So many days to try to remember. So lazy.. OK, we made it to Pt. Hardy after a nice night anchored with the Bryants in Blunden Harbour. We had a great dinner at Gord and Marilyn’s house the night we were there and met some really nice good friends of theirs, Bill and Muriel (I hope I remembered their names right!) We headed out to Bull Harbour the next morning for a few days of fishing. The Bryants had guest Dave Gage on board and a lady friend (Sarah) he brought along. The fishing was spotty but overall pretty good. No huge salmon with the largest being about 25 pounds and the halibut were medium size, but all will be good eating this winter. Unfortunately, our bad luck continued as our vacuum packer bit the dust so we had to borrow Bryants to process our catch.
Judy, Sarah and I walked to the Roller Bay beach one day and instead of taking the short beach walk back on the good road we took the woods trail marked by colored plastic ties on trees to find our way. Turns out that was not the wisest of decisions. After hiking about a half hour up hill, over trees, under trees, through mud and bog and heat we ran out of markers so gave up and hiked back down and walked the beach way back. We did find lots of wolf paw prints, scat and piles of dried bones. Trust me, we walked fast and made a lot of noise! A shower, several Aleve and a drink or two later the adventure was a fun story to tell.
On Monday Logger Dan and Denise and Dennis and Amy showed up in their boats for a few days of fishing. Gar and I left Tuesday morning for Echo Bay and the Bryants stuck around with the new arrivals so as of writing this we no longer know their schedule. More bad news on our end, our port engine started smoking. We made a phone call to our trusty mechanic in Campbell River but he was in the States on holiday for a few weeks so we talked to his helper. After much discussion a decision was made to make the run back home and deal with it later. (Update: after running a couple of really long days at a higher speed, no more smoke!) Anyway, since we didn’t have to go to Campbell River for repairs we spent a night at Pierre’s at Echo Bay. Mickey and Maureena on Mom’s Toy was there as were Dick and Davie Frederickson, boat sitting the Esencia for their kids. It was nice to catch up, but we made it an early night because we were going to do another long day. Bull Harbor to Echo Bay was about 60 miles, mostly in fog and all in very calm water.
We left Echo Bay in fog and traveled 115 miles to Homfrey Channel. Most of the Johnstone Straits was in fog, but again calm waters. Back in Desolation we were in the really hot weather again. Our timing was totally wrong for going through the rapids but we wanted to press on so we transited Dent Rapids and the rapids at Big Bay with the current running a very fast 9.3 knots. With us, not against us! The whirlpools were crazy. We whiplashed around some but nothing where I was praying. But boy, was our boat flying!
Our intent was to spend a night at Homfrey Lodge but we called and it was completely full with a private party so we peaked into Atwood Bay. It was packed too. The float was full, the float house had boats and both ends of the bay were full. Now what? We had been on the water for 11 hours so we ended up having another logging camp adventure. This time the camp appeared to be not active. The only thing down by the water was a small dock, some of the log boom area and a tiny itty tug for moving logs around. Gar back up to the dock and we secured both back corners. Then we had some luck. Two guys came by in their inflatable and they took our bow line out to the log boom float. They had come looking for their kids who were on an overnight mountain hike and were late getting back. They left a cache of food and water on the dock for their kids in case they came down that night or the next day. Let me clarify that the kids are 3 guys in their 20’s and experienced hikers so no one was worried yet.
We woke up the next morning to a small boat tied up near us on the dock. That was a shock! We didn’t even hear it come in. They had no problem with us there and we watched them drop a load of trees into the water for their next log boom. Crazy, but our best adventures of the trip have been involving logging camps.
Leaving the camp, we kept moving closer to home. We picked up some fuel in Powell River and spent the night in Pender Harbour. As a treat we went to dinner but service and food not worth it. Oh, well.
So now you are almost current. We got up and left Pender this morning at 5:30 as the Straits were supposed to be good. And luckily the predictors were right. The water was so good we stayed on the straits until Active Pass and then arrived at Poet’s Cove Marina, which is where we are spending the night. Tomorrow morning we will head approximately 8 miles away to Roche Harbor to clear U.S. Customs and be back in the U.S. We will spend Saturday and Sunday at Garrison Bay with the Landes and the Sandpiper is supposed to be there to.
While this place is way too civilized for us after all the non marina time we have had it has been fun to watch people at the Canadian Customs dock. And we just watched the chef of the restaurant here give a demonstration on how to shuck oysters. He even got me to eat a raw one.
Our weather continues hot and nice and the water has cooperated everywhere. Not much more we can ask for.