People wonder why we carry so many tools on board. This is why!
We were talking with some new friends on the radio tonight and they said that we are official Vancouver Island Circumnavigators now that we have our vessel name carved in the boardwalk at Hot Springs Cove!
08/07/2011, Hot Springs Cove, Vancouver Island
We made a short ocean passage yesterday (25 miles) and we saw about 20 whales. Humbacks for sure plus Minkes and possibly some Greys. The only one that came right next to the boat came at a very unoportune moment. I was doing something that needed three hands to do and was probably steering with my feet when Ken says "Look a whale!" I was WAY to busy to be looking at whales and I look over at Ken and he's just watching the whale while I struggled. We laugh now but at the moment... not so funny.
The passage was easy and we had easy 3-6 foot swells at 10 seconds. No chop.
We are anchored in Hot Springs Cove right now. This is a very relaxing place to be. There is a boardwalk that leads from the park dock to the hot springs, 1.3 miles south. We walked out this morning and had a good soak. We're not sure how long we were in the hot springs but suddenly I felt overheated and needed OUT! My skin was pink all over! The water is about 105 degrees and smells like sulfer.
The boardwalk is interesting. Over the years cruisers have carved their boat names into the planks. They date back to 1989 as far as we can tell. We plan to head in with carving tools a little later.
08/05/2011, Friendly Cove, Nootka Sound, Vancouver Island
We anchored in Friendly Cove on Nootka Island yesterday afternoon. The swells were (and still are) making their way into the anchorage making the boat rock and roll too much for comfort. It started to subside late in the day but not enough for me to sleep comfortably. I finally got out of bed at 6 am and headed for the mail salon where I made myself a little nest and fell asleep until 8 when Ken headed out to go fishing.
There is manned lighthouse here so we hiked up and took a look around. The keepers have been here for 6 years. They do all the maintenance, some weather reporting, some testing water and sealife, among other things. They get their provisions delivered by helicopter once a month.
There is also a First Nations reservation here. Only one family is left here but there are camp sites and about 8 cabins for rent. There is a 29 mile North to South Island trail that end here. We hiked the trail for a hour or two and found a nice place to lay on the pebble beach. The band charges $10 per person to use their land. Kind of steep but it sure was nice to have groomed trails to walk on.
There are Minke and Humpback whales swimming outside the anchorage right now. Ken is watching them through the binoculars and calling out the details to me. I'm waiting for them to get a little closer before heading up to take a look.
We are going to head back out into the Pacific in the morning. I've got some new seasickness pills. I hope they work better. We are not going far so I'm not too anxious about it. (Yeah, right!)
After dinner Ken and I were just hanging around the docks watching the days catch come in and a boat pulled up with a HUGE halibut in it. It's 160 lbs and is the record so far this year.
I'm sitting on the deck at Westview Marina enjoying watching fisherman come and go. The old people at the table next to me are comparing presciption drugs.
We left Queen Cove yesterday morning and headed up Esperanza inlet. A few miles up the inlet Ken couldn't find Monty (cat), he searched and called him but couldn't find him. I wasn't worried because he would have had to have walked past both of us in order to get out on deck. He HAD to be down below! I went down and searched. No cat. Now I'm worried. We were contemplating turning around to search the water for him in case he somehow got out on deck and fell overboard. Ken tried one last trick and called out 'good boy treats' (the name we call their dinner in order to get them to come home). He meowed! That was a little scary. We searched for 45 minutes. He was tucked behind one of the toilets and we just overlooked him.
After celebrating finding Monty we got the sails up and sailed for about 10 miles before the wind died enough that we had to start the motor.
We fueled up at Westview Marina in Tahsis and took a slip for the night. This is a nice place. It's still in the middle of nowhere but the marina is clean, welcoming and has a nice open-air restaurant. There aren't many cruisers here (just two at the moment) but there are about 50 fishing boats that come and go.
We went out for burgers and beer with the couple that was on the boat next to us last night. The burgers were great and the company was even better. Their names are Corliss and Chuck and they've been cruising the area for 6 years. We hope to meet up with them again on our travels.
Today was chore day. Westview Marina has a nice little laundry facility and there is a small market about a mile up the road where we were able to buy bread and some fresh vegis.
I'm enjoying the west coast of Vancouver Island a little more now that we are getting some better weather. I actually put a pair of shorts on the other day. Unfortunately it only lasted or a few hours.
I've uploaded some new pictures in the Gallery named West Coast of Vancouver Island.
We left Blue Lips Cove about 9 am and motored out the inlet with the main sail up with hopes of finding some wind out on the Pacific. No such luck. We motored all the way to Esperanza Inlet and up into Queen Cove. We experienced 3-6 foot swells but no chop so the ride was comfortable. Yay! I didn't get seasick.
What a nice spot Queen Cove is. The bay is large and there are 3 summer rental houses on the north shore. Private fishing boats come and go, giving us some activity to watch. We took the dinghy over to a wrecked wooden fishing boat that I assume has been there for several years. The license tag on the side said 1995. We also headed up Park River. It was shallow and narrow and densely treed. It was very peaceful and pretty. Unfortunately there is some active logging activity on shore. Ken saw a giant logging truck going down the logging road.
Ken caught 2 large Spiny Dogfish, a small Ling and some rockfish yesterday. The big ones got away.
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