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Old 03-09-2013, 10:57   #1
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eliems's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Vancouver BC
Boat: 1993 Hunter H28
Posts: 152
Broughton Archipelago Adventure ...

For any of you who would like a long winded account of this adventure, (like watching paint dry), here you go complete with video... Greg Fothergill - YouTube


Broughton Archipelago
M. D. Y
Captain's Log (Stardate 05/04/2013)
Ship:Andante; 1993 Hunter 28.


Left Reed Point 12:45pm Thursday, May Second arriving at Second Narrows for ebb tide at 3 knots current.
Wind was up but sails are not permitted between the bridges. Lions Gate entered serious waves and wind with the motor only achieving 2.5knots.


Sailed into the lee of several cargo ships and raised the main reefed. Rugged seas beating to Gibsons took four hours ... Not fun.


Shallow entry into Gibsons reached 14 feet nearing low low. Plumper Cove was calm and serene.


Note to self ... Overfilled the water and found some had leaked into V birth.
Note to self ... Almost fell overboard when up front losing balance for a moment with no hand hold! Don't do that again. Three Point at all times!


Saturday: Wind blowing hard to 25 knots on the bow and seas to 6 feet motoring with reefed main again. Conditions subsided after noon and became perfect sailing, skipped staying at Sargeant Bay reaching Smugglers Cove by 4pm.
Surprised to find only two boats and I took my fav spot. Stayed two days happily. Weather was sunny and hot! Some May 4th!
Tomorrow I sail to Ballet Bay some 15 Miles north. (Watch the rock!)


Sunday. Conditions calm no wind seas rippled, motored to Powell River skipping Ballet Bay. Marina closed so took unoccupied slip and plugged in, water and fuel, electricity all n/c. managed to wash down the boat. Today was hot! (spoke with Dave who sent me on my way way n/c not a dock and dash).


Looking to Vondonop tomorrow which would place me close to Okisolo, Yukulta or Seymour Narrows. Thinking get to Broughton for this weather window.


Monday May 6
Change of plans, strong wind warning tonight so hanging out in Laura Cove, (Prideaux Haven, not Broughton)..
Winds calming to 15 kn Thursday so heading to Stewart Island tomorrow, this is the alternate route to Johnstone Straight.
Weather is hot sunny with little wind for now. Saw only two other boats since arriving at Desolation Sound and now have Laura Cove to my self!


Friday May 10
Changed plans when wind warnings persist for Johnstone Straight with Saturday offering the best window. The High Pressure front is giving way to a trough off the Pacific and winds shift to Southeast bringing easier sailing but also rain.
I decided to hang out at VonDonop channel and had the best spot to my self with two other boats near. Boaz and I walked two hours of forest trails Wednesday and then left Thursday for the Gorge to top up supplies, then sailed to Raza on a beam reach staying at Francis Bay Thurs night.
Awoke at 3:15 am and set sail to catch the 5:20am tide through Yukulta Rapids. made it through with the rising of the sun to Cordero Islands anchorage. This turned out to be a very special spot on the side of Green Rapids, where the tide rips through at nine knots. I was able to float on the edge of the currents in the dingy listening to the roar and watching the swirling waters.
5 am Saturday should see me sailing Green Rapids with the ebb (north) tide, if I can figure out how to wake up with no alarm clock, the cell being low on Battery power and no charger.
broke the other paddle swivel on the dingy today having replaced the other one last year, obviously a weak link. Now I need to figure out how to rig a temporary fix.
This was day eight today and I reflected on how fast this last week went by. Quick as the blink of an eye!


Sunday May 12
5am Saturday and I met the ebb tide in Green Point and on with a tail wind and a three knot current all the way up Johnstone straight. Went most of the distance wing on wing with a reefed main. Averaged eight knots.


Timing these currents requires mastering the very unfriendly format of the Canadian Tide and Current tables. Eg: Chatham to the blow hole ... Go to the volume six tables and look up Seymour narrows (said 18:25 hours but you have to add an hour due to daylight savings time, as it said in small print at the front of the book.) Then look up Chatham in the secondary tables and it says subtract 45 minutes. Therefore I arrived at slack at 18:40. I needed the current to go with me as slack only lasts five minutes or so in these narrow channels so I needed to pay attention to the flooding south notation. The trouble is that another channel just a few miles away might ebb south at the same time. Wind and currents become unpredictable among the islands and channels up here.


