Chatham Point

No wind eventuated today. Nada. So I motored all the way down Johnstone Strait from Port Harvey to Chatham Point, where I’m anchored in Otter Cove. This trip is pretty much over. Done. Forty or fifty miles more and I’m home in Courtenay. I’ll be home by Thursday, the day after tomorrow. After 3 years and 21,000 miles, and sailing from Comox to Cape Horn to the Aleutian Islands and back to Comox. What to do next? First give every body who counts a big hug. Then keep breathing in and out. Then clean up the boat and sell it, and move on. Yep. Two years to build the boat and 20 years to sail it all over the place. It’s done what we all wanted of it, and more. What a project. To say ‘no regrets’ would be an understatement. Two more sleeps, then home. That will be very good.

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Mist Islands

I can see out onto Johnstone Strait from where I’m anchored tonight, in a cove east of the Mist Islands , north of Transit Pt at the entrance to Port Harvey. There is a bushfire above Naka Creek. A small tugboat is organising some log booms across Port Harvey from the cove here. Rainshowers sweep through every hour or two, and between them the sun shines. No wind . Glassy. The bay here, and all over Johnstone and Queen Charlotte Strait, is laden with floating woody debris, resulting from multiple landslides up Knight Inlet above Glendale Cove that occurred a couple of weeks ago. The slides were reportedly from a short heavy rainstorm, nothing to do with logging activity, that released the forest clinging to steep rock. A periodic event. The log salvagers are ecstatic. Lots of whole trees (with roots) in amongst the limbs and chunks. I spent last night at Lagoon Cove. I’d anchored there in the past but never visited the marina. Doug on Kasala and I were the only visitors. Simon and Sunny of the 42′ powerboat Seascape are the relief caretakers. They’ve done thousands of miles up and down this coast and around Central America and the Carribean. We had prawns with them last night and it was good. Today we got going at mid-morning, and puttered out Chatham and Havannah Channels. I had a peek in, as I went by, to look at the floats at Minstrel Island. No action and the buildings look abandoned, but the floats still look in good condition, and suitable for tying up. That historical and evocative place is certainly in a quiescent phase. Doug on Kasala has continued east along Johnstone Strait this afternoon, while I turned in to anchor in this little cove by early afternoon. We MAY get some NW wind tomorrow and Wednesday, in which case I’ll make miles towards the Salish Sea. The gaps between SE systems seem a bit short now, more of a winter pattern than autumnal. But hardly a surprise in late september. It is great cruising.

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Johnstone Strait and Potts Lagoon : dodging equinoctial gales

Two nights ago a good hearty gale blew through the BC coast with winds in this local ( Johnstone Strait) area up to 50 knots. At the dock in Alert Bay all was serene. Out at Sartine Island, halfway from Cape Scott to Triangle Island, the gusts were exceeding 70 knots. Smoking. Yesterday I headed off down Johnstone Strait past Blackney Passage to Boat Bay by Swaine Point. There I found Meredith holding the fort at their kayak tour base camp. Boat Bay on the chart is marked as just east of Swaine Point, but the kayak camp is at the other end of ‘Boat Bay’ about 3/4 mile east. The little cove in which I anchored was not discernible on the chart, but in reality it looks like quite good protection. I was told that during the gale of two days ago the water was calm and smooth in this little cove. Therefore I anchored there in 18′ of water over sand and eelgrass, then stern tied onto the nearby bluff. Last night was calm, and the stars and moon were reflected in the waters of Johnstone Strait, so I didn’t really test this cove in bad weather. Interestingly, as I motored east along Johnstone strait I expected that I would have a favorable flood current, but I suppose because of the strong SE wind of the day and night before, the surface tidal current was canceled , and there was no help. Today I motored the 15 miles along Baronet Passage to Potts Lagoon to anchor near Kasala with Doug S. aboard. A gale is forecast for tonight, but abating tomorrow. NW wind could occur in 2 days, which would be nice. The Aurora Explorer is bustling around in here offloading materials for apparent road construction in the nearby bush. I am still seeing occasional Fork Tailed Storm Petrels.

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