A beaut of a morning
05/31/2012, Tahsis Inlet
The fog was so pretty when we departed Tahsis.
05/31/2012, Tahsis Inllet
05/31/2012, Tahsis Inllet
We got underway earlier than the others so we could pick up our crab pots and shrimp pots. No love on the crab pots so we moved over to the other side of the inlet to check our shrimp pots. We had dropped them in 300 feet of water and the three pots weighed about 50 pounds so we needed to rig up the Brutus shrimp pot puller on Rubber Ducky on our deck. Then we adjusted the lines on our davit to hold it out at a 90 degree angle to the boat and attached a line pulley at the end. The idea I had planned was to grab the float to the shrimp pot at the bow of the boat, bring it back towards the stern where we would run the line through the line pulley on the davit back to the pot puller on Rubber Ducky. We would use the line puller to raise the shrimp pots. It all worked just as I had planned....a first time experience!! Usually I get these great ideas and things end up being a bit more complicated than I had thought. Debbie managed the boat's position, Dave managed the line at the davit end, and I managed the pot puller and coiling the line in our new line basket we found at Tahsis.
To date, we have invested $900 in the shrimping gear. Previously, we had caught a total of 11 shrimp in two outings. That works out to about $90 a shrimp. Yikes!! I was hoping for a huge haul this time to improve our amortization schedule a bit. The good news is that we caught shrimp. The bad news was that we only caught 8. The good news is that we are now down to $47 per shrimp!! The shrimp here are just about the tastiest I have ever had. They are called spotted shrimp since they have several white spots on their tail. They are good size, too, similar to a prawn. They are really sweet and tasty. They had better be!
It was a bumpy ride to Dixie Cove, our destination. The seas were lumpy and confused again. The winds were not too bad, but the swells had persisted. We got into Dixie Cove, safe and sound. Dixie Cove is bomb proof, one of the safest anchorages on West Coast Vancouver Island. You can tell, because the pine boughs come right to the waterline at high tide and there are no logs on the rocks. High winds and waves do not intrude. The bottom is also very good holding mud. Dave put out the crab pots but we had few expectations. We saw a sea otter swimming in the cove (a loon, too). Sea otters eat crabs and when you see them, there will be few crabs for your pots.
After dinner, we watched the next episode of Horatio Hornblower. The one about the French invasion. We went to bed tired, but not before Dave and I had a few Scotty Dog licorices. Ummmmmm.
The dock at Tahsis
The marina at Tahsis where we tied up.
Don/Cloudy and cool (54 degees)
The entrance to Nootka Sound.
Lighthouse at Nootka Sound
Don/Cloudy and cool (54 degees)
This lighthouse guards the entrance to Nootka Sound. It is right next to Friendly Cove.
Don/Cloudy and cool (54 degees)
05/30/2012, Friendly Cove
You would never know it from the picture, but this cove was all the rage in capitals of Europe in the early 1800's.
DON/Cloudy and cool (54 degees)
05/30/2012, Tahsis, BC
Dave and I got up in the dark at 4:30 am to bring in the crab pots so we would be ready if the weather was good enough to head out into the Pacific for our next leg. No love. Not a single crab. Sigh.
The wind was up a bit in the morning but the weather report indicated it would be stronger tomorrow so we decided to make a break to get around Estevan Point. Estevan was reporting only 14 knots of wind and that was good enough for us. Once out in the Pacific, though, things picked up quickly. The winds went up to a steady 30 knots and we had about 2 hours to run outside. Our anemometer alarm, set to 30 knots, went off continuously until we turned it off. The seas were about 10 feet or so and confused. We were getting rebound waves from the shore that made for very lumpy seas and both a southerly and westerly swell. We finally turned into Nootka Sound and put the seas on our stern, making for a smoother ride. We went by Friendly Cove, the site of a very famous treaty between Spain and England negotiated by Vancouver and Bodega y Quadra. The treaty permitted them both to map the Northwest together and prevent a potential war over the territory which had recently become important to them both. Sea otter pelts that could be bought cheaply from the First Nation people for very small pieces of iron and traded in China for huge profits. In the early 1800's Nootka Sound was as famous a place as San Francisco is today. Today....not so much. It is pretty much deserted, except for a First Nation family in Friendly Cove and a lighthouse keeper couple at the lighthouse to Nootka Sound.
