Week 21 22 – 28 May 2017 Tenedos Bay, Desolation Sound – Pearse Island Queen Charlotte Strait 124 nm
22 May Monday Tenedos Bay – Prideaux Havem and Laura Bay 10,5 nm
We are still surprised when we wake up to a clear sky and wonderful summer temperature.
After breakfast we had some must do before we cleared our shore lines and drifted out to the anchor. We have almost forgotten our experiences from shore lines as it has been some time since last. The knot must be able to be reach from the dinghy even at ebb tide! Now we had to do some serious climbing on the slippery steep shore side.
After these adventures we motored out of Tenedos Bay and took advantage of the calm conditions to calibrated the compass and did another test of revs versus speed with the new propeller.
Coming into Pridaux Haven we were not alone! Anchored among four boats, where of one had a portable genset running on aft deck. Launched the kayak and paddled a tour among the small islands. Back in Moon we weigh anchor and motored to the next cove, Laura Bay where we had the bay almost to ourselves.
Absolutely calm and sunny. We even had a very short swim before a hot water shower on deck. The sea in Desolation have already reached 18 degrees C (65 F) so in fact it was not a great sacrifice.
23 May Tuesday Lara Cove, Pridaux Haven – Roscoe Bay, West Redonda Island 4 nm
Another summer day. Used the morning until noon getting things organised and then weigh anchor and motored towards Roscoe Bay.
There is a bar to pass to get to the inner cove that almost dries at ebb tide. We couldn’t get in before one o’clock so we used the time to slowly proceed over the strait where we had internet connection, sending e-mails.
According to all sources we should have more than 1,5 meter and rising water when we approached. We only drifted slowly with the current with Björn as a bow watch. It looked very shallow, but Annika was reading 2,5 m on the echo sounder. OK must be the clarity of the water making it looking that shallow. Two seconds later we were stuck with almost no sound from below, in fact we weren’t really sure, so unfortunately we tried to reverse, making it worse. Now we came across the current and had to wait 20 minutes to get afloat again. Now the current brought as sideways into the lagoon. The only problem was to make sure the rudder didn’t hit the sloop near shore. We had a sharp outlook, this time over the stern with one hand on the lever ready to engage the engine if we came too close.
How could this happen? It turns out that the offset setting in the echo sounder ( 1 m) had got the same setting on two different places in the software, giving us an indication of 2,5 m instead of 1,5 m. So of course with a draft of 1,5 m we are on the ground when the depth is 1,5!
Coming into the lagoon we could do our normal survey of the bottom in our 5:1 scoop radius and set the anchor with perfect holding, extra good as Liv would come in later (draft 1,9m) and raft.
Later we had some clouds and even a little rain.
24 May Wednesday Roscoe Bay Walsh Cove 11 nm
We had a slow morning with some small work after breakfast. We had planned to visit the little lake that can be reached from the bottom of the bay in the afternoon. Because we couldn’t leave the bay before rising tide late afternoon we had plenty of time.
After lunch we put the outboard on the dinghy and together with Liv we drove to the shore. The trail was more or less covered with trees fallen down this winter. But we managed to reach the lake and walk another couple of hundred meters. But further on the trail got lost in old and new fallen trees, impossible to get by and still find the trail. We turned back to the dinghy and Moon after only a short exercise. Hopefully there will be some cleaning up before high season.
Three o’clock it was time to weigh anchor and approach the bar, but now at high water there was a queue. We waited for three boats coming in very slow with the current before we could get out.
We weren’t in a hurry because we planned not to go further than Toba Inlet and “Wilderness Resort” where we wanted to have dinner and spend the night at the pontoon.
We motored for two hours in no wind up Waddington Channel and coming out in Pryce Channel with Toba Inlet on our starboard side. We got a choppy sea and strong wind on our bow, blowing up Toba Inlet. Now we could reach the resort by VHF and discovered that they were closed until first of June! OK turned around and into Waddington and back to Walsh Cove and spend the night on anchor.
