7. Prince Rupert to Vancouver
12 Aug 02 to 24 Aug 02
Bob Gardner and Jerry Mohlenbrok arrived at 2130, sans luggage. Hard rain that night and
fog and rain the next morn. Loaned them a raincoat left by Marv Fleming and an old float
coat left over from sailing days. Ate at Smilies. Picked up luggage. Shopped at Safeway
and BC Booze. Departed at noon in a dense fog, and then it got worse. Traffic was
challenging. Lifted at 1400. Went to Captains Cove on Pitt I. Some sail boater, ugh, beat
us to the primo spot to anchor so we went down by some commercial fishermen. I made
sure we had adequate swinging room but then some fisherman buzzed in and dropped his
hook right between me and the boat I was trying to avoid swinging into. So much for depth,
tidal range, scope and swinging room. Fisherman #1 came over and offered us a Sockeye
salmon that we gratefully accepted. I filleted it, sort of. Deep red meat. BBQd it the next
day basted with lemon butter. Wonderful.
At Prince Rupert
We had to get to Nanaimo a day early so we skipped Patterson Inlet and went to Helmchen
Island Cove on Princess Royal I instead. Gale warnings. Principe Channel, Estevan
Sound, Campania Sound, and Laredo Channel were a bit windy and wavy, some on the
beam but most on the stern quarter. 30 knots max. from the NW. Helmchen was yet
another beautiful anchorage, but once again swinging room was inadequate. Douglas (of
the guide book fame) seems to like tight anchorages. So we put out a stern anchor. Long
day. Went to bed early.
NW Gail warnings again the next morn. More rock and roll. Laredo Channel and Laredo
Sound were agitated. Rounding Price I. was memorable. But once in its lee, we crossed
Milbanke Sound in relatively smooth water. Stopped at Kynumpt Harbour just north of Bella
Bella. No swinging room once again. 2 anchors. Dead calm, bright sun, absolute quiet,
stark beauty. Ho hum.
NW gales forecast for the next 2 days. Took off in bright sun and calm winds. Past Bella
Bella, thru Lama Passage, down Fisher Channel, into Fitz Hugh Sound. Because of all of
the gale forecasts, we decided to get anther day ahead just in case one of those NW gales
pinned us down. Got fog at Fog Rock! Then a SOUTH wind at 15 kn! Nosed past Albert I,
into Queen Charlotte Sound, and found the NW wind at 28 knots and 4 ft swells from the
west (where are those Naiads when you need them?), but made it to Millbrook Cove in
Smith Sound in good order. Beautiful, of course. Good night.
This could be Millbrook
Went up Queen Charlotte Straight to Wells Passage and then to Sullivan Bay, a floating
town of about 16 houses. Very quaint. Some houses had floatplanes out back; one had a
helicopter on the roof. I met Tricia Whitehead while I was examining a book that was
featured in the store there. She told me that her mom, Lynn, wrote the book – Sully the
Seal & Alley the Cat. A kids book narrated by Ally the Cat, about a real life experience that
happened about 10 years ago. Tricia the Kid found Sully the Seal (of Sullivan Bay) an
orphaned pup that they then raise to maturity. They had to teach it to eat their formulation
of seal milk, wean it onto fish, teach it to swim again and finally released it into the wild. To
this day, Sully and his lady friend stop by to say hello. Alley is still around too. I petted
him. Me, Nick Kluznick, actually petted Alley the Cat.
Next was Cutter Cove across from Minstrel I near Chatham Narrows. We looked at the
resort which was OK but we crossed over to the cove for the night. Lots of swinging room.
We hailed some crab fishermen and asked if we could buy some crabs. They said no, they
would give them to us. They gave us 2 crabs, all they had at the time, and we gave them 3
beers. They later returned and gave us 3 more. Canadians are OK, and they speak our
Thru Chatham Narrows to Jonstone St. Winds NW 30 then 15 and then back to 30 in the
afternoon. Saw 6 Orcas. Stopped at the Blind Channel Resort on the E side of W Thurlow
I. Beautiful, well maintained, clean, artistic decorations, mowed lawn, hiking trails, lovely
dining room, 3 generations all working together at the resort. Great German chow –
Bavarian Goulash, red cabbage, mixed veggies, Pinot Noir, home made apple & rhubarb pie
a la mode, and Starbucks coffee. Four stars.
Jerry and I
Blind Channel Resort
Up a 0600; departed 0630. Timed it just right for Dent Rapids, Gillard Passage, and Yuculta
Rapids. On to Desolation Sound and Prideaux Haven via Waddington Channel. Anchored
in Melanie Cove with about 15 other boats. Tight squeeze; short scope. Glorious, bright
sunshine, serene, peaceful. Dead still and quiet at night.
In Melanie Cove
Snuck out early. Stopped at Lund for some groceries. Went to Scotties Cove on Lasqueti
I. Too crowded. Went around the corner to False bay. Good NW protection. Calm, dead
still and quiet, except for those shooting stars.
Bakery at Lund
Went to Secret Cove on the mainland. Well the secret is out and civilization is in. Went to
Smugglers Cove. It too was crowded but we had to park somewhere so we squeezed in,
dropped the bow anchor and took the stern line to shore (a rock cliff), thru a
carabineer/piton, and back to the boat. Spent a lazy day in the bright sunshine and still air,
reading, sipping suds, noshing, napping, sight seeing via dink, … BBQ chicken basted with
garlic butter, white wine, … The last audio tape of “Ship of Gold In The Deep Blue Sea”.
Just another beautiful day in paradise.
Sea Horse in Smugglers Cove
Coal Harbour, Vancouver
This leg of the trip ended in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour Marina (75.11 $ Canadian per night
w/o power). Warm, hot. Many many big high rise tower buildings. And 5 giant cranes within
sight building more. They must have real traffic. Ate at The Keg. Prime rib etc. And so the
next morning Bob and Jerry got an early cab to the airport, leaving me with many fond
memories of the past 2 weeks, and I departed for Anacortes at 0630.
Life is good.