Shoal Harbour

We left Port McNeill on August 21st, weather was good, no wind, tide running in our favor, engine hours: 2170.5               Came across a saying , needs to be shared:

WHEN A MAN HAS NOTHING , HE MAY FINALLY LEARN THE VALUE OF ALL THINGS.

Alexander McKeag.

It was an interesting trip to Shoal harbour, animals everywhere, we saw Stellar Sealions, Sea otters , black bear,and two large spouts of a Humpback Whale; a good day!!        I was hoping to go and see Billy Proctor but Bert was undecided about everything, i believe something was bothering him abut the engine, there didnt seem to be proper charging and he thought it to be the alternator.  Once anchored in Shoal harbour, Bert changed the alternator , we have spares for just about everything except the engine…….

I did a bit of research of the Nautical miles we traveled,  here is an estimate;

GLACIER BAY- PRINCE RUPERT;380       PRINCE RUPERT-PORT HARDY ( PORT MCNEILL)277,     PORT HARDY-NANAIMO;207     NANAIMO-SIDNEY;73

SO 937 total, give or take, long trip.     here are some of the animals we met.

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Alert Bay

On one of our days anchored , we took the ferry to Alert bay, its a great place to visit, i love the atmosphere there, and learn something new about the history here, every time we go there.        Alert bay is a village on Cormorant island, approximately 1400 people live here year round, i find the town very well located as it gets lots of sun and light in comparison with Port McNeill.   Apparently it is the oldest community on Vancouver Island, there was a fish saltery here in 1870, and there are lots of heritage houses around the waterfront , the Namgis First Nations of the Kwakwaka’wakw live here.   It is a centre for First Nations art works, which i love , i just had to take some more photos……Alert Bay is home of the killer whale.

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boats we meet….

On one of our trips into town, we saw a beautiful little boat tied to the dock, her name is  MV AMA NATURA,  she is a petroleum free vessel and runs on bio diesel. She is a modern wooden boat made to look like a classic vessel, her captain is Peter Wilcox.    He did a truly wonderful job, building this boat.

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Good times in Port McNeill!

Saturday August 19th , the weekend of  ORCA FEST!!       Our friends Bob and Mo , whom we had already seen at the restaurant the night before, joined us to watch the parade at noon, Mo had broken her ankle and she had a little scooter to be able to get to places without much trouble.     They became good friends when we lived here a winter, they drove me to hospital when my wrist broke, and were always ready to help anyone who needed it.      Here are some photos of the parade.

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Port McNeill!!!! August 16th.

Left early again, no fog, no wind, tide in our favor, i was kind of ready for a bit of town, groceries, laundry, well, not laundry, but we needed to regroup, we saw a pod of Orcas, alongside Malcom island, first Orcas in a long time, i was so used to seeing the Humpback whales, this pod was 5 whales strong, one had a very large fin, many be lead made? not sure….       The marina was totally chuck full with boats , so we decided to anchor out, its very good anchoring , not very deep, quite well protected, right alongside Malcom Island’s West shore, a few other boats were there already, one of the them was MV Pacific Yellow fin!!!         I did a story about that boat a while back, took some photos of her inside.   SV Ectasea is in the harbour with Jo and Rusty Hammond and their dog Sam, Don and Susan are here from SV Gambit, they anchored out for a while near us but brought the boat into the harbor later on.    A lot of memories here in this town, lived here for one winter,  fell here, broke wrist and Annie died here, not all memories good….but we made some very good friends here, folks are kind and helpfull.

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Frigate Bay , Skull Cove.

Monday August 14th, we headed out towards Frigate bay, not too many folks anchor here, most boats go to Fury Cove, but this beautiful small anchorage has a lovely spot way in the back, good holding and away from any winds.     The engine hours read 2153.6, all is well, Bert checks everything out every morning, i tidy the boat, and store all movable things away, you cannot count on the weather being what it is, and what they say on the marine channel.     Things can change too fast.    Frigate bay has a gorgeous little beach , pink sand, bleached drift wood, the water was warm and so clear, a beautiful jade green.       We were again the only boat, same as last time, Canada Geese swam around Curtsy,  and a lone otter stuck his head up to check us out.   The Midden, with its layers and layers of bleached clam shells , lines one shore, we checked it out, i did some digging, always hoping for a lone bead…..  you never know……   The more we travel here, the more middens we find, the white beaches they create make for a lovely contrast to the blues and greens.           August 15th, going around Cape Caution, i set the alarm for 4.45, as its now cold in the morning and i like to fire up the diesel stove  , we like to head around the cape as early as possible , to avoid large swells,   the water was like glass, so quiet and we made a nice passage around the cape, saw a few sea otters , but no whale spouts.      We headed for Skull Cove, in Schooner channel, its a bit of a tricky anchorage, very shallow here and there, once we entered the small entrance, we saw and heard 6 red throated loons , singing and dancing, what a great birds they are!!   We entered in the first small bay as the depth there was 5 meters, further in the depth goes as low as 3 and 2!!      Curtsy draws 6.4 feet, so 2 meters is just not comfy.    1 meter is 3′ 3″.  ( so 3 feet, 3 inches)        I loved this place, i went exploring with my kayak and found the other side of the overfall from Miles Inlet!!       so cool to find that!!   So much life in the waters here, lots of small fish , shellfish, and an amazing variety of water plants.      I hope to come back and explore some more……

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