Sunday, June 28, 2015

We are Cautious at Cape Caution -- 6/20/2015

After a good night’s sleep at Port McNeil, we are up at 3:42A, Herb turns on the coffee maker and heater to warm the cabin against the 50 degree outside temp.  Life is good.  A 5 o’clock start sees the sailboat docked in front of Nudibranch leaving first, then Herb and I hand Ray his lines and follow him out of the harbour of North Island Marina in the misty dawn.

We turn into Broughton Strait which leads west to Queen Charlotte Strait, with Vancouver Island on our port side and Malcolm Island on our starboard.

A 5 knot speed enables us to see a safe distance ahead through the fog, and the white flashing beacon at Graeme Point is a helpful navigation aid.  Once out a ways we increase to 7 knots.

Nudibranch in Fog

Nudibranch passing Graeme Point

 Barge with Fuel Tank, Superior

Kelp Beds - Nuisance

Now Herb sets the speed at 12 knots to make our way past Cape Caution while the winds are at the predicted light until late afternoon.    Here it is worth mentioning that Vancouver Island is narrowing as we approach the northern end – and the Broughton Islands and many finger peninsulas of the mainland of BC are on the starboard.

Our heading is NNW across the Strait toward Cape Caution, which is the western most point of BC and on a parallel with the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
It is cloudy and a fine mist spots the windshield, as I look out at flat calm seas that begin to gently swell.  

The photo of the map shows Queen Charlotte Strait, and we are at this moment by the "L" of Charlotte.

Our estimated time of arrival at Cape Caution is 9:10A, then the roughest water will be behind us. 

With the clouds and rain, the cabin cools off and Herb turns on the heater coming off the engine. 

Even in the fog, I enjoy the different surfaces of water, but hard to get a good photo.

We go east of Deserters Islands group and Echo Island.   

There is a break in the clouds ahead.  Ray sees a whale off his port bow, but we finally see something and can’t tell for sure what it is.  I think I see a bottle nose. 

Whale?  Or seal?

Now we begin to get big ocean swells 2-3 feet  in Queen Charlotte Strait, one and a half hours yet to get to Cape Caution.

We increase speed to 14 knots to smooth out some tops, and I remember the words of Toni about being glad they were past the rough water as they made their trip north last month.  

Herb sees on AIS the cruise ship Celebrity Millennium at 15 knots a few miles astern, and going to Ketchikan.

Egg Island has a white light beacon on our starboard.  Ocean swells are now 2 feet with a lite chop. 

Now Rounding Cape Caution
Nudibranch in the Swells

Construction Barge

Logs, Logs, Logs!

It is bright sunny now through the helm door, with low billowy clouds at the horizon.  Their shapes suggest an upper level wind.  Swells are more gentle now and seas rippled off Cape Calvert at the southern tip of Calvert Island on our port.  We are 30 minutes from our inland destination for day. 

There must be good mud or sand in Fury Cove, as anchoring is easy at near noon, and we find a spot on the northwest side at a depth of 25 ft at low tide and 35 at high.  Herb let out 130 feet of rode.    We see two power boats and a sailboat, but there is room for more.  Before long the American Tug leaves, then the other power boat heads for her next adventure.

Sonar of our Anchorage

This is a really neat spot all tucked away from the main stream of channel traffic, and with a vantage view of interesting vessels moving about.  A cruise ship from Alaska heads south, and Herb identifies it as Disney Wonder, the one Kenny took to Sitka recently.

Uh, oh, a little problem with the Torqeedo motor -- it won't start!  Did it get too damp last night?  Or is it some other problem?   Never fear -- With Herb's earlier experience in electronics, he knows something about rheostats, and soon the motor is working again.  He gives me a thumbs up! and will be on his way to check his crab trap.

 Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, June 20, 2015

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