Clam Chowder Day
06/02/2012, Klashkish Basin
ON every trip, I fix a clam chowder. It is delicious and different each time.
Lay Day: Klashkish Basin
Today was the best! I had three, count 'em, three naps. OMG was that good! This was a lay day. We celebrated rounding Brooks Peninsula with a day to catch up and be lazy. Whoever named these kinds of days sure got it right! I sure did a lot of laying about.
Dave went out fishing with Pete in the morning and they did really well. Dave caught 5-6 nice rockfish, including a Ling Cod. After helping him fillet the catch and placing it in our freezer, I took my first nap at 10 am. About noon, I took our engine piece off to inspect it. Sure enough, the insulation on the back had melted in three different places. After that challenging task, I took a second nap. Then I was up to check the engines on Δ Latitude and make certain all was right in the engine room. I also did a little writing and reading. Then....you guessed it...another nice nap. By this time it was getting close to dinner so I fixed my annual pot of clam chowder and we stuffed ourselves. We ended the day by watching the NBA finals on TV.
This is the small island off the Brooks Peninsula. We went between the peninsula and the island.
Around Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook
This was the day to go around Brooks Peninsula and Cape Cook, one of the points on the West Coast where the weather and ocean swells are the greatest. The weather was up when we awoke. The weather forecast said it was going to be 20-25 knots and then drop a bit to 15 later in the day. 20-25 knots in the open ocean is a bit high for our boat to round Cape Cook and the Brooks Pennisula without being really uncomfortable.
At 8, we decided to stick our nose out and see what was up. We went out of secure and safe Dixie Cove and out into the channel. We headed for the open ocean and found winds of 22 knots, reported the results to the others, then hustled our rear end back to Dixie Cove. On the way back, the winds dropped to 17, then 14, knots. Clearly improvement was in the air. We decided to wait until 10 and then head out.
Heading out at 10, the winds were about 10 knots. We decided to keep going. The swells were about 3 meters and a bit confused, coming from 3 different directions. It was a bit rough but we made it out to Solander Island, the bird colony and seal lion haul out at the end of Brooks. We then turned to starboard and headed for Klashkish Basin, our destination. We bobbed and weaved through rock inlets (one named Donald Inlets, in my honor no doubt). The entrance to Klashkish is narrow with straight rock walls. It is a very protected place though williwaws will funnel down from the river at the head of the basin. We found a good location to anchor and dropped our CQR and settled in.
When our heater kicked in a puff of white exhaust showed off the stern. Initially, we thought the heater might have started a fire but it was just burning off excess fuel.
Dave, Debbie, and I dropped the dinghy down. We loaded Rubber Ducky with crab pots and Dave and I went to set them out. As we dropped the first pot, the engine stuttered and stopped. It was hard to start so I let the choke out to give it more fuel and less oxygen. It ran well but I could not get the choke back in without it dying. Then, I looked back at the engine to squeeze the fuel bulb a bit and saw smoke coming out of the engine. We could also smell electrical wires or insulation. We shut the engine down and investigated. It was hard to see anything so Jake towed us in his dinghy back to Δ Latitude. We lifted Rubber Ducky up with our davit to its spot on the aft deck so we could get a better look at the engine. It smelled like burnt insulation when we removed the cover and we could see that the problem was the charging rectifier, a part on a four-stroke engine that serves as a kind of alternator. It is about 2.5 x 2.5 inches with 5 wires coming out. It was clearly the source of the smoke.
Brian came over to check things out and then used the Sat phone to call back to the office to see if David, the maintenance manager, could locate the part and fly it up to us.
That night we had grilled steaks and our shrimp, a surf and turf. It was delish. Dave and I also had too much wine...but Debbie made us do it! That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Rockfish in the Pouch for dinner
05/31/2012, Dixie Cove
That night we had rockfish grilled in a pouch. Ummm!
Crabbing in Dixie Cove
Dave and I headed out to check the crab pots. No luck!
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.