Wednesday June 19th
Today started out as a mixture of sun and cloud, winds light and we depart the marina around 9 am. We are off to Desolation Sound Marine Park.
The park is about 5 hours away at our cruising speed of 6 knots. Desolation Sound is a beautiful area full of great scenery and safe anchorages. Our planned anchorage tonight is Prideaux Haven. I have been there many times and it is just beautiful. The water in the summer time is warm enough to swim in.
We arrived early in the afternoon after a calm trip. The anchorage was not busy at all and there was plenty of room for us to tuck in for the night.
Now is was time for a kayak trip. We had plenty of time before dinner so Roberta and Ed suited up and trying their entry off my inflatable at the back of the boat for the first time. They would be gone for a couple of hours.
The question is, will Roberta make it in with out falling in? and will they forget anything?
Click the title "launching a kayak" below:
Thursday June 20th
Today on our way out we were going to stop off to pick up a few oysters for a meal at low tide. However, on our way in we noticed red tide all over the place. The water is getting warmer now days and it looks like oysters are over for the seasons. Darn.
We leave under fine weather bound Northward for a new anchorage and more experiences. Our destination is unsure at this time, however, I have several spots in mind.
So, with calm waters, the BeeJay towing the Queen Mary and carrying a motley crew travel up Waddington Channel toward a small marine park called Walsh Cove. Years ago I had anchored there and thought I would check it our again and perhaps if not too busy we could anchor there. As it turned out, it was not busy. The anchorage was quite deep requiring a shore line and open to the SE which the radio said the night winds might come from. Larry, being too lazy to put out a shore line and a bit uneasy with the wind forecast said, "nah, we go on to Von Dunop Inlet for the night". We were off again!
||Two hours later we arrive in that big BOMB PROOF anchorage to enjoy another peaceful night. There is a good walking trail from this anchorage to another on the other side of Cortes Island called Squirrel Cove.
"Roberta," says Ed, "a trail is available here, therefore we must walk it". And walk it they did.
Friday June 21st
Queen Mary is resting, take the dingy
Wow! big lizard on trail
Beautiful old tree on our walk
Today we are off to 'Hole in the Wall" to do some fishing and anchor in "Florence Cove" located in the pass itself. On the West side of Hole in the Wall there is a fin fish protection area so fishing is not allowed, but on the East side fishing is ok. The high current of the pass brings lots of food to the fish population so I usually manage to catch at least 1 lingcod. Today we will try our luck.
Rock Cod for supper
Nice ling cod for supper
It is a bit difficult to fish near the outlet. We must get very close to shore to cast our lines and the wind and current constantly are moving the boat. No sooner are we in the right location than the boat gets moved too close to shore or out too deep and it is lines up and then try again.
Ed and Larry managed to catch some rock fish for supper. It was only on our last couple of tries did Larry manage to catch a ling cod. Now we can go anchor without being skunked.
Ed and Larry put out 2 crab pots using the left over cod parts as bait. We have never put out pots here before but what the heck, lets give it a try. As it turns out we never caught anything. Now we know not to bother again.
Saturday June 22nd
Today we are going to head over to the Octopus Islands
. They are not very far, about an hour or so but we need to traverse the "Hole in the wall rapids" which can only be done at slack water. Slack water is about 9:30 am. Ed and Roberta have been to these islands before but are looking forward to visiting them again.
We arrived at the entrance (small rocks and islands) which needed to be crossed and it was low water. Like a zero tide. Wow, we needed to be careful for our clearance as the BeeJay draws 6 feet. Ed was the lookout and he did a very good job. With his help and my chart plotter we made it through the narrow pass. Phew!
Rather than anchor directly in the island group where it can be crowded I elected to go just a bit further into Waiatt Bay with a big mud flat and plenty of room. "Crabs", I was thinking, "they like mud flats maybe some are here".
caught some crabs
kayaking to islands
octopus island cabin
Shortly after arriving, Ed and I fired up the dingy and went out to put our crab pots. Our bait was the same as we used last night so not a lot of work was involved. It turns out that we did catch some in that area. Our total catch was 1 nice large dungeness and 3 good sized rock crab. Hey, its not the best but Ed had some to take back.
