Thursday, June 7, 2012

Day 6 & 7-Port Hardy

The last few days have been spent tied to the dock in Port Hardy.  Port Hardy is the northernmost community on Vancouver Island and the jumping off point for many boats heading around Vancouver Island or north past Cape Caution.  Backpackers also come through here on their way to the North Coast Trail and a sizable commercial fishing fleet is based here.  Sport fishing, similarly, seems like a big summer industry, but the charter boats haven’t been too busy the last few days.

The view from the dock could be much worse...
...but the docks are a bit lopsided when the tide is out.

We’ve been here waiting out some nasty weather.  Winds just north of us (where we are going) have been gusting higher than 40 knots and Environment Canada issued gale warnings yesterday and today.  The West Sea Otter weather buoy has been reporting seas up to 8 feet at 10 seconds.

We've seen a ton of eagles here in Port Hardy.  Below are a couple of pictures of an eagle eating a dead fish...and another eagle wanting some too.  The second eagle wasn't quickly chased off.

The weather is looking like it will calm down this afternoon somewhat and further calm down overnight.  We’re tentatively planning a very early departure tomorrow morning for our rounding of Cape Caution before the afternoon winds pick up.  Several other boats on the dock have the same plan. 

We met an interesting older gentleman from Indianola, WA the day we arrived in Prince Rupert.  He’s cruising on his 1960’s vintage Grand Banks 42, but did the trip from Olympia to Skagway and back in a 16-foot runabout in 1982, and in three weeks no less!  Lots of good stories from him, and our boat is certainly more comfortable and safer than his.  And I have a whole lot more time.

We’ll try to move fast the rest of the way up to Prince Rupert.  Too fast, actually.  I’d love to spend more time between here and Prince Rupert, but other people’s schedules preclude that.  So I’ll have to spend more time here on the way back home later this summer.  Apparently the cruising between Fitz Hugh Sound and Prince Rupert is among the most intriguing on the coast.

If we get around Cape Caution tomorrow morning, we’ll likely refuel in New Bella Bella and then keep going.  Days are long in the summer and we can make some serious miles if we need to.  Hopefully we’ll be in Prince Rupert by Sunday night where we’ll wait for a weather window to get across Dixon Entrance.  If we don’t get a decent chance to get across, Sam M. can always take a ferry across to Ketchikan to catch his flight.

Thankfully the antibiotic I got here has quickly dispensed of my sore throat and I'm feeling much better.  And if Sam M. or I get sick again, I've got another antibiotic that can be used.  By the way, Sam M. has started a blog for his summer adventures, of which this trip is just a part.  Click here to check it out.

I don’t know how much internet access we’ll have for the next few days, but we’ll try to keep the SPOT on so people can see that we’re safe and making progress.

1 comment :

  1. Glad to hear you are feeling better. We're enjoying the narrative and send our wishes for safe travels.

    Jim & Joan