Frigate Bay to Shearwater. June 9 and 10. Sailing in the Rain.
16 June 2019 | Posted at Prince Rupert
Photo: Osprey's dodger with plastic panels in place for sailing (or motoring) in the rain.
Cold winds blew north up Fitz Hugh Sound as we sailed through fog and rain. We had left Frigate Bay in the morning under a light rain, assuming broken clouds meant the rain would taper off and the wind rise. But although the wind rose, the rain increased too. As we passed Kwakshua Channel and the Hakai Recreational Area, I could barely see the channel through rain and mist.
We were sailing under jib alone. In these winds, it wasn't enough sail. But when we went to shake the reefs that we had put in when sailing up Johnstone Strait, the second reef jammed in the block at the end of the boom. With the seas bouncing us up and down and the cold rain running down our faces, we didn't want to deal with it. And since we hadn't expected the rain to last, we hadn't put all of our foul weather gear on. We were fast getting cold and wet.
"My hands are so cold, I can't move them. I'm going to turn into Sea Otter Inlet," said Steve, referring to an inlet just north of us (not to be confused with Otter Cove in Johnstone Strait.) We had planned to go on to Kisameet Inlet farther north.
Steve headed the boat towards the Inlet and a few minutes later we turned into it, rolling in the sail as we entered. A long narrow inlet lined with cedar and spruce, Sea Otter provides plenty of room for anchoring. Last year when entering it we had surprised a pod of humpback whales bubble feeding, but now the inlet was quiet and deserted with only the occasional wavelet making its way in. We dropped anchor near the inlet head and promptly went below to light the heater.
The next morning we woke to more rain and fog, but no wind. We donned our foul weather gear and put up the plastic panels in the back of the dodger and motored all the way to Shearwater.
To see this area on Google Maps, search for "Hakai Institute" and expand out.