The calm condition and sunset in the cove was much better than the nasty wind towards the resorts pontoons in Pryce Channel, so maybe there was a reason for us not having a restaurant dinner.
25 May Thursday Walsh Cove – Octopus Island 21,5 nm
Early start to get down Waddington Channel before the afternoon wind picks up.
Breakfast under way, and what different water Waddington and Toba Inlet was this morning. The water was like a mirror and the tide with us. We had the tide following us the hole day along the three different channels we used to get to Hole in the Wall. The pass in Hole in the Wall is in it’s western end and the pilots are rising quite a warning (again) for passing outside slack. Max current on ebb tide (the way we were going) is 10 knots and flood is 12 knots. Of course we can’t deal with that, only doing max eight knots at full speed. But one or two hours before flood would probably be doable. We had almost spring, but we thought the bottom in the pass looked quite even and relatively deep so we opted for not to wait for slack.
We had five knots two hours before slack and made it through “in no time”, lot of turbulence but no problems whatsoever adjusting our coarse over ground.
On the other side of the pass we could look west into Upper Narrows where a boat came through navigating the standing waves. We turned south east into Octupus Islands, a small archipelago with lots of small islands giving us total protection from whatever wind direction and current.
Coming around a corner we found a Canadian Nauticat anchored in “our” cove. Motoring close around and into next cove they hailed us on VHF telling us that they were only waiting for slack in Upper Narrows and were leaving in minutes. Fine! We turned around and put our anchor in our planned “hole” just as they left.
Liv came minutes after we had set the anchor and had our fenders out ready for rafting.
It’s a good thing with AIS, we don’t have to chatter on VHF telling each other where we are!
We were ahead of our schedule and had coffee in the cockpit in Liv before we later had our salad lunch.
Then Annika washed port rub rail and gave it some impregnation/sealer before we launched the kayak and had a nice tour among the islands in the sunshine.
We have plenty of time because the tide in the channel and narrows on our way to and up Johnston Strait isn’t good before early Saturday morning. We are by now “experienced” Johnston Strait travellers, knowing that the afternoon isn’t the time to go north in the strong northerly afternoon gale.
On Saturday slack in Upper and Lower Narrows, that we are going to pass in Okisollo Channel to get to Johnston, is early morning, giving us following current until after noon and that will hopefully bring us all the way to Port Harvey in Havannah Channel. So we had two days to spend in these lowly surroundings.
Spend whole afternoon kayaking around. With the kayak we can get much closer to the wildlife compared with the big boat, or a noisy dinghy. A racoon was searching for food on a beach when we slowly came gliding. It had difficulties to decide if we were a threat or not. Standing on his back bones twice to have a better view before he decided to slowly retreat. By then we were only fifteen meters out from the beach.
In the evening we had barbecue using the Magma on Liv.
26 May Friday Octupus Islands – Owen Bay 3 nm
Sunshine from a clear sky when we woke up, but cooler than yesterday until the sun came higher.
The plan for today was to go through Upper Narrows and anchor in Owen Bay.
Breakfast and some work. Annika continued dismantling the WhisperGen and Björn tried to catch up with the English blog. Just before noon we had slack in Upper Narrows, weigh anchor and use the last of the west going current to bring us through.
Thanks to the current the tree miles to Owen Bay was made in no time and shortly we were anchored and had a late lunch. After another hour we took the dinghy ashore to have a walk and look at the rapids from shore.
A few houses along the road before we turned into the forest on an almost hidden trail to get to the “cape” between Hole in the Wall and Upper Narrows. We could see Upper Narrows on our right hand as we were approaching the cape where Hole in the Wall “T” out in Okisollo Channel and Upper Narrows. A quite spectacular place to watch the forces of nature. At the cape we could look at both narrows and now, being flood tide and full “song”, it was not a place to be for a sailboat with low power.
Two fish boats with big outboards came through against the current, but even if they seemed to have local knowledge, they had difficulties to overcome big standing waves.
Back in our boats we had a rest in the sunny afternoon.
