Today I didn’t see much, most of the day was spent in fog.  I rounded Cape Scott at the top of Vancouver Island less than half a mile off but it remained invisible, shrouded in fog.  Of course fog meant little wind so I motored from Bull Harbour around to Sea Otter Cove on the West side of Vancouver Island.  Nearly all the way the visibility was less than a quarter of a mile.  Disappointing as I would like to have seen the coast close up.

Boat appears out of fog Ray Penson
Boat appears out of fog Ray Penson

Entering Sea Otter Cove was a bit tricky, passing between unseen reefs in the fog until finally the entrance appeared at the last minute when I saw the surf breaking on the shore.  Once inside the cove the sun came out and revealed the beauty of the place.  However, shortly after anchoring the wind blew hard from the northwest with rain and postponed my intention to go ashore for an explore.  To compensate I made pancakes.

I had a close encounter when a large humpback whale appeared right ahead out of the fog and then sounded just under the bow.  I watched as the whale tail came out of the water and slid down vertically and disappeared right in front of me.  Of course it happened so fast and unexpectedly I didn’t have time to take a photo.

Running the boat in fog is always trying when singe handed, especially on this coast where a constant watch has to be kept for logs as well as other ships.  The radar can detect other vessels but floating logs are too low in the water and don’t reflect a signal so aren’t picked up on radar.  Today I saw a complete tree floating along with seabirds using it as a resting place.

The sea was teaming with wildlife, thousands of seabirds, whales, sea otters, and seals.  The sea otters around here appear to be the largest I have seen so far, larger than their Alaskan cousins.

I am looking forward to travelling down the west coast of Vancouver Island to Victoria.  A route I have travelled many times before on big ships, in and out of the Juan de Fuca strait, but always at a distance.  Now I have the opportunity to see it close up.  Total voyage distance 725.3 miles.


Today Ngozi and I had some quality time together in Hoonah.  Once the usual chores of laundry, provisioning and maintenance were out of the way we went for a walk around Hoonah.  Its not a big place so its not a difficult mission but the locals are friendly and always have time for a chat so it’s a pleasant experience.

Walking around Hoonah
Walking around Hoonah

In the evening we visited Icy Strait Brewing again to sample the latest brew.  It’s pretty strong stuff and after three glasses each we felt no pain.

Ngozi is flying out to New Zealand tomorrow morning, it has been fantastic to have company again but the time has gone too quickly.  I will be sorry to see her go.  We have been very lucky with the weather, beautiful calm warm days and balmy nights.  We have experienced the Glaciers calving, whales feeding and a whole range of wildlife – apart from bears.  It’s been a unique experience for both of us.

Tomorrow I will start the next voyage south from Hoonah to Victoria BC.  I haven’t decided which route south to take yet, maybe the weather will decide for me in the morning.  Total Voyage distance 1,632.8 miles.


“Truce lying to a mooring at Canoe Cove’ Photo Ray Penson
“Truce lying to a mooring at Canoe Cove’ Photo Ray Penson

All very peaceful today at the mooring in Canoe Cove, this morning.

I jumped on a bust to Victoria and then to Sidney to do some grocery shopping, thought it was time I had some fresh veg and fruit.

This afternoon spent doing small jobs around the boat.

I the past few days I have had a lot of things going wrong, fuses burning, lights going out and of course the engine stopping.

Its just frustrating to keep having to react to things going wrong.

Hopefully I can get a mechanic to look at the engine tomorrow, they are of course very busy this time of year and don’t really want to be bothered by small jobs.

I suspect it’s the fuel pump that has thrown the towel in. Monday tomorrow and I remember exactly one week ago I thought we would be sailing on Wednesday.

Lets hope we will sail before this coming Wednesday.

Logged 17th April 2016