We moved down to the little tourist town of Tofino today and are rafted with our friends on Loch Fyne again. Tofino has been one surprise after another. The marinas are full of fishing boats (commercial and pleasure) and there is no room for us. The anchorage is full of crab pots, I MEAN FULL, so we couldn't anchore in any place that is protected. Instead we are out in the channel where the current runs strong. It's uncomfortable.
We found several rude people in town. Both locals and travelers. We don't have a great impression of the place so far.
Tomorrow there is a public market at the park so we look forward to that.
We won't stay more than two nights here, just enough time to do laundry and stock up on food.
The Broken Group in Barkely Sound is next! Woo Hoo!
We rafted with Loch Fyne at the head of Matilda Inlet and hiked a muddy but fun trail to a sandy beach. There is a warm springs near the anchorage but it wasn't very inviting as it was only about 80 degrees F.
We talked with a camper who said that a wolf entered their camp the night before. Their yellow lab ran after it. Dumb dog.
08/10/2011, Bacchante Bay
We left Hot Springs Cove and headed up Sydney and Shelter Inlets. These inlets are very pretty with a variety of hills and mountains, bays, inlets and no logging.
In Shelter Inlet I spotted a long bump in the water ahead of us. As we approached it submerged. Another whale! This one turned out to be a mom and calf. I wonder if she was nursing when she was just lying at the surface. We were traveling with our new friends on Loch Fyne who we about a mile behind us. I radioed back to them to watch for the whales.
Our passage was short today, maybe 15 miles. When we entered Bacchante Bay a boat that we keep running into was already at anchor. They are from Japan and are on their way to Mexico after spending a year in Canada. They said that it took them 50 days to sail from Japan to Canada. We tucked the boat back into the bay and got ready to take the dinghy up into Watta Creek. Loch Fyne anchored close to us and Corliss was already in her dinghy heading over to our boat. We all rowed up into Watta Creek where we had to occasionally get out to drag the boat over the shallow rapids. Watta Creek has the clearest water! There is a deep spot above the first rapids that you would swear was only 5' deep. When Ken put the oar down it didn't even come close to the bottom. It must have been 15' deep. Shortly after dragging the boat up the second set of rapids we came to a spot where about 5 creeks seemed to converge into one. That was the end of the line for us. Ken got out and walked around in the woods a bit and I stayed behind in the dinghy just enjoying the rush of water going by. We 'ran the rapdis' on the way back down and Ken was all smiles.
We are really enjoying the Southern part of Vancouver Islands West Coast. It's still rugged and remote but not remote enough that we aren't within a days passage of a small town. This means that we see many other boats, both pleasure and tour. The Northern part of Vancouver Islands West Coast was very remote and we would easily go a day and only see one other boat. Not that where we are is overly populated by any means. There are only 3 other boats anchored here, I've not seen any houses today and there still isn't cell phone coverage yet.
The weather still isn't cooperating. Yesterdays high was 59 and we haven't seen the sun for 4 days. No rain, though.
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!)