Singing with Salmon
13 September 2008 | Zeballos to Nootka Sound
Zeballos to Tahsis (49 54. 6 N, 126 39.4W). August 21.
Photo: Salmon entered in West View Marina's annual salmon derby.
We leave Zeballos in a flat calm. On our way we stop at the Esperanza Mission. The mission serves mostly the native communities and helps to pay for its services by selling fuel. We buy diesel and take a short walk through the Mission grounds. We see several new buildings. A work party is underway and a group is building a new store building on the dock. They've also extended the mission dock. Boats who want to visit the mission will now be able to tie there without taking up space on the fuel dock.
We motor through Tahsis Narrows into Tahsis Inlet and raise sail in what looks like a brisk breeze blowing up the inlet. It lasts about a mile, then peters out and we start the engine again. We arrive at Tahsis on the first day of the annual salmon derby at the West View Marina. We had thought that might be the case and were worried that there wouldn't be room for us, but the marina has expanded since we were here two years ago and they have no trouble fitting us in.
If the grocery store at Zeballos is emptier than before, the situation at Tahsis is reversed. The owner tells us the store is still for sale but instead of letting their inventory run out in anticipation of the sale, as they were doing two years ago, they are building the business up. They've taken over liquor sales from the government liquor store which has closed and have spruced up the little café in the front of the store. They also have Deli meats which helps make up for the fact that the Cook Shack on the waterfront that used to sell Deli meats has now been replaced by a fast food joint called "Beaches." We found good quality produce on the shelves that had just been delivered. An independent produce truck gives them some competition on Fridays.
Our second evening in Tahsis we enjoy a buffet dinner at the Marina Cantina and are entertained by The Bobbers, a fishing music band. They wear hats with stuffed fish on top and sing songs such as "Fish Jamming," "I wish I were fishing," and "Get your asses to Tahsis."
Tahsis to Bodega Cove (49 43.7N, 126 38.3W). August 23.
One evening of the Bobbers is all we can take and the next morning, although it's pouring rain and the weather radio is issuing Storm Warnings (one step up from Gale Warnings!), we leave. It's calm in Tahsis Inlet and we hope by staying inland we'll avoid the worst of the storm. We plan on anchoring in some of our favorite bays in Nootka Sound and getting in position to head south around Estevan Point when a promised northwest wind comes through in a couple of days. Half way down Tahsis Inlet, 25 knot winds hit us on the nose. With the pouring rain, it's downright unpleasant. We cut our day short and turn into Bodega Island near Princesa Channel. There we watch the rain come down in sheets. Half an hour after high tide, we notice that the water is touching the lower branches of the cedar trees overhanging the cove. Two hours later, it's even higher. Either the low barometer is affecting the tide level or so much rain is coming down, it can't get out of the sound.
Bodega Cove to Ewin Inlet (49 36.4N, 126 33.5W), Nootka Sound. August 24.
The rain tapers off but the wind still blows out of the south. We motor through the islands of the Spanish Pilot Group to Ewin Inlet, in Bligh Island (named for the famous Captain Bligh who was on Cook's third voyage). We could have sailed but would have had to stay out in the more open and less scenic Cook Channel to do so. And Steve says he's sick and tired of howling winds on the nose. Swells are rolling into Ewin Inlet but by the time they turn the corner into the cove, they are down to gentle bumps. The sun comes out and we enjoy a rare hour of warmth and dryness.