this bay was shallow & calm, so Roger (correctly) surmised he could raise their anchor by hand.

*Fabulous = NW winds 15-25kts, 2kts favorable current, flat seas... HoooHaaa!

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Up a Creek

Thurs, July 11th, 2013 - Skull Cove,
We awoke to a sunny & showery morning and enjoyed a peaceful (quiet) rowing dinghy tour around to explore. Around 1130 we left via skinny Schnooner pssage to Nakwakto Rapids. A few dolphins accompanied us. We arrived a little early but bucked current to enter Belize Inlet. There were showers ahead, but mostly they receded ahead of us as we motored up Belize Inlet for miles. The recent rains fed many waterfalls. There are a few remainig petroglyphs from the native peoples that once occupied this area. The mix of replanted forests reflect years of logging in the area. Recent clearcuts are scattered and small.
Schatzi & waterfall, Belize Inlet

Many of the mountains that enclose Alison Sound are great bald rocks scoured clean by ancient glaciers. The entrance is blocked by a 35-45ft sill and the main channel os 900-1000ft deep. The water at the lower depths must have been captured here for eons.... We saw one seal, ducks & loons. no bears so far. At the head of Alison sound is a glade and a valley to explore. We anchored in 70ft with a stern shore tie.

Roger put down a shrimp pot but had no luck. We bbqed steak & ribs and had a nice dinner aboard Schatzi.

Friday, July 12th, 2013 - Alison Sound
We awoke to a sunny & showery morning and discovered our shore tie was keeping our rudder off a shoal to port.
We dinghied up the creek for a little exploration. The fresh water tasted fine. When we got back to the boats, Bill discovered the freshwater still tasted fine.
ie, we're floating in a freshwater lake which is itself floating on saltwater. En route, the depthsounder often showed 12ft, leading us to believe that
s the freshwater-saltwater boundary.

Dinner is crab-bait-chicken-caprese cassarole. Yum. Tonight's chicken thigh bones are tomorrows crab bait.

It looks like another calm night.

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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

2013 - New Northbound Journeys Aboard Jarana

We spent the 2012-2013 winter living ashore in Seattle in a cozy and convenient apartment belonging to my cousin Joanne.  In March, Bill started boat projects in earnest:  he re-insulated part of the refrigerator, then hauled and painted the boat and replaced the standing rigging.  This was followed up with engine work including new motor mounts, rebuilt injectors, new oil cooler, and a general cleanup.  It was a big, expensive project.  KaChing!!!!

But Bill also had good times sailing on Double Take on Round the County, Puget Sound races and Swiftsure, Neptune's Car on the Oregon Offshore and Night Runner on part of the VanIsle race.

In May, we gave up the apartment and moved back aboard.  After a few nice  weekends with friends at Port Madison, Winslow and Port Blakely. Jarana left Seattle for points north on June 26th.  Some highlights were: 

Friday Harbor with friends Werners
Henry Island (heavenly)
Victoria, with cruiser friends Marchants and Ellsays
Sidney with Seth Seigal and Mary Doherty

After a quick stopover at Nanaimo, we're now cruising the Broughton Islands and further north into British Columbia (BC) with Roger & Lynne Werne.   We visited Tribune Bay, Cortes Island, Shoal Bay, Forward Inlet, Harvey Bay, and Potts Lagoon.  Tonight we're at Sointula, a pleasant village on Malcolm Island.  They marina provides bright pink bicycles, so we took a ride.

A couple days ago, we had a great sail up Johnstone Strait with a pod of porpoises.  The winds have been mainly northerly, and mainly sunny skies... no rain so far!  Amazing!
Today, we saw a small whale we couldn't identify and eagles fishing near Alert Bay.

Bill chills in Johnstone Strait
Sorry no dolphin photos.  Only Bill would hold still enough.