EL CAPITANO PASSAGE

We anchored overnight in Marble Bay, where there is a mine, marble I guess.  The day started flat calm and the sun shone.  The air was cool but by nine in the morning it was warm enough for shorts and t shirt.  Taking advantage of the warmth I opened up the boat, all hatches, carpet and bedding out in the sun, a good cleaning and airing and now everything is fresh again.

Prince of Wales Island.
Prince of Wales Island.

Also did a bake, had fresh bread with cheese for lunch, sitting in the cockpit, with a Lighthouse Special Bitter Ale.  Perfect.

Today was an afternoon sailing to transit El Capitano Passage.  This passage is little known and has a seven foot depth for a twenty meter width.  It seems a lot less than twenty meters wide but its well-marked, we transited at high tide so there was plenty of water.

Along the passage are numerous bays and islands with Sea Otters and Eagles everywhere.  We were the only vessel in the passage and I only saw one other boat, a fishing vessel, all day.  I really enjoyed this passage, a very beautiful and magical place, its one of the highlights of the voyage so far.

El Capitano Passage, Dry Pass. Feels less than 20m wide. Photo Ray Penson
El Capitano Passage, Dry Pass. Feels less than 20m wide. Photo Ray Penson

It was another motoring day, what little wind there was came from ahead.  This evening we have anchored in Sarker Cove, off a long abandoned gold mining town called Deweyville.  From the boat I can’t see much of the town, just a couple of rotten huts.  I will explore further in the morning.

Deweyville Anchorage where I hooked a wire. Photo Ray Penson
Deweyville Anchorage where I hooked a wire. Photo Ray Penson

When coming into the anchorage I was just about to anchor when there was a great commotion just astern.  A seal had got a fish on the surface and an eagle was trying to get it.  I am not sure who got the fish first, the Eagle I suspect.  Whatever, the seal won the prize and the eagle took off and perched in his tree just astern of where we anchored.

There are deer on the edge of the trees, they come out and munch on the grass by the shoreline and then retreat back into the woods.  I saw them doing the same thing in the early evening in Red Bay a few days ago.  Total voyage distance 904.3 miles.

Logged 8th June 2016

OTTERS AND JELLYFISH

The weather blew all night and into today.  A gale warning in place so I decided to sit another day in the cosy anchorage and carry on doing bits and bobs.  The sun came out and the weather was beautiful out of the wind.  I completely filled my day with activities and the time flew by.

River Otter
River Otter

I spent some time watching a River Otter fishing around the boat, he came very close and didn’t see me in the cockpit.  I wanted to take a photo but knew if I moved he would be gone.  There are also some weasel like creatures running around in the woods.  I don’t know what they are but there entertaining.

The mother of all jelly Fish turned up, never seen anything like it.  It looked disgusting, like a big blob of putrefied matter, the colour was yellow changing to orange and red with long thick dark red coloured tentacles.  The thing was very mobile and swimming around not like the usual blobby Jelly Fish.  Just the one.

Some Jellyfish. Photo Ray Penson
Some Jellyfish. Photo Ray Penson

I bought some petrol in Bella Bella to try running the outboard.  Hey presto, it ran this afternoon.  I now need to check the gear oil and get some two stroke oil and I will have a motorised pig.

It’s a full moon tonight and a near five-meter tide.  I reckon that means the weather will be calm tomorrow morning before the forecast North Westerly gale sets in.  If it looks good I will get away early and make some headway before the headwinds kick in.

Logged 20th May 2016. Image: http://www.mnn.com

OVERCAST, WET, COLD AND DAMP

A really grey and overcast morning and raining but nice and calm.  We caught the tide through Jackson Narrows this morning and proceeded up Jacksons passage – sounds weird.  The highlight of today was a call at the village of Klemtu.

Klemtu is a village on the inside passage route.  There was not much going on, a couple of guys sitting around in the café and not many people out and about.  Very quiet, not really surprising for a wet Sunday.  I got some WiFi at the café and paid for it by ordering a Chinese takeaway, I should have known better and it became fish food.

Klemtu Welcome - seen better times. Photo Ray Penson
Klemtu Welcome – seen better times. Photo Ray Penson

I took the opportunity to top up with fresh water from a hose on the dock.  There was a salmon fish farm boat at the dock as well.  I had an interesting chat with the skipper who showed me how they syphon up the salmon, stun them, cut the gills to bleed them and load them into a cold water hold.  This hold gets sucked ashore through a huge hose into the processing plant.  All this activity is mechanised, truly industrial fish farming.

After exhausting the attractions of Klemtu I set off north and into a position to transit Meyers Narrows tomorrow.  Meyers narrows are at the bottom of Princess Royal Island and will take me out to the West Coast and away from the usual inside passage track.  The tidal information is a bit confusing for the narrows, I have two different times of slack water.

Boat Bluff Light. Photo Ray Penson
Boat Bluff Light. Photo Ray Penson

To further confuse matters the tide at my anchorage, 3 miles away, is turning 3 hours before high water.  I will just give it a go and if I have to wait for slack or more water that’s OK.  It’s quite a shallow rock and weed infested passage according to the chart, looks challenging.

My anchorage this evening is quite exposed between an island and the shore.  The bay that I had chosen to anchor in proved too deep unfortunately.  I am now perched on a rocky outcrop for the night.

Klemtu Village and Harbour. Photo Ray Penson
Klemtu Village and Harbour. Photo Ray Penson

Total voyage distance 457.1 miles.

Logged 15th May 2016