26 July 2014 | Posted in Port McNeill
Weather never better.
We bring up the anchor and travel out of Grappler Sound and up Sutlj Channel into the heart of the Broughton Archipelago. We had intended to anchor in the Burdwood Group of islands, but decide to continue up Tribune Channel. We have reservations at Kwatsi Bay Marina starting on Monday.
As we pass Deep Sea Bluff we start to see Pacific White-sided Dolphins swimming and leaping out of the water everywhere. There must be at least one hundred of them. We stop the boat and drift for a while, taking video of the action. One of the dolphins swims right at our bow when we start moving again, it keeps turning on its side, looking up to see if we are still there. By the time we reach Rainy Point the dolphins have moved on, looking for schooling salmon.
We go past Kwatsi Point and turn into Bond Sound. The anchorages here are limited and very deep. We decide to forego anchoring here and travel across the channel to Wahkana Bay. We find a good spot to anchor, deep in the southwest corner where a small stream empties into the bay. We are not alone here. The other vessel anchored in Wahkana is the 230 foot long mega-yacht “Kogo”. After about an hour, a float plane enters the bay and taxis over to “Kogo”. The tender comes out and picks up three well-dressed gentlemen and ferries them to the mega-yacht. The tender then returns to the float plane and brings back boxes of supplies and the guests' luggage. “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” playing out live in Wahkana Bay. Who got off the float plane? Mick? Paul? Ringo? Our imaginations run wild.
The water here in the Broughtons is incredibly clear, probably due to low rainfall amounts in the last few weeks. We can see at least 30 feet down as we lower our anchor. We also can watch the salmon swimming around in the bay. Some of the crew members from “Kogo” are out trolling for salmon but are not catching any. They ask us if we know how to catch salmon. Rob tells them that when the salmon get this far, they stop eating and are only interested in getting up the streams to spawn. Trolling for the fish at this stage in their life cycle is usually not fruitful.
On Sunday we took a trip in the Bullfrog tender to do some more exploring. We would like to go up the Ahta River, which empties into Bond Sound. It is a six mile run and only takes about 20 minutes. We need to wait for high tide in order to have deep enough water to enter the river. There is a large mud flat at the river's mouth. This is silt washed down the river over the millennium. We find one boat anchored here and stop to say hello. We ask if they have been up the river recently, hoping to get some current information on the river conditions. They invite us aboard for a chat and we accept. The boat is a Krogen 48 named “Rubinesque”. We spent an hour talking and find out that they put their anchor down here yesterday and it became stuck in some debris on the bottom. They are waiting here and trying to find a diver who can go down and free the anchor. They have cast off the anchor chain with a buoy tied to the end. They intend to go to Kwatsi Bay tonight, if the diver can get to them. We took off and explored the creek nearby and then found that the entrance to the river is blocked by a log jam. We had a wet ride back to Wahkana Bay because the wind had whipped up out in the channel and was blowing against the out-going tide. We did get to ride through the large pod of dolphins again, seeing them at water level this time.