I came into Port McNeill yesterday and spent a hectic afternoon doing boat chores and getting ready for the next trip in August. Then early this morning, I went to the airport to fly to Vancouver, but, alas, no flight due to fog. Probably worse for the people flying up from Vancouver, who got a look at the fog from above Port Hardy, and then were taken back to Vancouver. I ended up with an extra 8 hours in Port McNeill, and didn’t feel like doing more boat work. So I went for a walk, admired the old steam donkey at the harbour, basically a big powered winch used in logging, and went for lunch. In the afternoon a boat on its way south from Alaska pulled in, and it was Bob and Lois, who we sailed with in Tonga in 2002. That was our first experience of the South Pacific, and amazingly a description of the sail is still available online (here). Now I am hoping to fly out in time to help Graham celebrate his birthday on the beach in Vancouver.
I came into Sointula again this morning, to enjoy a halibut burger at the Burger Barn. The afternoon is hot and sunny, but I spent it in the engine room doing an oil change and other chores.
I am back in the Pearse Islands, without seeing any bears. When I picked up the anchor after a lunch stop, several seastars, including a very big one, hitched a ride up from the deep. I returned all unhurt.
No fog this morning, but also no keepers in my crab trap. I guess it will be chicken for dinner. I moved on, briefly stopped in Health Bay. There is a First Nations village there called Gwayasdums and I anchored around the corner in the lagoon. Unfortunately, the blackflies were so thick and aggressive that I left again. Now I am anchored in Village Channel, between Pearl and Maud Island, and am keeping a sharp lookout for bears.
I did not get blown out of Monday Harbour, the night was very quiet. In the morning I woke up in thick fog, so read the current edition of Die Zeit, a German weekly newspaper (nice to be able to pick up a newspaper by holding my Kindle up into the air). By midday the fog had cleared and the afternoon was sunny and warm. I moved along a little to Dusky Cove and went for a long kayak trip.
I know it is Wednesday today, the question refers to which harbour I wanted to anchor in. Sheila flew out from Sullivan Bay today, and I left to explore an area of the Broughtons that I had not been in before. Wylie Blanchet describes being blown out of Sunday Harbour into Monday Harbour by a strong westerly wind. Her book, The Curve of Time, is the classic for the area and describes the adventures of her cruising in the Pacific Northwest with her 5 children (her husband had drowned) in the 1920s and 30s on a 25 foot boat (they took the dog as well!). We have an easterly wind today, I am anchored in Monday Harbour, and hope not to be blown into Sunday Harbour overnight.
Not quite a private jet, but a chartered floatplane picking Sheila up in Sullivan Bay
We came into Sullivan Bay today, a cute little floathome community on North Broughton Island. Their airport (a dock at the end of the marina) is served by float planes from Port Hardy and Sheila plans to leave here on Wednesday. Tonight is pasta night at the restaurant and we have a reservation. It is also a good place to do some boat chores, laundry, make water etc.
There is a short, steep hike from Turnbull Cove to a large lake. I hiked this in the morning, there is a swimming platform at the lake and the water was quite warm, but the weather was cold, windy and wet, so I did not go in. The afternoon turned warm and sunny, and we came into Claydon Bay close by. Sheila and I took a kayak and paddle board all around the bay, and then enjoyed the sunshine.
We saw a bear this morning, met some interesting people and came into Turnbull Cove in the afternoon. This is rather remote, no cellphone at all and even the satphone struggles due to the high and steep mountains around us. Very protected anchorage though.
We have moved on today, to Drury Inlet on the mainland. The morning was quite foggy, the afternoon nice and sunny. We went on a kayak tour around the inlet, but saw no bears. Maybe tomorrow morning.