Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 8-Port Hardy to Klemtu

The much anticipated rounding of Cape Caution went off without a hitch!  I awoke at 4:30 to check the morning weather forecast and current conditions at a number of locations on our planned route.  Everything looked perfect except for the size of the seas at the West Sea Otter buoy.  At 5.9 feet (at 10 sec), they were running a fair bit bigger than the guidebook suggested.  They were trending downward, though, and I made the call to go for it.

As we cruised out of Hardy Bay the sun was rising over Queen Charlotte Strait and the mainland.  The wind was calm and the seas were glassy.  Perfect.  I set the throttle at 4200 RPM (about 15 knots) and we were off running.

Fish blood coming from the troller?
Whatever it was, it made the water all around us bright red

Conditions stayed fairly calm throughout the morning.  As we got north of the shelter of Vancouver Island, a 3-4 foot westerly swell developed, but they were spaced far apart and didn’t slow us down.  We saw seals lounging upside down, some whales in the distance, and a whole lot of boat traffic.  I guess everyone was eager to move after two days of gales.

By the time we were into Fitz Hugh Sound the wind had picked up and we had some moderate head seas.  Nothing too bad, but not the most comfortable.  We still easily made 10 knots.

By 12:45 we were tied up at New Bella Bella’s fuel dock, waiting for the attendant to return from lunch.  We wandered around town a bit and stretched our legs.  New Bella Bella is a reasonably large first nations community, and based on the number of working aged people sitting around midday on a weekday,  it seemed like unemployment is a problem.  Not too much to see, really.

The fuel dock attendant was back at 1:00 and I look on 163.5 liters of gas at $1.42 per liter.  Not too bad a price, really, and I was expecting prices to be a fair bit higher.  After fueling up we headed out, not really sure where we would spend the night but knowing that we wanted to make some more miles.  Soon we found ourselves pounding into a short, steep chop and strong headwind.  By the time we got near the west entrance to Seaforth Channel we had 4-5 foot swells with a 3 foot wind chop on top, by far the worst conditions of the trip so far.  Lots of pounding, but the boat felt secure the whole time there was never any concern about our safety.  We ducked into Reid Passage and found calmer water the rest of the way to Klemtu.

We had originally planned to anchor a bit further north, but decided a dock and place to walk would be nice after such a long day.  There’s not much in Klemtu, but their dock looked adequate and roads to walk on were inviting.  We stayed on the fuel dock, since it was closed when we arrived and would be closed when we left in the morning.  The only downside was the fishing boat in front of us.  It was offloading its catch to the fish processing plant and then seemed to be cleaning its holds…the stuff that came out was pretty gross!

We didn’t see many other cruising boats after we got into Fitz Hugh Sound.  A couple of sailboats, a 25’ Ranger Tug, one 60’ish foot motoryacht, and a group of four Grand Banks at anchor.

Today was the longest day yet.

140.4 nm today and 457.2 total  

No comments :

Post a Comment