Destination was Burial Bay, (Great names!) and I got anchored with Boaz needing a walk. The wind was contrary here so decided to move on through Chatham Channel to the Blow Hole and into Lagoon Cove Marina. The wind was blowing 20 plus knots and the waves were building until rounding a corner into calm. I found an older couple managing the marina in the wake of the deceased owner. There was little other than electricity, water, showers, and fuel. Another yacht pulled in, one that had followed me through the rapids to the Blow Hole. Chatham had turned into a gale when I entered the west channel and the seas were five feet. This and the rapids had me paying attention. Did I mention that it was raining also?
Turns out this other yacht was a tour traveling with a lady skipper learning advanced sailing. Their destination was the west coast of Vancouver Island! I was pretty surprised seeing them circumnavigating the island in early May.


Monday May 13 Left Lagoon Cove Sunday at noon with a Flooding tide (now flooding south), and motored under sunny skies through some of the most beautiful cruising I have seen. Destination was to be Mound Isl. but the wind was contrary so carried on to Farewell Cove. Picked up ten specific anchorages to visit from the marina folk covering a good part of Broughton. I find that along the way there are so many interesting coves, (like the one I am in right now), that I can't be sure where I will end up.
Farewell Cove had a resort that had not opened for the season so Boaz and
I walked the trails alone. No large creatures seen yet except a stubborn deer that refused to let the lady skipper cross a bridge. I approached it and it ran off. Today however, I saw an immense pile of bear scat full of grass which
They eat when emerging from hybernation.
On today through to Joe Cove but snapped a sheet to the headsail so stopped at a First Nations village on the sea to make repairs. Their sign said they welcome everybody. Across the way from there I spotted a sweet little cove on the end of a long curving entry completely protected from all directions. I stopped for lunch and stayed for the night. Just finished eating the most delicious rock crab and garlic butter treat,too bad the digging for clams was unsuccessful. Perhaps tomorrow I will make it to Joe Cove.


Tuesday May 14. Woke up in Carrie Bay to sunshine. (If you don't like the weather just wait ten minutes). As Boaz and I made our way to shore on a nearby isl, movement in the tidal zone caught my eye. Spouts of water shooting two feet into the air betrayed the clams beneath the sand. I keep a small spade in the boat just for such an occasion and with a bit of effort dug up two clams the size of oranges. As I writes this I am just finishing the chowder made with fresh clams and another red rock crab. Delicious!
Continued on to Joe Cove in the afternoon riding a broad reach in sunshine. This place is very special with lots to explore including a beach I visited made up of white clam shells laid down by first nations people. The site of the village up a short trail was obvious. the forest around the village site is old growth, trees standing perhaps 200 feet tall and big around the butt like a house. Everywhere is moss, and air is muffled and the forest floor is springy.
Brought up another nice crab, dungeness this time, and did the garlic butter thing. restaurante andante at her best.


I plan to stay here for a day or two before heading to Sullivan Bay.


Friday May 17th:
Two weeks today and two blinks of an eye, time is hard to keep track of here as is my exact location. Cove after cove offering various menus of activities and beauty. Today I was surrounded in dolphins while sitting in the dingy, they seemed to be running a race course breaking the water in single file at 30 mph. Boaz got excited, barking enthusiastically. Sleek and smaller than their Desolation Sound Cousins, these guys were black and white Orca style. The locals warned me about large aggressive sea lions who will attack if you get near their harem. Unfortunately the females are quite friendly with humans and "flirt with you" as the diver I met told me.




Left Joes and Made for Echo Bay riding the wind. Unusual to have wind among the islands but there have been a series of fronts. Fortunately the temperature is 15 degrees and rain has been scarce, (today being the first real hard rain and there have been breaks). With the Bimini up and the tarp the rain is pleasant at this point, also sunshine is forecasted to return Sunday.


Echo Bay was open but not provisioned very well so I fueled up and continued on to Viners Inlet where I stayed the night. here the dolphins play and do their laps. boiled up three huge crab and put them in the fridge for supper later. Cooked last nights spicy beef stew on the shore over a fire. delicious!
TODAY I motored to Laura Bay, (not Prideaux Haven Laura Cove). Laura is nicely sheltered from the south wind and very pretty. I'll let you know if I ever have to share a cove with another boat, the only others I have seen up here have been fish boats but for one other yacht yesterday.


Finally got to Sullivan Marine Resort in Sullivan Bay where my charger was waiting for me. Now my useless Rogers cell is nicely charged if irrelevant. The "resort" is a floating village with eight nice homes owned by Americans who run it as a cooperative hiring a couple to operate the public marina and thus subsidizing the costs. Nice place really but no trails to walk and expensive at $1.30 per foot. $10 for a shower, $20 for two loads of laundry.
They built a floating lawn for dogs with a spade to toss the poo into the ocean. Then there was the garbage procedure where I needed to wash each can and throw plastic and paper into the burning barrel, everything organic going into the ocean. (tea bag city!) Anyway it was good to have a hot shower and clean clothes. No less than ten people have now told me to look up Billy Proctor who keeps a museum down the trail from Lagoon Cove. If I ever want to write a book about this area I will be sure to look Billy up.


