Daily Archives: August 8, 2013

Halibut Rider

We head out of Ucluelet for an easy jaunt over to the Broken Group. Not much wind or swell and since we are also outta fish, its definitely a good fishing day! Josh, my 15 year old son, and I check out charts using Navionics to determine best fishing hole between Ucluelet and Turtle Island and decide that its definitely the southeast side of Sargison Bank. This is called ‘womanly-fish-witching/tuition’ – no knowledge or experience required! We have pretty funky fishing gear, not much experience, little patience and mostly we are good at finding baby cod in little nursery holes. So totally unprepared, a 40 pound halibut latches onto one of our measley rods…. Josh on the other end with excited expletives abounding! Josh reels his prize within 15’ of the boat. We look the fish, our net, one-another… now what? There is just no way the cod-baby-net is going to snag this monster…

Fish Storiies

This is a picture of the 4 foot long Halibut from the boat.

At this point Josh is demanding, “Ted, call someone!” I’m encourage, “We can do this, guys! We can get this fish!” It quickly becomes evident that we do not have the equipment to haul this fish aboard, but we are sure that we can claim our fame and land this prize!

The Plan: drag it ashore using the dingy (despite that only a rocky outcrop on puntsy islet is available nearby), bonk it with a hammer, flop it into the dingy, and get properly anchored on Adesso so we can do the cleaning and processing. Sounds good, right? It takes an hour to get to the islet

So I lady-the-helm on Adesso, equip the dingy with meagre tools-of-halibut-steak production, and Josh and Ted head off in the dingy. The dingy lands, or bounces around on sketchy rocks and Josh quickly leaps out and starts dragging his prize on a barncle ridden rocky outcrop. Ted stays in the dingy to navigate the rocks and bouncing dingy. When I look over my shoulder towards shore i see a mammoth fish up on the rocks with Josh trying to drag it higher. Next look… Josh is getting yanked into the ocean, but somehow manages to sit and straddle the fish.

Halibut riding

Josh’s legs took a beating, this is the goods one!

Ted is out of my line of sight. Then i see this wildly flapping fish tail with Josh riding it hard rodeo style. Afterwards Josh it was like being violently jiggled ontop a slimy mount while his legs and knees took a bloody bashing. The next thing that happens is most unfortunate. A large swell rolls ashore  swamps both Josh and fish into the ocean.

The fish dove as soon as the water hit it and  Josh stood, threw up his arms, and let out a new batch of expletives.

A very large and wiser halibut still lurkes along Sargison Bank and we hunkered into Joe’s Cove to lick our wounds and drown our disappointment.

Entry by Sue

Hot Springs Cove

Hot springs Cove

Walking the board walk to the hot springs

We had confused seas around Estevan Point and then a run into Hot Springs Cove.  Surprisingly we shared the anchorage with only two other boats and after 7:00 pm all the daytime people had left.  We had the evenings to ourselves, warm spring water, beautiful sky, a whale and its calf hanging out in front of the spring, eagles flying overhead, need I say more.   My aging bones truly loved this stop.  The next few stops were Matilda Cove and a hike to White Sand beach, Tofino for dinner, Ucluelet to do laundry and restock the cupboard a little and walk the trail around Amphitrite Point, then off into the Broken Group for a couple of days. One theme that started once we rounded  Estevan was fog, at times very thick, the radar came in handy!  Also the temperature dropped  – burr almost had to find the woolies.

Hot springs cove

View of the sky fromthe hot springs.

Rugged Point

Finally it was time to move beaches and Rugged Point was our next stop.   NW gales were blowing at Solander which meant a 20+ kn sail downwind in with just the jenny up.  Adesso covered the 25 miles to Rugged Point in quick order.  Anchored out of the wind we set out on more beach walks which Tilly loves ( I think she actually got tired here!)  At Sue met Leona from Victoria whom she had not seen in 20 years – wow small world.  We also met John Hazen who was on a Flicka, maybe the worlds smallest production offshore capable sail boat.  Josh always had a soft spot for Flicka’s so John invited him for a tour.  His story is interesting, originally from Hawaii where he made Hand boards, he sailed his Ficka south to Tahiti and back, then to Port Townsend where he currently lives aboard!  Legs tired from big beaches we were off to Queen cove and through the Tahsis Inlet which I had never travelled through before.  At the end of this was the call of Hot Springs Cove!

Flicka off Rugged Point

John aboard his Flicka off rugged point

Columbia Cove

The beaches close to Columbia Cove is the big drawing card for us.  The paddle/surfboards got blown-up and we hit the beach to spend a couple of glorious days in the warm sun.  It was so hot, walking on the sand required foot wear!   Josh Sue and I spend may hours in the small surf, we made a temporary camp and sun shade for lunches; in general hung out taking in the seemingly endless beauty.

Colubia Cove

Josh on the paddle board.

Columvia Cove

Lunch with our new beach furniture.

Winter Harbour


Fraser 41

Al and Sandy aboard Marova

The trip to Winter Harbour was uneventful even though we stopped for an hour to try our hand at fishing.  Boats around us were catching fish but alas our limited fishing skills were not enough fool the fish there.  Winter Harbour was once a center of the busy trolling fleet and after that a sports fishing center, today its is VERY quiet with maybe 20 sport fishing boats and the odd cruiser of which we were one of three present.  We wanted to walk the boardwalk and decided to moore on the dock to support the local facilities, besides that SE was going to blow through.  Here we met Al and Sandy aboard Marova and Fraser 41.  Al had in previous years done a circle through the South Pacific returning via Japan and now were doing a little shake down cruise before heading south to Mexico and the Caribbean.  We truly enjoyed their company and listening to cruising stories over the occasional drink!  The wind a Solander on the end of Brooks Peninsula  (windiest headland on Vancouver Island) was supposed to switch back to NW in the morning so we would leave for Columbia Cove to spend a few days.

Josh at Solander Island

Josh holding his Red Snapper, Yummmm!

The next morning heading out of Quatsino with Marova we were surprised to find glassy seas. In fact it was flat calm all the way to Solander.  We took the opportunity to get up close for a look at that rugged headland and give Josh a chance to fish.  Not only was the Solander a beautiful site but in 15 min we caught a Coho Salmon, Red Snapper and a large rock cod.  Whales we feeding off the bow of our boat while all this was going on!  Almost on cue the NW started and we sailed off around the corner to enjoy a salmon feast with the Marova crew.