Saturday, August 25, 2012

Day 82-Oliver Cove to Shearwater

I woke up fairly early today and got underway for Shearwater.  I had seen just about everything there was to see in Oliver Cove, and figured it would be nice to have more time in Shearwater.  That, and the fact that some of the worst weather I’ve had this whole trip was an afternoon in Seaforth Channel on the way up to Alaska, provided good motivation to get moving before the afternoon winds filled in.

Sure enough, the trip down Reid Passage and through Seaforth Channel was as easy as could be.  The ocean swells topped with several feet of chop that made Seaforth Channel so miserable last time were thankfully absent.

Traffic increased markedly as I got closer to Shearwater and New Bella Bella.  Lots of fishing boats, several yachts, and a massive Holland America cruise ship returning from Alaska.  Notably, I heard on the satellite radio that the Baranof Wind tour boat I had been on in Glacier Bay ran aground and the passengers were all evacuated onto a Holland America ship.  I wonder if the same crew was running the boat as when I was on it?

The guidebook said Shearwater doesn’t have potable water, and though I probably had enough to make it down to Sullivan Bay in the Broughton’s, I swung into New Bella Bella to top off the tank before making my way over to Shearwater.

Just about everything is more expensive in BC than it was in Alaska.  Moorage in Shearwater was no exception.  The going rate in Alaska was $0.35 per foot plus $5 for power.  BC seems to average $1.25 per foot, plus $5-40 for power.  Internet was an additional $11 in Shearwater and the connection was painfully slow.  40 minutes to download email headers is outrageous!

Soon after I arrived I got the oil changed in the engine and caught up with several people I had seen earlier in the trip.  Chris, a 30-something computer programmer bought a decades old Bayliner sailboar in Haines for $500 and is moving down to Seattle for the winter.  I first saw him in Petersburg, then Wrangell and then Prince Rupert.  Boats of all types cruise the Inside Passage without too much difficulty.  It’s just a matter of carefully choosing when to tackle the rougher sections of the trip.

Later in the evening a big group from the dock went up to the pub.  Among the group was a  guy from Vancouver who built his own electric car (he’s rabidly anti-oil, but when I asked him how often he sails he said less than 10% of the time.  Go figure…) and a 75 year old guy named Tony who bought a boat a few years back after his wife died.  He’s from Manchester, England originally but has lived in Vancouver for decades.  He hadn’t sailed before, but his wife’s passing was evidently a wakeup call and he decided to have fun while he can.

19.3 nm today and 2,740 total

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