Monday and the rain is forecast to come so off to Turnbull Bay about a two hours sail. This place is interesting with lots to do, Boaz and I made it to the top of cardiac hill, (20min straight up), to look down upon a lake with a dock. Tomorrow we will make a day of it if the rain lets up. Also there is an intriguing channel just a hundred feet across that feeds a huge lagoon just around the corner. Apparently the tide really rips through there and I would like to see that. They gave it the ominous name Roaringhole Rapids. Also Boaz and i visited a gash in the mountain reaching the water in a mountain of debris where a huge slide happened recently. We walked the base of the slide and may hike it later.


Lorna may be flying up to Port McNeil this sat so hoping the wind and waves are going to be kind across that 21 miles of open water.


Thursday
Enjoying Joes Cove again preparing to cross the straight tomorrow. Still unclear if Lorna is on her way but the forecast is grim. The trip here was fun with wind at our backs and wind should cooperate tomorrow for the trip to Port McNeil.
Supplimenting my meager rations with seafood again I am anticipating the manhattan clam chowder on the stove. The prawns I sauté in garlic butter were choice and I have now eaten twenty plus periwinkles cooked on the camp fire roasted with beer. Lunch was a sole I caught fishing, pan size and perfect.
Earlier Boaz and I had an encounter with a two hundred pound bear but all I had was a pellet gun so I thought I would stick to seafood. We were enjoying a walk through the forest, I was focused on a pair of chipmunks playing with Boaz and he caught site of the bear just a hundred feet away and being a dumb boxer trotted over to say hello. The bear took off at high speed, straight up a large tree and the clawing sounds got my full attention. The bear could have made for the lower branches a long way up but now he was looking at Boaz seeing the frail old dog he stopped. I started talking firmly, "Boaz, come!" By now the bear was on his way down the tree and followed us as we beat a hasty retreat.


Left Joes and Made for Echo Bay riding the wind. Unusual to have wind among the islands but there have been a series of fronts. Fortunately the temperature is 15 degrees and rain has been scarce, (today being the first real hard rain and there have been breaks). With the Bimini up and the tarp the rain is pleasant at this point, also sunshine is forecasted to return Sunday.


Echo Bay was open but not provisioned very well so I fueled up and continued on to Viners Inlet where I stayed the night. here the dolphins play and do their laps. boiled up three huge crab and put them in the fridge for supper later. Cooked last nights spicy beef stew on the shore over a fire. delicious!
TODAY I motored to Laura Bay, (not Prideaux Haven Laura Cove). Laura is nicely sheltered from the south wind and very pretty. I'll let you know if I ever have to share a cove with another boat, the only others I have seen up here have been fish boats but for one other yacht yesterday.


Finally got to Sullivan Marine Resort in Sullivan Bay where my charger was waiting for me. Now my useless Rogers cell is nicely charged if irrelevant. The "resort" is a floating village with eight nice homes owned by Americans who run it as a cooperative hiring a couple to operate the public marina and thus subsidizing the costs. Nice place really but no trails to walk and expensive at $1.30 per foot. $10 for a shower, $20 for two loads of laundry.
They built a floating lawn for dogs with a spade to toss the poo into the ocean. Then there was the garbage procedure where I needed to wash each can and throw plastic and paper into the burning barrel, everything organic going into the ocean. (tea bag city!) Anyway it was good to have a hot shower and clean clothes. No less than ten people have now told me to look up Billy Proctor who keeps a museum down the trail from Lagoon Cove. If I ever want to write a book about this area I will be sure to look Billy up.


Monday and the rain is forecast to come so off to Turnbull Bay about a two hours sail. This place is interesting with lots to do, Boaz and I made it to the top of cardiac hill, (20min straight up), to look down upon a lake with a dock. Tomorrow we will make a day of it if the rain lets up. Also there is an intriguing channel just a hundred feet across that feeds a huge lagoon just around the corner. Apparently the tide really rips through there and I would like to see that. They gave it the ominous name Roaringhole Rapids. Also Boaz and i visited a gash in the mountain reaching the water in a mountain of debris where a huge slide happened recently. We walked the base of the slide and may hike it later. So we did the roaring hole and it really lives up to its name. We faced the ebbing tide about five knots and boiling like a river. The little Honda couldn't make it against the current.


