FIORDLAND – WEEK 5
Shearwater to Ocean Falls via Kenoch Inlet
“THAR SHE BLOWS!!” Whale spouts in Mathieson Channel!! Got so excited I bumped the cockpit table holding my coffee and added the rest of my java to the teak treatment. While eavestroughing on the VHF to the Ocean and Fisheries Aircraft Patrol chatting with a Tugboat Captain who had reported a whale caught in fishing gear, and how they wildlife respone team had freed it and sent the humpback on it’s way with a tracking device, which was followed for 4 days to make sure it was ok, we got thinking maybe this was the same whale (is that what is called a run-on sentence)??
Mathieson Channel is 36 nautical miles long leading to our destination of Kenoch Inlet. We had hit some heavy rain along the way which deteriorated to dense fog so we pulled into James Bay on Pooley Island. Sideways Sally’s brain was feeling a little soggy by this point and she started up with some “Pooley Island whine”. If your familiar with Peelee Island Wine you’ll get the pun.
After spotting that illusive humpback we named him Herbert after my “little” brother. This is a fitting name cause humpbacks aren’t so little and niether is Herbie. Things get a little quiet out here so we have to make our own entertainment OK! So in the middle of the “whine” about the rain and fog Herbert was a welcome distraction. Unfortunely we didn’t get a close sighting of him that day.
Mother Nature had enough of my whining and after an afternoon at anchor in the fog, decided to drag out some sunshine for the evening. WOW, that lifted the fog and the spirits on OMOO!!
The barometer was rising and the next day at Kenoch Inlet was fabulous!! The pics speak for themselves. Waterfalls galour and snowy mountain peaks are what Fiordland is all about.
A friendly guy named Rick on “Mariah” from California took me for a rip through the narrows into Culpepper Lagoon. The entrance is shallow but on his skiff the depth sounder registered 20′ in the middle at low water slack. The lagoon is quite large and deep with a couple of possibilities for anchoring but we decided not to take OMOO in. We wanted to see more of the area and would be waiting for high water slack to transit in and out.
We were treated that night in Windy Bay in Sheep Passage. Just as we were remarking on the absence of more marine life, when guess who showed up!! We could hear Herbert before we saw him, and there he was in the middle of the bay. He fished for awhile on the opposite shore, too far away for good photos, but gave us a good show of his long sleek body and even tho he’s a baleen whale (feeds on krill and schools of small fish), Herbert made the seals in the bay a little nervous. These guys did not want to be lunch!
Today we are enjoying a lazy day on the dock at Ocean Falls, with wifi, electrical, fresh water and anticipation of seeing the majectic scenery. Right now, it’s windy, rainy and foggy. In the belly of OMOO it’s roasty toasty, the coffee is on, and we’re checking out the return route via Burke Channel, then to Dawson Landing in Rivers Inlet, or if we find the one remaining saloon in this ghost town of O.F. AND it’s open, we may hang out there!! Well, Sideways will check it out!!