Map of Cape Scott area.
The bird with its new adornment.
With the NW looking like it would take a day rest in a few days we headed North. Our first destination was one of the largest native settlements in Queen Charolette Strait. Here we met for the second time Angus on Nootka Rose who was headed north this summer. We searched the beach in front of the village site for treasures and Sue was the big winner finding a trading bead which was added to the boat bird!
Next morning we were off to Port Hardy for fuel, water, food and beer. The first foggy morning was present and I had a chance to check the radar out. Hooray works great, though I must say the operators manual of the Raymarine E80 is not light reading!! As Adesso is new to us, and has many systems, its always great when I try one for the first time in real situations and it just works as it should! I must mention here that the Port Hardy’s fuel dock is in a tight spot and Adesso with out a bow thruster can be a challenge maneuvering. This is a skill that is improving but … I’m sure that am the subject of others entertainment as I learn! From here a quick trip to Port Alexander for the night and off to Sea Otter Cove in the am.
At anchor in Port Alexander
I think Josh’s truck needs some repair!
Port Alexander was new to us and proved to be a surprise. With NW gales blowing late in the day we were anchored in this beautiful inlet while the wind raged at its mouth. A trail across the island lead us to an old logging site where Josh tried his hand at driving. The wind dropped over night and the fog returned. The summer “high” weather pattern on the west coast is NW gales late in the day, that fall off in the evening only to return the next after the morning fog burns off. The early morning start for Cape Scott found confused seas, fog and no wind but we did have company, a Fraser 41 left Bull Harbour as we went by so we could just see each other through the fog or on radar as we rounded Cape Scott. The NW started up, and we sailed out of the fog into another spectacular sunny day. Sea Otter Cove is a great hurricane hole but we stop because of the hike to Lowrie Bay. Here we had our first ocean swim on the Pacific side of Vancouver Island and Josh found another Japanese glass ball on the beach! The weather was calling of a burst of SE to arrive but the sunshine to continue (very unusual) so at 6 am we were off to Winter Harbour to walk on the board walk.
Our trip up into the Broughton Group was uneventful with the wind gods giving us a short break in the relentless NW gales in Johnston Strait that we were beating into. Our first extended stop was with Bruce and Josee McMorran in Simoon Sound just north of Echo Bay. We have known them since our Cortes Island days and they own the Paddlers Inn.
Adesso at rest infront of the Paddlers Inn
This beautiful spot in the Broughton’s caters to kayakers that want a break from camping or a base to paddle out of. The cabins are rustic but have all the important amenities, bed, hot water, shower, kitchen and spectacular views. We spent a couple of days visiting, hiking and in general, hanging out. Josh and I successfully did our first engine fix on the fly. The kill switch stopped working when we arrives at the Inn. It turned out to be a loose wire on the kill solenoid which should have taken maybe 5 min. to fix but….. To access this wire and get a screw driver on it we had to take the whole solenoid off the engine. Yanmar gets a negative on this design feature which took us an hour to correct! It was here that Sue and Josh made the decision to head around Vancouver Island and not north, so plans were made to head for fuel, water and groceries.
We needed to get out of town for the summer and our inclination was a trip around Vancouver Island. I was thinking of heading north of Vancouver Island but you do risk leaving the warmer weather behind, which is hard to do in the Pacific Northwest where the warm months are so few. Josh’s cousin Matt was coming out to the coast for a 10 day trip through Desolation Sound so that is where our summer plans would begin. The first thing these two boys did was to build a potato gun and stock the boat with amo ( potatoes ) and fuel ( Finesse hair spray ). They then proceeded to impress all with their marksmanship both on and off the boat!
Desolation was sunny, warm, beautiful and uncrowded. We feel so lucky to have such an amazing cruising ground close to home! Our first stop Henry Bay just got us off the dock and on the beach. The plan was to end up in Gorge Harbor on Cortes Island in front of Wendy and Hubert’s for a couple of days. The short story is below with potato gun activity a common thread through all of the days.
Unwin Lake for swimming,hiking and beach fires.
Forbes Bay for paddleboards up the river, hikes and prawns!
Walsh Cove to swim and heard the fish stories of those big ones that got away. Here we met Garth, Merrien and Nolan on Ocean Frog who invited us for happy hour. It always great to meet like minded sailors who care for the impact we humans are having on space ship earth!
Von Donop Inlet with a stop to swim in Robertson Lake, more fires and the boys got stuck in the tidal lagoon for a few hours!
Lambert Beach in Evans Bay on Reid Island to hike trails and more fires.
It is amazing that even having lived in the area for over 25 years we still do not tire of the beauty and cruising diversity. The BC Coast is a spectacular part of the world and the people of Cortes hold a special place in our hearts. Our couple of days with friends on Cortes was filled with music, great company and of course food but alas Matt had a bus to catch in Campbell River so off we went to send him off and head north.
Matt and Josh creating weapons!
Pirates and work.
At anchor in Forbes Bay
Beautiful maple tree at Forbes Bay
Tilly dreaming of sheep in Walsh Cove.
Lambert Beach fire and snacks.
Yummmm Cortes prawn feast.
Adesso came with 2 stainless 60 LB CQR anchors. The CQR is an example of good anchor technology of the past and decided to give it a try before considering a replacement. The main point here is an anchor is a small investment compared to the boat and more importantly we have to trust it. During our first months cruising in the Pacific Northwest it was decided to replace the CQR. Slow to set, awkward to bring into the bow roller were the main reasons. My first sail boat had a “Bruce” which was a great anchor with the exception of not setting well min kelp or ell grass and occasionally would pick up a bolder resulting in its inability to set at all until it was removed. “Indigo” our last boat had an early generation Rocna that we were very happy with, excellent holding, positive setter and excellent at resetting in a wind shift. It so happened that Practical Sailor was reviewing anchors from a number of different points of view this spring which helped us greatly in making a choice for Adesso. One of the first factors was that roll bar anchors were a questionable fit because of the Passport bulwarks and stainless roller configuration. To top this off the “Spade” anchor was getting top ratings with Practical Sailor, and I was told its geometry was very similar to the CQR. So the “Spade” it was! This was a fantastic choice not only does it fit and look great on the Passport it is surpassing our experience with the Rocna. The curved anchor shaft makes for smooth release and return, it sets every bit as well an the Rocna did even in grassy bottom and though we have not experienced a big wind shift yet Practical Sailor test had this anchor at the top of that list. We love our new Spade!
Spade on the bow of Adesso
Adesso came with speakers everywhere!! These were all car audio speakers and very tired! I prefer a higher quality sound and this does not have to cost more! In fact if you have a little DIY streak you can create amazing sound for very little. Renown for its sound quality the Lepai’s amplifiers are 12volt and are amazingly cheap. These work well with todays digital player world with both RCA and 3.5mm inputs. I used the 168AH ( approximately 50.00 ) which has subwoofer capabilities in the main salon. This coupled with a pair of DIY Fonken speakers and a built in sub under the navigation table. Check out www.planet10.com for plans and drivers for these amazing speakers ! I then put a separate Lepai 2 channel ( less than 30.00 ) connected to a couple of marine Jensen speakers in the cockpit. This allows sound volume to be separately adjusted between the cockpit and the salon.
Lepai Stereo amp with outboard key for scale.
Fonken book shelf speaker
Sub woofer under navigation table