Male and female Orca
06/03/2012, Outside Winter Harbour
Males have large dorsal fins and females have shorter ones. Here is a male and a female Orca we encountered outside Winter Harbour. These are probably transients.
Orcas and sea otters, oh my!
06/03/2012, Winter Harbour
We left Klashkish about 8 and headed out through the narrow entrance. I tried to shoot a video of our exit. As we rounded the point and headed out into the Pacific, we felt the swells at the mouth of the entrance. They build up there. We exited and found little swells and winds of 10-15 from the Southwest. It looked like it was going to be an easy trip up to Winter Harbour, a short trip. As we approached the entrance we came across two pods of ORCAs, each with about 10 of these beautiful creatures. A male, one with a taller dorsal, stayed between the pod and our boats, perhaps as a guard or protector. We had seen that behavior before. There was a younger ORCA in the pod, perhaps a recent birth because it still had a tinge of pink on its skin. We took a number of photos.
We entered the outside entrance to Winter Harbour and I was watching our fish finder for salmon. They hang out here but do not arrive until a bit later in the summer. I was hoping to see fish in the area where I caught a nice King Salmon before but no such luck this time. Nothing showed.
Winter Harbour is a small fishing camp, the last community before you round the northern end of Vancouver Island. The marina has a dock that is not very good and difficult to enter. We waited outside for the others to get settled. As we headed down harbor, we saw two large rafts of sea otters. There must have been 25-50 in each group. The sea otters were exterminated in these waters for their fur pelts. Only a few small colonies existed in the Big Sur area of California. Sea otters eat sea urchins and sea urchins eat kelp. With the disappearance of the sea otters, sea urchins flourished and ate much of the kelp. Gradually, the sea otter have been moving north, repopulating their traditional homeland. Now, with the sea otters gradual return, the kelp is returning, too.
Eventually, we entered the marina and I did my fisherman's move, backing our boat nicely into its place at the dock. Of course, everyone gave hurrahs and carried me ashore! Don't I wish!
Dave went out fishing with Pete that evening and caught a few rockfish. We enjoyed a quiet meal and then watched another Hornblower adventure. It was a cliffhanger. We all went to bed wishing there had been a clean ending.
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.
Rockfish in the Pouch for dinner
05/31/2012, Dixie Cove
That night we had rockfish grilled in a pouch. Ummm!
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.