The big advantage with rafting is that suddenly you are invited for a sundowner. In the sunny weather we for the first time had Campari. Now it’s really summer time!
After the big barbeque dinner yesterday, we only had potlock with cheese, prosciutto ham, vegetables, pears, freshly baked bread and crackers. A given bottle of Pinot Noir was served. We don’t feel bad at all!
As we had a plan for an early departure with the tide tomorrow we had an early retreat back to Moon.
27 May Saturday Owen Bay – Port Harvey 49 nm
The alarm was set to 5:30, but we were up before that and prepared for departure. Already fifteen minutes before six we saw an AIS target navigate Lower Narrows and because of that we immediately weigh anchor and left the bay to get going as fast as possible, not to lose time coming out in Johnstone Strait.
Out in the narrows we could establish that the time for slack was too late in the table, because we had already before six o’clock the current with us.
No drama following the fairway, in spite the pilot recommend a detour behind some islands and through a bay to avoid the narrows and that was what the boat we saw on the AIS did.
We were making six knots through water, and with increasing current we did extremely good progress. Sometimes 12,5 knots over ground! But out in Johnstone it was hard to keep into the following current. Suddenly we hit a whirl pool and had a knot against for a while.
Thanks to our great speed we managed to stay out of the afternoon gale in Johnston and could anchor in Port Harvey just as the tide turned to flood in Johnstone. We calculated the average speed during our 49 nm to 7,5 knots. In the anchorage we could during the afternoon feel a little of the now blowing gale out in Johnstone. It’s really important to know what’s going on to be able to have a comfortable trip and not to be in a hurry!
The only misfortune during the day was that we couldn’t get the radar going when we got fog in Johnstone. Out there we suddenly got two kayakers in front of us in the fairway for the big ships! We saw them not more than 50 meters in front of us. Hope they know what they were doing!
We used the water maker for the first time this season with good result. Lots of motoring gives a lot of excess electricity and we consumed some baking bread and making lots of good drinking water.
As we arrived just after lunch we had a lazy afternoon and even a nap before dinner in Liv.
28 May Sunday Port Harvey – Pears Islands 25 nm
Early start, not to be compared with yesterday, to be able to get through the rest of Johnstone before the tide change to flood and the wind picks up.
We got going shortly after eight to be able to have following current the 25 nm to Pears Island where we planned to anchor before the tide and wind turned around.
Out in Johnstone we got 12 knots of wind over the stern. We hoist sails and sail for an hour before the wind diminished. Because we had to get going not to be caught by the tide and northerly wind predicted for the afternoon, we had to engage the engine again.
Half past eleven, with an hour to go to the tide change, we arrived to our anchorage between five small islands that form a nice “pond”, protected from almost all directions. We used this spot in October going south.
Stina made lunch using leftovers from the last days and after that we took the kayak for a tour around the islands. We were well aware that it could be challenging due to the current and wind, but we thought it was doable. After an hour along the beaches and through narrows that sometimes became white water down streams, it was time to go back against the tide and eventually the wind. First narrow we tried we succeeded to use back current along the shore all the way to the short narrow final with no back current. Impossible to overcome the strong current. We were “thrown” back by the current and had to go for another “narrows”, the one we used with Moon, but that was before the tide changed…
Same procedure, using the back current paddling to the “high speed water” Annika went ashore pulling the kayak through while Björn used the paddle to keep the kayak off the rocks. The first narrows had no shore, only steep sides into the water.
Coming through Annika could get back into the kayak and we manage to paddle against wind and current the remaining five hundred meters to Moon. Quite good exercise! We had all the time a safe plan – waiting for the slack. But that meant three hours and a very late dinner!
Spent the afternoon trying to understand what’s wrong with our radar. Although we dismantled everything that is connected to the radar down in the boat we couldn’t find anything that indicated what was wrong. Have to deal with the radar dome when we are at a pontoon.
Had a nice barbecue in the setting sun, a sun that had accompanied us since Desolation Sound a week ago.
But the water temperature has gone down! Only 9 degrees (45 F). Sure we have more fog to come!
Annika & Björn