A little more about these small bays and coves….Everywhere i look into the forest , i see giant trunks of silver cedar, sitka spruce and fir, moss grows on their huge branches ,small ferns rooted in it, Kingfishers are everywhere, every bay, cove and inlet have a pair of these birds in them, they are so busy, while they fly , they chatter, all the time, they sound like rattles,announcing themselves as if to say, we are coming, out of the way!!!!!! Six merganzers play in Bacchante Bay, a pair with four offspring, they swim in 2 feet of water, but it looks like they are fish, which we thought they were at first. There are tons of little fish here, lots to eat for these little guys. Watta Creek is beautiful, the water flows clear and fast, further up are some rapids, creating oxygen for the fish, we dont see any large fish but quite a few little ones. A pair of eagles are hanging out, watching for an opportunity, they are always interacting, talking with each other. We have seen eagles nests in every bay too, the young have left a long time ago, some still hang around the same bay, but others look for a new spot. They have to learn to hunt, the parents do not teach them, but they do watch and learn that way.
We took off from Hot Springs Cove on the 22nd, and headed to Bottleneck cove, in Holmes inlet. The sun was out, nice breeze, sails out, and i just kept grabbing for my camera that wasnt there……So, now i use Bert’s for a while!! We saw a black bear on the shore in Bottleneck Cove, he was turning rocks on the shore, it was a day past full moon , so the tides were still quite high and low. The bears know when to head to the beach, and search for crabs and other yummies!!! The hanging gardens here are wonderful, rock cliffs above the water, colored with lichen , moss, dwarf huckleberry bushes, salal and ferns, i dont think a gardener could do it any better. We did a tour all along the shore, saw a small mink with a catch of fish, chickadees above our heads, a liitle deermouse scurried away as fast as it could, sun peeking through the trees, the large branches covered in thick moss, yellow,brown and a deep green.
After this wonderful place, we went to Bacchante bay,way up at Shelter inlet, Watta creek comes out at the head of the bay, and at low tide it shoes large grass lands,great for bears and other critters. We didnt see any bears, but did see the signs that they had been there. No one else was here, just a wonderful quiet spot to ourselves.
On August 23rd, we headed to Ahousat , at the head of Matilda inlet. This was just a stop over, the weather again was wet and cold. The 24th we headed to Tofino. Bought fuel there, and then decided to anchor there. Basically no one anchors in Tofino, but we really trust our anchor, Bert puts lots of chain out, plus a kessel to keep the chain down, we had no problem. After 2 nights a storm was coming, SE , a pretty strong one, Bert noticed that a boat had left on the outside, an easy spot for us to dock to, so we “raced” over and grabbed it, its a first come first serve harbour. So, here we are, and its still storming, so we wait, so do some other boats. Saturday is suppose to be good, no more rain, NW , (hopefully), so we will head into Barkley Sound. Then, more south, as long as the weather stays good…………
The second day at Hot Springs Cove, sun was out, brisk wind blowing, Bert went fishing with the dinghy, i went kayaking just around the bay. It is wide open to the ocean, so some swell does come in. I had seen little beaches, with what looked like small rocks, and lots of bleached , blond driftwood. So, off i went. I decided to go as far as the first liitle bay as i had a very hard time handling the kayak, the wind had come up some more and was now gusting hard. I landed in soft sand, climbed out, camera around my neck and started exploring. What i found was nothing but plastic, lots of it, oil bottles, water bottles, a shoe, bags, what a mess. Every beach is like that, but i try and clean up the best i can. I loaded all the plastic i could find in the dingy, tucked it in behind the seat. Then i checked on the rocks, and the beach, what a marvelous little place. I could see Bert in the dinghy, so he knew where i was. I stayed an hour, taking photos, just breathing in the air, then headed back to the kayak. i loaded everything in, put on my PFD, and pushed the kayak to the water. I was standing in no more then 2 feet of water, carefully climbed in, one leg………a large wave came, didnt see it, lost my balance, kayak tipped over, camera in the water…….all the plastic in the water,binoculars, PFD inflated, (well, at least that works), and there i stood, and it hit me hard, camera is done!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just screamed and cried (no one around), and let it out, this huge disappointment. Bert came over at Mac 10, he knew this was not good, he cleaned me up, salvaged all the plastic, i put the camera in my jacket, and he towed the kayak home,he then dried me up, i washed all the salt off, washed the clothes, opened up the camera, and took out the battery,it still seemed ok, charged it, yes it was ok, the card i dont know, it has quite a few photos on it, so , once i get a chance to buy another camera, i will find out. The new GOLDEN rule is, NO MORE CAMERA IN KAYAK!!!!! I will be buying a waterproof case, but even then, when i use the camera it is still very venerable!! I still cant believe i did this, but stopped beating myself up over it.
