Wed, June 4
Monday, June 9, 2008
Wed, June 4
Sun. June 1 Patterson Inlet
Drat! the mid-morning VHF broadcast announcing upcoming gales got our attention. We headed to a more protected, inside route - and passed a Canadian coast guard cutter heading outside on patrol. Environment Canada puts out extensive forecasts 4 times a day, supplementing them with almost hourly wind/wave/swell height updates from lighthouses and buoys. This really helps with route planning and the occasional decision to just stay anchored for a day or two.
100+ white-sided Pacific dolphin cruised Blackfish Sound with us, but showed no interest in playing with the boat. They were too busy feeding. Just the memory of those sparkling black and white bodies leaping and slicing through the water makes me smile! Finally, several dolphin pods traveling Nepean Sound broke away to ride the bow wake.
Patterson Inlet looked like the best anchorage in southerly gales. Entering in mid-afternoon, we had time to anchor -- and re-anchor -- in the southerly arm. (ask the captain for additional information, I’m not talking.) The weather front must have stalled, because we only recorded moderate wind gusts.
Mon. June 2 Patterson Inlet
The predicted gale arrived this morning, but not inside our bay. A weather station west of us reported 40 knot winds with higher gusts, but we’re comfortable in light to moderate winds. That’s a good thing since we’re sitting in 90 feet of water with more than 300 feet of chain down. The captain prefers shallower water and more chain during a blow.
After years of early departures to catch the slack current at Seymour Narrows and enjoy the ebb tide in Johnstone Strait, our cruise schedule has changed. The Nobeltec “best time” ETA calculator recommended a noon departure. Okay, We can handle sleeping in and enjoying a late breakfast and one last dock walk. We headed for Farewell Hbr but hit short, ugly chop around Kelsey Bay (never a favorite place because the waters are peppered with logs, limbs and other evil flotsam). We plowed on but adjusted the destination to Port Neville. Once there we had the the dock to ourselves. Heavy current required extra stern lines and a fat bumper forward to keep the bow well away from the piling. Next time we’ll moor on an inside float. Whew! The “fragrance” of otter was potent, and a big otter ran the small dock, marking it repeatedly.
Ah, and then the temptations of store displays grabbed me. Nope, that cast iron bread baking pot definitely was not on the buy list, but it DID call my name as I toured my favorite Campbell River kitchen shop. Come to think of it, that shop wasn’t on my errand list either. Storage is always an issue aboard, so multipurposing is a bonus. I'll know that this is truly a bread pot, but it might also see a fine mess of Betsy's baked beans, a baked pasta something, or even shellfish with some chorizo, wine, tomatoes and herbs. OK, now I'm hungry.
Boat projects and provisioning fill up the days, and the project list keeps growing. This is not a good sign. Autopilot repair has turned into autopilot replacement, and now the boat interior looks like a tornado hit and scrambled things from room to room.Meanwhile I shopped. Eight boxes of groceries and “stuff” later, I stood at the top of the very steep ramp wondering why I had returned at a super low tide. The crew at the water taxi shack came to my rescue, used their ATV and cart to deliver the groceries to the boat. Cost? one batch of homemade cookies.