These are diving birds that feed on herring and other bait fish. When they locate herring, they dive to keep them in a ball and then feed on them. When breeding, the males have horns on their beaks. It is how they get their name. You can see them in this photo.
Stellar sea lions
These seal lions winter from Puget Sound, south, and then come north to raise their pups on the salmon that come in the summer.
The haul out.
Don /45 degrees brrr
05/28/2012, Tofino, BC
We left Joe's Cove under foggy skies and a bit of wind. We were concerned about the wind for the open ocean run up to Tofino, about 5 hours away. As it turned out the winds were light, running about 5-10 knots with 6 foot swells. It was an easy run.
As we left Barkely Sound under Debbie's expert helm, we went by the islands outside Ucluelet and spotted a colony of Stellar Sea Lions, getting ready for the salmon migration, their summer dinner. It was a pretty large colony. I took photos in a very bouncy sea.
The run to Tofino was uneventful except for the crab pots that always seem to be located for the last 5-10 miles before the entrance to the harbour. We had to dodge and weave a bit.
We tied up at the 4th street dock and rafted next to a sailboat. I used my fisherman's move to back in, handling the controls while facing backwards from the upper helm. All went well and we tied up and then went into town to pick up some lunch. Prices were somewhat steep here but we had a nourishing meal. Then Dave went off to pick up more fish gear for the manly men and Debbie went shopping for veggies. I went back to try to get our laundry done but there was a long line up and only a single washer and dryer. I worked online while I waited, finally finishing about 7 pm. In between we went over to Deception to celebrate Dryke's birthday.
When I got back to the boat, carrying my trophy of clean clothes, I downed several beers as a reward. Then, of course, Debbie suggested that we finish off the ice cream. How could I resist? Dave added m&m peanuts on top and we were set!
Looking out Joe's Cove, our anchorage in the Broken Islands
05/27/2012, Joe's Cove
This was the view in the morning when we got up.
Getting ready to go out fishing in Rubber Ducky.
Anchored in the Broken Islands
05/27/2012, Joe's Cove
We planned a short trip today, to the Broken Island Group in Barkley Sound with departure about 11 am. That allowed Martine, Debbie, and Dave to go for a nature walk over to a cove with salt-water tide pools. I stayed on the boat to catch up with the blog and some online work that needed attention. There will be wifi at only one other place, in Tofino, during the next week or so.
We departed at 11 and I nearly screwed up big time with our departure. I failed to check the position of the rudders and steering wheel. When we docked, I had to put them hard over to starboard and I failed to center them when done or to check their position on departure. As a result, steering was affected and I did not realize the situation as we departed very tight quarters. I almost took off the swim platform of the boat ahead of us. Oh my! So stupid. The lesson teaches me that problems are most likely to occur when I am confident. Ever alert from now on!!!
We cruised over to Joe's Cove, a new place for us, near Turtle Island. The islands once held about 10,000 First Nation people. Captain Barkley, an early British Explorer named the place, when he was the first European to arrive to trade for sea otters furs which were worth their weight in gold in China at the time. There are a number of white beaches, clam and oyster shell middens from a village that had been there once.
We navigated through a twisty-turny stretch around a number of rocks and anchored in a quiet section of the small, protected bay. The anchor chain got jumbled up in the bouncy and rolly portion in the Straight of Juan de Fuca so it jammed going out. This happens when the top of the chain pile slides to one side and then more chain piles on top. I went down to the chain locker to sort things out by hand and then anchoring went fine.
Dave and I dropped the dinghy down and tested the battery on a short ride in and out of the bay. Then we checked the battery level with the volt meter and all was good. We started at 12.45 volts and returned with a reading of 12.7. The alternator on our engine was charging the battery just fine. Good to go!
Fishing it is! Dave and I rigged up three rods and set out to catch some rock fish to we would have fish heads for crab bait. We cruised out to some rocks with sea gulls, figuring that they knew where the fish were. Sure enough, we picked up two kelp bass and a black fish. We returned back and stopped by a sailboat anchored in another part of the bay. It looked like similar lines to my dad's 40 foot Panda/Baba/Tashiba designed by Bruce. We had a short chat and sure enough it was. It has classic, beautiful lines. We all loved that boat.
We got back to the boat in a light drizzle and cleaned the fish. Rock fish like these are very tasty so we froze the fillets and the heads, to use when we arrive in crab country. Then we raised Rubber Ducky and tied it down on deck. It took a while. That happens the first time each season, until we get our systems down.
Debbie fixed a wonderful meal of chili and corn bread muffins, using a secret new trick to get them out easily from the pan. We also had the last of our lettuce in a salad. It sure hit the spot!
For desert, I made Jiffy Pop popcorn. I was attempting to set a new world's record for the fewest kernels that did not pop (1 point for each) with the least number of burnt pieces of popcorn (2 points for each). The record was set two years ago when the women (Katie and Sarah) beat the men (Don and John). Sarah had 32 kernels and no burnt pieces for 32 points. I came close. I had 34 kernels for 34 points. Darn! That Dave! He found a few kernels in the pop corn we were eating that I had not found. Sigh!
We all turned in tired, full, and happy.
Another photo for all you cat lovers. (Yes, you!)
I know. How cute! ;-)
Life in the tide pool. This starfish is jumping for joy at the tide coming back in. He moves pretty slowly, so Debbie could not catch all the action on her camera.
Edible seaweed spotted on the nature walk near the tide pools.