Lorna may be flying up to Port McNeil this sat so hoping the wind and waves are going to be kind across that 21 miles of open water. Update, Lorna is not coming now so three weeks to plan for.


Friday and the crossing was about as nice and smooth as could be hoped for. The waters were full of wood from the recent rains. these debris were up to telephone pole in size so I was making constant adjustments in course. Now here in the marina a yacht was towed to the dock having lost her rudder to a deadhead.


Port McNeil is a cool place where dogs are welcome in the stores! Unlike so many coastal towns everything was built around the docks so not necessary to climb cardiac hill to shop. Entering this marina I got on to channel 66a and asked for port McNeil marina, a lady came on and guided me to "anywhere between B and C docks", which I did. Then walking into the floating office a young lady was pleased to welcome me to Port McNeil Marina Fuel Dock. Turns out this was a different dock b and c in a completely different marina. So I paid extra to get less farther away from everything. The lady in the other marina, the one I had spoken to said she could understand how I could end up in the wrong place and will be more specific in the future. Something to consider though is that the fuel dock marina offers free courtesy cars to pick up at the airport.
Oh well at this point I am showered and laundered charged up and restocked and I had a hot beef sandwich with french fires! Only question remains which direction?


I am prepared now to do the last fourty miles to the north tip of vancouver island and cape Scott. from there it is a short run to Winter Harbour where there are full facilities. That country is reminiscent of long beach and Tofino open to the Pacific. From Winter I could retrace or continue south to pick Lorna up in Ucluelet and finish the trip exploring the gulf islands. Alternatively I retrace to port McNeil or Powell river to meet Lorna.


Hmmm. The only thing that makes me think twice is that this is open water where the swells start at 1 meter. On the other hand I would love to experience the open Pacific and ride those rolling swells with the wind on my back. winter is only one of three places to duck in if weather is coming. The forecast in the office dated four this afternoon calls for northwest 10 Knots through Monday. Tuesday the rain comes hard and the wind rises to 20 knots but I would be exploring Quatsino Sound. Hmmm




