From the sounds of sirens, traffic and loud neighbors in Vancouver to the dark, calm and quiet night in a bay at anchor in the Broughtons, the contrast is welcome. I slept for 12 hours.
Sideways Sally made a quick trip to Vancouver last weekend for a couple of appointments. A short flight from Port Hardy airport to Vancouver South Terminal takes all of 50 minutes. Then a taxi ride to VGH for my appointment and a short walk to my old B&B at 13th and Cambie puts me back in the heart of covidization. Donning my mask and picking my routes on quiet residential streets gave me some sense of safety.
The return flight had a delay due to technical problems so I lived in the airport from 9am to 4pm. Because of the alphabet, MS BROWN was called up early to make arrangements on cancelling my flight or rebooking. I’d chatted with Eric and Connor while waiting and we hatched the plan. I scored the last three 3 seats for myself and the two young gentlemen on the only flight north to Campbell River that day. They had to get to Port Hardy for work, so they rented a JEEP and I jumped in the back. Once we were on the road Eric drove like a bat out of hell so I made it to Port McNeill in time for dinner with the Skipper.
Yikes, I was so glad to be back on OMOO, we let the lines go at Port McNeill the next day after provisioning for the next couple of weeks. We decided on a short trip over to Sointula to plug in to the dock and do some pressure cooking and make enough meals for the next three days. This makes life a breeze, then off we went in the breeze, sailing into the Broughtons. With the forecasted NW winds to 25 knots we sought the best sheltered anchorages. We navigated through Blackfish Sound, saw a couple of blows from a distant Humpback whale, and dropped the hook behind Goat Island(no there are no goats) and then Waddington Bay. Both these anchorages are bomb proof so we had peaceful, blissful nights.
On the trip to Waddington Bay SS navigated through Village Channel and Spring Passage between small islets with eddies and currents giving us a fun ride. Retreat Passage going north gave us a pleasant sail with the jib on a broad reach. We glided past the Gilford Nation Village with it’s prominent Long House and colorful houses. As we pulled in the sail and started to motor into our anchorage between the Fox Islands, a blow RIGHT BESIDE THE BOAT just about gave me a heart attack. The Skipper steered the boat slowly away from the humpy who kept swimming along side of us, then gave us a whale tale wave and sounded, coming up on the other side about 300 feet away with a full breach and a magnificent display of power and grace. I was shaking with excitement trying to get my camera going but only caught the “tail end” of the breach. OH MY HAT, what a surprise. We calmed down eventually and got anchored in the lee of a small island inside the bay. We talked about the whale for quite awhile, these encounters are so amazingly special that it leaves one in a wonderful state of love with nature. The wind subsided by the time we fell asleep and it was a calm glassy morning on the water.
I KNOW HUMPY IS OUT THERE WAITING FOR US!! We can’t wait to see what happens today. We pulled into Echo Bay for fuel, and checked out a possible anchorage at Laura Cove. It was uninviting so we headed across to Simoon Sound with it’s sharp cliffs and promising nooks for anchoring.
Just inside the entrance to the sound, our friends Josh and Sandy approached on “The Next Chapter.” We hailed them on the VHF and stopped for a chat. They had just caught 150 prawns so were happy to share. Josh jumped in their dingy and zipped over to OMOO for the handover. What luck!!
We anchored in a fairly open spot after trying to tuck into a small bay, only to see an uncharted rock at low tide. It was too close for comfort. The conditions were calm and sunny as we enjoyed the prawns with our dinner, lavishing in luxury in the cockpit. Summer had finally made her appearance in the Broughtons and we were feeling very fortunate about that. The morning brought a low hanging fog, mystifying and deceiving. As the sun slowly rose, the shifting shapes and shades were mesmerizing to watch, and finally the “Bald Mountain” appeared with it’s prominent cliffs. There was not a cloud in the sky and the sea was calm as we headed for our next destination in Greenway Sound.
The area has been logged extensively on the low lying hills so it looks desolate. At the head of the Sound we rounded an island which the guide books say is good for anchoring. A colony of seals greeted us, perched on the rocks at low tide. They watched us with curiosity and provided an intertaining evening of grunting and moaning at eachother, possessive of the rocks they could find as the tide rose. A pod of dolphins splashed and jumped, circling the far end of the sound. Another perfectly sunny calm evening as we took our dinner into the cockpit and took in the sights.
Far removed from covidization, we are happy and comfy in the belly of OMOO, and exactly where we want to be.