Zeballos is surrounded by high mountains, i think thats why the colour of the water is so beautiful. Its a quiet town, lots of fishermen, we were so lucky when we arrived, its a first come first serve marina, so just before we arrived near noon, a boat had left and we grabbed that spot, an easy one too for us to get in and out. Lisa called on 16, and wondered if there was room for them, so Bert , together with some fishermen reorganized the docks a bit, and made room. Our dock was full of , i think, Vietnamese fishermen, very friendly lads, not speaking any english, but always helpfull. We walked through town, trying to find stores, we found one, with basically two potatoes, canned goods, and cold drinks. Later on , Bert went searching and found two more stores, they are in houses, so you just dont know that they actually sell stuff, he came home with lettuce, cucumbers, and onions. The cukes were wrapped in plastic and stone cold, and very soon thereafter , even when the plastic was gone, were rotting, no good if they are in plastic and in a fridge. Learned about that one!! If you are cruising, and you find a decent piece of cheese, dont buy just one, buy 3 or more. Try and find all the fresh vegies you can, you go through them very fast. We left for Tahsis on the 16th, it was still wet and cold, hoped to do some laundry there. Basically , Tahsis is all about fishing too this time of year, they did find a spot on the dock for us, and we just stayed one night. On the 17th we headed to Bodega Cove, at the head of Kendrick inlet.
I have left my kayak inflated on deck so i could use it more often, its not in the way, and so much fun to go out in. Bodega cove was marvelous to kayak, i left after dinner, and went through the whole inlet, seeing eagles,kingfishers and herons. Bert came rowing with the dinghy later on, we didnt see any bears but saw lots of signs.
Friendly Cove is at the entrance of Nootka Sound, a wild place, the swell comes in continually, which makes it uncomfortable, the coast guard was anchored next to us but they left again later on. The lighthouse is still manned as far as i know, and its somehow comforting to watch the light going around at night. Monday , August 19th the sun came out, it had been so dark and wet, 90 % humidity, every thing feels sticky, we had the stove on every day, to dry things out. I felt nervous about leaving somehow, which we did the next day, very early, too early, Bert wanted to go, didnt eat breakfast, neither did i, so i got sick . The swell was bad, we rocked and rolled, just no fun. i tried then to make breakfast down below, but just couldnt, could not stay down there. We ended up going to Hot Springs Cove, and anchoring in front. Its immensly busy, planes come and go all day long, tourist boats from Tofino bring as many as 20 people, all heading for the springs. So, the thing is, dont go during the day, but wait till evening which is what we did. A very well made boardwalk runs all the way to the Hot Springs, it winds through beautiful old growth forest, and all the wooden boards of the walk have the names of boats on them,carved very nicely, from boats visiting as far back as 2003. We loved the springs, they are very small, 3 pools, the first one is very hot, the small waterfall above this pool is too hot (for me), to stand under, the lower pools are wonderful. Everything is clean, we did not see any garbage!!
Kind of obvious why the name…….
We decided to go to Zeballos , when we lived in Port McNeill, we never did drive there, so this was our chance. Plus, we were told that they have wonderful well water on the docks, the tanks were low, and it would give us a break in using the water maker. The weather was cloudy, drizzly and quiet as we went by the Vulcanic islets , pretty impressive and scary looking rocks!!! Queens Cove is the small Native village , some people still live there, but a lot of the houses are abandoned, the small wooden church still stands, but is not used. The Ehattesaht Band used to live here, and apparently Chief Clakhoi lived to be a 115 years old in Queens Cove!!!! We sailed past Nipple Rock, a darn scary looking rock for sure! The water of Esperanza Inlet is absolutely beautiful, what a colour, such a clear, vibrant green, i think there is a lot of runoff from the mountains here. Birthday channel towards Queen Cove is amazing, i wish i could describe the colour somehow, its jade and emerald, green crystal and sunlight all in one. We were invited for dinner on MV Meridian , Lisa made a wonderful chicken curry, still need to get the recipe from her, we shared wine and good conversation, wonderful evening!!!!
This is the best i could do, i had the lens open as far as it would go, then tried to hold my breath, not to rock, not move, and snap the photo, at least it shows how close he was. When he was right next to me, it was dark, and i was just too busy admiring him and talking to him.