Change of Latitude in the Pacific Northwest
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Pacific White Sided Dolphins! 110 Miles across Hecate StraitDon/Nice and sunny
We left Haida Gwaii at 5:30 am to cross Hecate Strait today. We pulled anchor in the dark and had a huge pile of kelp that got mixed up in our bridle. It took us a while to sort it out. Finally, we were off! The winds were about 15 knots at the beginning with 4-5 foot swells. We braced for a tough crossing since winds typically build during he day in these waters. We were lucky, though. They gradually eased and the seas smoothed out a bit. Debbie, Dave, and I each took 2-hour shifts at the helm. It was going to be a long trip, about 14-15 hours and 110 miles. We saw a number of unusual (for us) sea birds: a black-footed albatross, a tufted puffin, a sooty shearwater, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, northern fulmars, a parasitic jaeger, and a few others. Then, out of nowhere a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins appeared. There must have been 20 or so. They wanted to surf the pressure wave, under the water, that runs in front of our boat. Pacific White Sided Dolphins are a species that loves to play and do stupid things. They love to surf your pressure wave for a few minutes but quickly change their attention to other things. This group, though, stayed with us for an hour. We sped up to 10 knots and they seemed to enjoy that. When we slowed to 6 knots, they started using their energy to jump clear of the water. It was an exceptional treat to spend such a long time with these mammals. Great fun!
Grilled Ling Cod Dinner, Oh Boy!08/10/2011
The Ling Cod we caught, grilled up nicely.
The fog at Ross Island08/10/2011
The fog settled in at night in a beautiful manner. Our blog photographers captured it perfectly.
Ross Island Lay DayDon/Nice and sunny
08/10/2011, Ross Island, Gwaii Haanis
This was a scheduled Lay Day and Dave and I were going to take full advantage of it to do some fishing over towards Skaang Gwaii. We were a bit concerned about the fuel supply for Rubber Ducky. We were down to just under a full tank, after emptying our spare gas container into the dinghy. As a result, we cruised to the fishing grounds at only about 6 mph to save gas. It worked. We returned, after a day of fishing with ¾ of a tank of fuel left. Unfortunately, though, we did not nail any salmon. We did catch a nice ling cod, though. We also saw Mr. Humpback who was fishing in the same area for herring. We grilled the cod for dinner and it was delicious. That night, we tightened down the boat for the crossing, back to the mainland of BC, of Hecate Strait. It could be rough tomorrow.
One of our photographers at work08/09/2011
Another Bear Mother totem on a mortuary pole08/09/2011
Bear Mother Totem08/09/2011
Corner pole, village long house08/09/2011
Remains of a village long house.08/09/2011
Village Beach at Skaang Gaii08/09/2011
I can just imagine the canoes pulled up here. It was an awesome beach. Very protected.