It was also kayak time for Roberta and Ed to visit old haunts around the octopus islands and to visit the old cabin open to the public. The old cabin can be used by anyone for camping and has become a huge repository for personal signs and momentos over the years.
Friday June 23rd
After checking the weather forecast this morning we see that our decent weather will pass by and rain and wind will come tomorrow and the fact that our fresh water is running low we decide to start our way home. We will travel to Heriot Bay tomorrow and use it as our early jumping off spot to meet the correct tides to get to our marina.
So, if we are going to Heriot Bay
, why not stay at he Marina and have dinner and showers and so some walking. I know that the moorage rates are in the summer mode now ($1.35/ft.) but they will bend sometimes. All it took was a phone call, saying "rather than us anchoring, if you would give us winter rates the four of us will have dinner up at the pub". "Sure" they said, "we are not busy, come on in". Winter moorage is ($0.50/ft.), much better. And the dinner was great too.
Now, we had to go through Surge Narrows
another very fast set of rapids which can only be traversed at slack water. Tomorrow that would be 10 am. We are 45 minutes from the rapids, so adding an additional 15 minutes for safety gives us a departure time of 9 am.
Our arrival time was a little early and it only took 10 minutes or so circling until we could head through and onward to Heriot Bay.
||Roberta took over the helm from Ed after we passed through Surge Narrows on our way to Heriot Bay. She took us into the bay and right up to the BC Ferries dock where the little marina was located. We were going to back in to our spot (a little tricky) so Roberta decided to pass over the helm to me. She did great.
As I said, the dinner was great, showers were wonderful. Tomorrow we will depart around 8 am.
Saturday June 24th
This morning the forecast was right on. It was raining! They were also calling for winds for Georgia Strait North and we were going to pass the top corner when we round the South end of Quadra Island into Discovery Passage. Usually the winds are light in the morning and build up after 10 a.m. or so. There was not much wind where we were so I was hoping it would not build up after we pass Rebecca Spit turning South.
As things turned out all was fine, the winds were light until we reached the bottom of Quadra and even then I don't think they were more than 10-15 knots. We rounded the South end just fine catching the ebb tide pushing us toward our marina. It was over to the fuel dock to top up. Ed used this opportunity to disconnect his kayak (the Queen Mary)and paddle it over to the ramp where it would be easy access to his car. Betty and I took the BeeJay back to her berth for unpacking. It was a great trip!
COUSINS ROBERTA AND ED CAMPBELL, JUNE 18 TO 24, 2013
..by Roberta and Ed
What a trip! One night at the slip at Campbell River and five nights on the water- Prideaux Haven, Von Donop Inlet, Florence Cove, Waiatt Bay then Heriott Bay for a much needed shower. Luckily Ed and I were also able to re-visit the cabin on Octopus Island and pass by Discovery Lodge. The weather was changeable, sometimes sunny, sometimes cloudy and a bit of rain. Luckily there were no heavy seas or high winds (so it was motor all the way). Happily, our days were spent traveling, paddling our triple kayak and hiking. Then came the nighttime entertainment playing Pegs and Jokers. After hours of laughter and many silences the score was 4 to 3 for the guys. This despite Ed only using four cards in his hand a lot of the time. Altogether this was very pleasant trip enjoying good company, tasty food and a fine boat.
Things that we learned on the trip-
1. How to tow a kayak behind a sailboat.
2. Getting to know our good captain Cousin Larry and First Mate Betty.
3. Learning to steer the BeeJay.
4. Fishing lessons from Larry. The eating was delicious! Thanks for doing the fish cleaning Larry!
5. The differences between kayaking and sailing. It is more comfortable to sleep in a sailboat that in a kayak or tent.
5. Learning a new Pegs and Jokers game. Always remembering Ed to pick up a card from the deck before the next person plays.
6. Last but not least, what amazing hosts Betty and Larry are. Thank you both for everything.