Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Sunset at Potts Lagoon (July 21)

We had a nice sunset at our anchor spot in Potts Lagoon. The anchorage is shallow and after being the second boat in, it became very crowded with strong winds blowing in Clio Channel and few other good choices in the immediate area. Just off to the right are several floating homes that are very rustic, one that has has a sign advertising wilderness adventures. I think they mostly use them to come up and fish and crab. We are having continuing problems with the boat 'house' batteries, plus something has clogged the the water intake for the generator. We have been concerned for awhile about an apparent steady decrease in battery capacity. Instead of spending the day and evening at Village Island to explore the many native sights we will head to Port McNeil tomorrow to buy some tools, testing equipment, work on the boat, and hook up to shore power. Port McNeil is the largest town in these parts and is on Vancouver Isl. As a bonus we will be able to replenish our fresh food stock and maybe have a meal in a restaurant.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Misc Picture of the Broughtons


Today we finally see a pod of Orca(spelling?) whales! They were in the same area as the dolphins we saw earlier. We were able to watch them for about 20 minutes. I have put up the only picture that I could get. If you look close the two black fins are the whales. (ok I know you may need a magnafying glass, but I was on a moving boat and they were shy) While it is very beautiful it has been cold. We are thinking of leaving a little earlier than planned and head south to find some sun.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eagle Picture

We see many eagles here. In fact we almost always see or hear a pair at each place we anchor. this is a picture of one we spotted on one of our evening dingy "cruises"

What does Mazu mean anyway?

I think I should explain the name of our boat, Mazu. Mazu came while we were researching for our trip to China. The Outbounds (out boat) are made in China. We had a great tour book and one of the towns near where we were going had a statue in honor of Mazu the goddess of the sea, protector of ships and sailors. There are many folk lore stories and festivals in her honor. We felt this would be a great name for our boat. You can "google" the name and get more information, it is a very interesting folklore.

July 12 – 15 Echo Bay and Turnbill Cove

Another day is spent at Echo Bay. We take a scenic walk to visit the school (a small one-building school) It is sad as this was the last year it will be open. There were not enough students to keep it going. Like with all small communities the school becomes the heart of the community. I spoke with the teacher and she is hopeful to get a grant to make this an outdoor type of school. She is looking a partnering with some of the First Nation tribes on the Islands to see if she can make it work. I give her my email address and let her know I am willing to help in her grant writing efforts. We also visit Billy Proctors “museum” it is a collection of finds he has made while beach combing, and other misc. artifacts he has collected that represents the history of the Islands. He is a really neat fellow and a wealth of local knowledge. While he spent his life here working in the woods and fishing he is now an adamant environmental activist for the area he loves. He has written two books, we purchase one of them.

We have a great dinner at the Marina, Pierre’ (the owner) and his wife Tove do a pig roast every Saturday night.

We leave Echo Bay on Sunday to head further north. Our first attempt to go up the Queen Charlotte Strait is not successful there is too much wind. We back track and stay in O’Brien Bay at the end of Simoom Sound. It is very pretty and quiet so we stay the next day also to relax and catch up on some boat chores.

Tuesday we make it up the Queen Charlotte Sound. We are greeted by a pod of dolphins; we believe they are feeding as they are jumping around. We stay and watch them. We are also in cell phone range so we check messages and make a few calls.

The end of the day finds us in Turnbill cove, Wow! We are surrounded by mountains, trees, and wildlife. While there are about 10 other boats here we do not feel crowded, like we are on our own little island. There is a trail to a small lake that we plan on taking tomorrow.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Playing with the Dolphins

As we entered Blackney Passage we were "escorted" into The Broughtons by some playful dophins. They look like baby Orca's as they are black and white. The metal you see in the picture is the bow of our boat. They stayed with us for several minutes.

Port Neville

Here we are entering Port Neville, We just came off the Johnstone Strait, where it was very windy and choppy. We had a very windy anchorage here but our anchor held.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Up the Johnstone Strait

Below are some various blogs I wrote while going up to the Broughtons. Sorry but I cannot download pictures from here (we are in a small marina on a small island) as the inter net is not much better than dial up...

July 8th
We are sitting at anchor in Charles Bay, across from Blind Bay Marina. Our route to hear is as follows:
Roche Harbor, check in a Bedwell Harbor, Canada. We head north to Nanaimo. Along the way we try to sail but the winds are light so we test our some different sails and our whisker pole. We arrive at Nanimo at about 8:30 p.m. Leave Nanaimo with the 12pm tide and head for Ford Cove on Hornby Isl. This is a pretty and quiet anchor. Our next destination is the town of Campbell River. The current is with us so we make good time to our anchor spot in Gowland Harbor, another pretty and quiet anchor, where we have a relaxing afternoon to rest up for the early start to Seymour Narrows.

Seymour Narrows can be quit treacherous if not arriving at the correct time. We time our passage to go through at a neap slack tide, so our trip through is uneventful. We head up Johnstone Strait but turn up Mayne Passage to get out of the winds that can easily get to gale force in the afternoon. And that is how we got to beautiful Charles Bay.
The picture is of Mazu taken from our dingy, Jenny (Spencer named it).

July 9, 2008 Johnstone Strait to Port Neville

We leave Charles Bay very early to catch the favorable tide/currents going up Johnstone Strait (JS). Every thing starts off nice a quiet. But the winds and sea start to pick up just after Race Passage. The boat is actually quite comfortable in the cockpit, the bow and deck got a nice “bath”. At one point we measure gale force winds on our instruments.(for about 2 seconds). We decide to tuck in at Port Neville. Our anchor is secure but we are swinging like crazy in 16 knot SE winds.
Here is picture looking out over the stern of the boat, very pretty!

Echo Bay, Broughton Achipelego, marine park

We had a rough couple of days trying to get to the Broughtons. The Johnstone Strait(JS) was very windy and rough the last couple of days so we had to find anchorages in various places. We finally made it today. Wow what a difference, the JS was a monster for two days, we kept trying to make our way up it but to no avail. But today (July 11th) it was a smooth as glass, what a difference. We are now in the friendly marina in Echo Bay. We just came back from Happy Hour with the various local color folks who make this area there home, and the folks who are visiting. We had a great time listening to the local spin their yarns. Sorry I cannot send pictures, as the Internet here is limited in its capacity. Today was a great day!

Fourth of July

Mazu Adventures: July 4, 2008

Left Anacortes late, we had some minor glitches. It seems we were the last out of the marina.
There was absolutely no wind to be had so we motored up on our way to Roche Harbor to meet Jim and Linda, owners of Outbound # 33.
It is a cloudy day as we had thunder and lightning for the last 2 days. As we were arriving Mosquito pass to anchor at Roche Harbor, but what do we see out on the horizon, an Outbound. It is Jim and Linda out taking a nice sail, as finally there is wind. We contact them on the VHF and make arrangement to meet for drinks later. We leave tomorrow morning to head for Canadian waters.
I am sending this on July 11th at Echo Bay, while they have internet it is too slow to send pictures, I will catch you up on pictures at a later date-- Elaine