We cruised down Nootka Sound and turned into Tahsis Inlet, a glacier valley flooded by the sea. We saw the typical U shaped glacial valley shape and a moraine at the end. The moraine was the site of the main village of the chief of the area. It lay right next to a salmon river, Tahsis River. Tahsis, the modern village created around a now deserted logging mill, was nearly deserted. We planned to stop at a marina there, used by sport salmon fisherman.
On the way, we spotted a perfect place to drop our shrimp pots, so Dave and I organized the gear and dropped it while Debbie held the boat in position. Then, we went to set our crab pots near the river mouth.
Coming in the marina I just had to do my reverse fisherman's move, backing the boat to her slip from the upper deck, facing the stern. Amazingly, an international crew of five dockhands greeted us and took our lines. It was early in the season and they were in training. They came from Ghanna, Spain, England, and Canada. Goodness. Who'd a thunk it - that an international crew of dockhands would be at such a remote place?
Going up to the main marina dock we discovered an exceptional facility in the middle of nowhere. There was the best stocked fishing and engine store we had seen along the coast, a nice restaurant, wifi, a great salmon cleaning station, and an outdoor deck for eating and listening to live entertainment. They even had a man made tide pool on the deck, with circulating sea water, holding a ling cod, several rock fish, sea anemone, oysters, and other sea life. That, evening we had dinner in their outdoor restaurant and enjoyed a blues guitarist playing great blues. Who'd a thunk it?
Hot Springs Cove
05/29/2012, The dock at Hot Springs Cove
The dock at Hot Springs.
05/29/2012, Hot Springs Cove
Today we headed to Hot Springs Cove from Tofino. Δ Latitude went ahead of the other boats in our fleet to see if we could talk Oyster Jim out of some oysters. Oyster Jim lives up in a protected bay, Northeast of Hotsprings Cove. He supplies the Tofino Restaurants with oysters, in season. Last time we were up here we managed to score ten dozen and they were fantastic.
We navigated through the channels and crab pots of Tofino and made our way north through the passages inside that take you to Hot Springs. It was calm and an easy trip. We showed up off the dock at Oyster Jim's and he and his dog came out. Unfortunately, oysters were not be had. Jim said that testing of the waters in the area for red tide had not been done so he was shut down until testing was completed. Apparently, the First Nation people further down channel had the government contract for testing but had not yet done so. Ah, no oysters tonight!
We headed out and came across the other boats practicing man overboard drills, competing to see who could recover a life ring fastest. They were still about 30 minutes ahead of us. We called and let everyone know that we were going to fish for halibut in the channel next to hot springs and would be in later.
Debbie positioned our boat nicely for a drift and Dave and I dropped our lines. I had caught halibut in this location four years ago. We jigged and jigged but no luck. So, we headed back to the cove where we discovered that only boats 36 feet or less could now tie up at the dock. We anchored out and rafted with Deception. Dave and I dropped Rubber Ducky over the side and set our crab pots at the head of the cove. One of our pots had polypropylene line attached to the float. Polypro floats and can easily get caught in your props. I am not sure why this line was on there. Perhaps one of the charterers had lost our pot with lead core line and replaced it with cheaper polypropylene. In any case, you guessed it. We wrapped out props in the line and spent 30 minutes getting it off.
That evening we had crock pot chicken and ice cream for dessert aboard Deception with Brian, Rich, and Maritne. Deb brought a fresh salad. It was delish and we enjoyed the company and conversation. After dinner, Dave, Martine, and Rich headed out to walk the boardwalk and enjoy the hot springs.