Tuesday May 28: Weather does not permit a trip north and rather I am desiring to return southward to warmer climate, (and the Gorge hot tub). At this point I am thinking to continue on home and if Lorna can join me somewhere along the route so much the better.
After Port McNeil I returned to Joe Cove for nice weather Sunday and showers Monday but today I decided to beat the winds by leaving early and arrived back at Farewell Cove just as the Gale Warnings came in for Johnstone Straight. From here another 24 mile hop when the weather is calmer, to anchor this side of Seymour Narrows and wait for the currents. Today however, we stay secure at the dock of the Fairwell Harbour Resort still not open for business. This place is pretty well sheltered from South winds but large swirling gusts do find their way in here which is why I chose to stay at their dock rather than swing on the anchor. There is a caretaker house a mile or so away but no sign of anyone yet that I can ask permission to use the dock. Boaz was happy to be here again, he lumbered up the (very steep) gangway to the forest trails just like he knew where he was going.
I promised to report if I ever had to share an anchorage with another boat, well there was a power boat at Joe Cove for one night but they took the wrong arm of the bay and got the wind while I stern tied on anchor to the floating raft. It was very cool to step off the walk-through transom and onto the floating raft complete with picnic table. This took two Attempts as the idea is to get good scope on your anchor chain while backing up to meet with the raft at your stern. The first time I dropped the anchor too far away. This little raft had holes to look down into the water where a virtual aquarium had grown onto the log supports. Sea anenaomies of all types sifted the water while many types of small fish nibbled at the raft and hundreds of prawns scoured the logs. This of course started me thinking about a home made prawn net which soon had me melting butter again!
Back at the dock and I just met the caretaker of the resort and he kindly allowed me to stay the night. "if the wind were any stronger from the south west I would have to ask you to leave" he said. But as the winds were forecast to drop off this afternoon he said I could stay. I invited him to drop by later for a beer if he liked and remarked that I had scarcely heard a human voice these last few weeks. He said he often goes a month without speaking to anyone through the winters. So I did end up spending an hour with Mike (i think),and caught the news from someone who has lived a solitary life in these parts for some thirty years. Three long days of motoring south reaching Kelsea Bay, (not much there but no charge either and plugged in for the night), and Campbell River Friday. Waited for the tide at Brown Bay and then proceeded through Seymour Narrows half hour before slack in what was something of an anti-climactic passage, (given its reputation. Being early is recommended and I found out why as the next ten miles were really rough culminating in seven foot seas and 30 knot winds as the wind met the oncoming tide. The waves were not only very large but the period was so small that plowing through one wave you dive into the base of the next with water pouring over the decks hitting the dodger and over my head. (me tucked into the companion way sitting on a swinging fender and using the auto-pilot to steer). I was glad to finally reach the sea wall at Campbell River Discovery Marina. (also n/c as it worked out as they closed before I got there and opened after I left with the 7am tide.
Now here I sit in Powell River with Lorna flying in tomorrow. On the way here we stopped in a cove wanting to explore a rocky island covered in birds and sea-lions, (the big ones). Unfortunately a couple emerged to tell us under no circumstances could a dog come ashore. I can see why with thousands of birds nesting there and seals everywhere. I tried to explain that my old boxer wouldn't hurt a fly but the old lady was adamant.(I have no idea what authority she had but I didn't argue. )
Here in Powell River I got to the fuel dock with a strong south wind, (the kind that blows right in here) and topped up the tank. Called the Westview Marina to get a slip and was surprised to hear a girls voice on the radio as Dave usually runs the place. This young lady didn't want to leave her office so docking was a Trick as she assigned me a leeward slip so the wind blows the bow off the dock as I am securing the stern. Got it done though and took Boaz, the laundry and toiletries to shower. By the time I got back, showered, (including Boaz), my back was hurting along with most of my muscles, my body telling me it has had enough. sailing is hard work!
Still to do, sheets and blankets, wash down the boat before Lorna arrives. Tomorrow we restock and Sunday head north to Desolation Sound hopefully in sunshine and fair winds. After hours of scrubbing with Mr Clean I deemed the boat ready for a woman's sensitivities but when I spotted one, (a woman that is), I thought I had better ask if she would step into the boat and have a sniff. She was accompanied by her husband I hasten to ad, exploring the docks with their young child. She seemed pleased too get a chance to see the Hunter and I had it spic and span. After a minute she emerged with a look, (wrinkled nose look) and suggested I buy scented candles. I guess a month of accumulated man and dog living in a boat through rain and sun was a little beyond the reach on Mr Clean. Powell River had arranged to welcome Lorna with their annual prawn festival hosted by our marina! So we had an evening of good food and live music among the hundreds of folk who showed up. The wind blew hard and the band had chosen the end of a very long dock to set up so batten down the hatches but the locals are hardy and partied hardy all evening. I met one character self described as "the only 350 lb pirate in Powell River. He regaled me with 30 straight minutes of local knowledge including the story of Harwood Island managed by first nations and desolate without any structures. This because they expect the island to, "flip over any day now". He, (the pirate), explained that Indian lore reports Harwood suddenly showed up one day where there had been only water and will disappear again in like manner.
Sunday morning Lorna and I went to Westview Baptist church where the theme was about Christ the Rock and distinctly mariner. All the scenes and verses about wind and waves reminded me that the Lord can still the waters and He is not far. Never go sailing without Him!
We set off for Desolation Sound with the wind on the nose, again, and wound up in Tenados Bay for two nights. Monday we sailed to Roscoe and Tuesday to Laura Cove where we had the place to our selves. I did some fishing but nothing came of it, fortunately we had bought prawns from a commercial boat and what a feast! (when do you ever get your fill of prawns in garlic butter?) Thursday 6am we set course under sunny skies and calm seas for Powell River and our way back south. For the first time I see the end of this trip now into its fifth week for me. I admit it now seems more than just a blink of the eye, I am ready to return to my landlubbing.
The tide was with us and we actually made the full 36 miles to Ballet Bay only three hours from Smuggler Cove our next stop. Ballet is a good stop mid-way along the Sunshine Coast sheltered but built up with cottages. (watch for the rock!).
Monday June 10 and I am finishing this "log" while sipping coffee in my favorite Starbucks. Coquitlam seems oh so civilized and home oh so comfortable.
We left Ballet Bay Friday to strong winds and waves both directly on the bow so our three hour sail to Smuggler turned into six hours of hard work. Amazing how entering the cove is like entering w whole different world of calm and peaceful beauty ... Good to be back in Smuggler Cove, the prettiest place on the planet. Looking to catch the tide and beat the afternoon winds we left early the next morning and made for Gibsons, specifically Plumper cove off Keats Island. Plumper is pretty but rolly polly and hard to sleep in with the boat rolling side to side. In the morning we helped a fellow sailor to get his motor started, (dead battery), and set sail for home finally enjoying a favorable wind on a broad reach. Seeing the city I had to admit that 38 days aboard Andante was quite enough for me, (and for Boaz the Boxer). We arrived at Reed Point Marina in Port Moody fiveish and headed for a Big Mac!
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