Broughtons Cruising Part 1
15 August 2018 | Potts Lagoon, West Cracroft Island, BC
Happy Hour Deck, Lagoon Cove Marine Resort
Inside Havannah Channel, we watched the wind begin to rise behind us on the strait. Just inside, we headed up into Port Harvey where we tied up at the docks of the Port Harvey Marine Resort. Names can be deceptive, but we had been warned and knew what to expect... one long dock and two buildings on floats with a wobbly walkway ashore. But for $1.10/ foot, we had no complaints. Tied up, we met the owners, George and Gail Cambridge. So we booked a table for dinner and made our choices from the three offerings... pizza, beef burger or fish and chips.
Then off for a walk, after being instructed on how to avoid the grizzly bears. Well, a short walk.
Dinner was at six... BYOB. I had chosen the burger and Jeannie the fish and chips... and both were excellent! So we placed our orders for the morning... four cinnamon buns and a loaf of bread all fresh that morning.
In the morning we dawdled over french toast with bacon and coffee, then in to pick up our order from Gail. Another walk, a bit further into the woods, some chatting with dockmates as they departed and we were off.
Our destination, Lagoon Cove Marina, was as the crow flies, 2.6 nautical miles away. But our route wound down Havannah Channel, up Call Inlet, through Chatham Channel, down The Blow Hole into Lagoon Cove Marine Resort, a distance of 16 miles.
Again, the name “marine resort” may suggest some luxury, but “rough” would be a more appropriate adjective. But we were met by the new owners who took our lines and welcomed us warmly, telling us about their famous happy hour. And it deserves its excellent reputation. One disappointment was the lack of a store. Our cruising guide, the latest edition dated 2015, said we would be able to buy groceries and wine at both Port Harvey and Lagoon Cove. But not so!
Because our stocking up had been done in Desolation Sound at Squirrel Cove and Refuge Cove, we were far from fully stocked for extended cruising. Now we began to worry.
But first off for a hike. The marina has cut a number of trails through the woods and we were happy of the exercise on the rigorous terrain.
Starting at five, there is a pot luck appetizers with all you can eat fresh caught prawns. It also gave us a chance to meet some of out dockmates.
But the lack of food was on our minds. Visions of having gotten all the way up here, only to have to turn around made for a worrysome time. But talking with dockmates, we were assured that we would find good shopping at Echo Bay Marina and Sullivan Bay Marina. With internet available, we checked both web sites, and the pictures look good. We immediately made a reservation for Echo Bay, 6 days ahead. Not only that, our dockmates had been fishing and didn't have enough refrigeration, so donated a whole Chinook Salmon and two sets of crab legs to us. Perhaps we won't go hungry after all!
In the morning we did another short hike then off.
One stop we wanted to make was Minstral Island, formerly the site of a bustling community with store, cannery, dance hall, school and logging camp. But it slowly died and now only a few crumbling buildings and a decrepit dock. We tied up and carefully walked up the dock chosing the strongest looking planks. At the head of the dock were two buildings, one appeared to be the former store. Both were slowly sinking down into the water. We struggled up what appeared to be a former street, now well overgrown, spied a few more ruins, then gave up. As we left, the quiet seemed to be amplified by the ruins slowly being reclaimed by nature.
Back aboard, we ran back down through the Blow Hole and down Clio Channel to Potts Lagoon for the night. As usual, the wind was westerly, on our nose, so we just motored on down the 11 miles.
Motoring down the channel, we passed huge Atlantic Salmon and Steelhead fish farms. It is a huge industry here and very controversial. We also passed a few floating summer homes, one of which was huge. Floating homes are a common site in the area. Since the water doesn't freeze, and the land is so rugged, floating summer homes, some quite substantial, are the norm. Power is solar and generator combination. Logging operations also build floating bunkhouses that they move from site to site.
Turning into Potts Lagoon, we anchored with two power boats and a number of floating homes, only two of which appeared to be maintained. After getting settled, we decided it was time to try our hand at catching crab, so off we went with our trap and a fish head from Kevin Fogolin's fishing expedition a few weeks ago. We left the trap for the night and went back to a BBQ salmon dinner accompanied by a nice cold white wine. No rationing the wine... yet!.