Eaten Alive

We were told to bring bug spray but we didn’t think it would be this bad. The sun has come out on the Central Coast bringing “horse flies”. Why??? There are no horses in sight. They should be renamed “bear flies”. That, I could accept. Speaking of bears, we have seen traces but no actual sightings.

We have tried everything from burning coils to blowing up make shift hornets’ nests thinking they would be deterred by this, applying every lotion we own and just plain swatting. We have gone for a ride in the dinghy just to get a breeze and hope they wouldn’t follow.

Their bites are huge and leave big welts. I have thought of urinating on myself to get rid of the sting. Urinating works for when you have been stung by jellyfish. That works, trust me. I can confirm this because there was a write-up in the New Glasgow Evening News when jellyfish invaded the shore waters. Summer vacationers needed to know how to handle the sting and get relief. So they asked the resident biologist, my husband, and that was his recommendation. All the young boys now had an excuse to piss in the wind.

The worst part of the horse flies is when showering on the back of the boat. You have to do the “happy dance” the entire time because you certainly don’t want the netherland or the mountain range attacked! Hailing coast guard for this kind of distress, well that would be a distress in itself. It would go something like this:

“Notice to shipping Papa 1234, Nipple Rock light extinguished by horse fly bite”.

The only good thing that comes from horse flies is that we were cooped up in the cabin busying ourselves with work and painting. Here is a sample of my cards.

Cards

Water Colour on card stock 4×6

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Did We Take the Right Turn?

Three things you need to take into consideration before heading out on a 63 nautical mile trip across Queen Charlotte Strait and around Cape Caution; the swell, the currents, and the wind.

It paid off to wait. We hit ideal conditions: 0.5 meter swell, currents in our favor pushing us 2 knots at times, and little wind, 5 knots, during a non stop 9 hour crossing.

We anchor in Fury Cove after a long day of transiting. Did we take the right turn? The shell beach and cove spread in front of us are breath taking. If you close your eyes and forget you just crossed Vancouver Island to the Mainland, you could swear you were in Hawaii or some beach in the BVI’s.

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Fury Cove Central Coast BC

From here we explore Rivers Inlet, its many bays and coves. I’m amused by the names of the places. They are so unique and describe the area well, Fry Pan Bay, Fish Egg Inlet, Planet Group, Dawson Landing. The Ma and Pa Marina at Dawson Landing is a one stop shopping; fuel, water and beer – all the liquids you need! Their general store is well stocked too from boots to beans.

Dawson L

Dawson Landing – Darby Channel

Pruth Bay is a popular spot. It is also home of the Hakai Beach Institute. This is a research, teaching and leadership center serving the BC Central Coast. They pursue long term Ecological Research year-round looking at many factors and how they change over time. Particularly the coast region margin, where the Pacific Ocean meets the temperate rainforest, the channels, inlets, estuaries and watersheds.

I thought Fury Cove was spectacular but my jaw dropped when I saw the West Beach and then the North Beach. OMG! It is uniform, pristine soft sand that squeaks when you walk, covered in driftwood, and reaching out to the aqua blue/green water. There are actually 10 beaches that you can roam around, each different but same. It reminds me of the beaches on the Côte d’Azur. Did we take the right turn?

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West Beach – Hakai View from the “Lookout” Trail

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North Beach – Hakai

I just finished reading “The Inconvenient Indian” by Thomas King. He mentions the following:

 “ For non-Natives, land is primarily a commodity, something that has value for what you can take from it or what you can get for it”.

This struck me because as soon as we reached the Central Coast, we were immediately struck by the beauty and peacefulness of the land. Looking past the clear-cut slopes, I realize this land has much more than economic value. In the next several weeks, I will look at this and more in a different light and enjoy just “being” in these surroundings.

 

#40 – Go Kayaking

We are officially in the Broughton’s and enjoying some fun time at Lagoon Cove Marina on East Cracroft Island. We are travelling with four other boaters from our yacht club and they have kayaks! They only needed to say it once, “use them any time”.

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Lagoon Cove

It’s early afternoon, the wind has subsided and the sun is out. It’s perfect conditions to gunk hole and explore the bay. I get a quick refresher course on how to paddle properly, push and pull rather then the dragon boating plunge and pull. It’s been at least 10 years since the last time I went kayaking.

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Exploring the cove in Lagoon Cove

My kayak has a glass bottom. As we come close to shore in shallow waters, the fish and rock bottom are magnified. We hear the eagles calling each other and hoping to see the mother grizzly and her cubs grazing on the shoreline. There have been sightings of them in the area. We paddle for a good 2 hours around the bay visiting the fishing lodge and the few owners who have summer get-a-ways.

Part of being in marinas like this, are the local folk you meet. We negotiated 4 lbs of spot prawns for 6 beer from a fishing boat wrapping up his day of pulling traps. Later a crab fisherman comes by. I love bartering. It’s been a good day.

We have planned a feast of fish for our last supper with the group. We will say goodbye to our friends tomorrow and carry on to Port McNeil to prepare and re-provision for our next leg of our journey.

Feast

Our negotiations. Enough to feed the group.

One Day at a Time

This is the first installment of “#10. Go to the Central Coast on Rugosa”. There will simply be too much to say in one post. Rugosa is our 34ft sail boat on which we set sail Sunday June 7th . Our destination is the Central Coast, beyond the Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound, the Broughton’s.    See Sneak Preview.

We are heading for the wilderness, Native land, bear country and fishing for the next few months. Internet connection will be limited so posts will be sparse and return comments or checking on fellow bloggers delayed.

Our first leg is to make way to the Broughtons and enjoy some time with fellow yacht club friends. We meet in Pender Harbour on the Sunshine Coast. We skipped past Desolation Sound, the hot spot for cruising and take the next five days to reach destination.

Sonora

“Wilderness Luxury” Sonora Resort on the Yuculta Rapids

Traveling in numbers and being with friends is a plus. We look out for each other as we move from anchorage to anchorage by keeping in touch via radio. They are a great sounding board for boat mechanics, sharing knowledge, exploring islands and loads of laughs at the “Cing à Septs”.

Cordero

At anchor at Cordero Cove

We quickly learn the meaning of patience in sailing. We have already set our motto, “One Day at a Time”. We tucked away in a sheltered harbor for two days to avoid the large westerly blowing down Johnstone Strait. It is difficult to find the exact words to describe the noise and action at anchor. The sounds keep us awake; the whirling of the wind through the rigging, the constant tossing of the dinghy, the flapping of the waves against the hull and the boat sawing back and forth. I’ll leave it to, “it’s nuts!”

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Our shelter for 2 days in Forward Harbour

We eventually have a window to negotiate Johnstone Strait before winds reach 30 to 35 knots later in the day. It’s an early morning departure from Forward Harbour to Lagoon Cove (~38 nautical miles) on East Cracroft Island, which we refer to as the official entrance to the Broughtons.

Lagoon Cove is a great spot to sit back and relax. You can take in the hiking trails, watch local fishermen pull traps, enjoy the surroundings and observe tourist on wilderness tour boats coming and going and then there is Jeanne’s baking.

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Jeanne’s baking at Lagoon Cove

This is where we say goodbye to our friends as they continue to explore the Broughton’s while we head to Port McNeil to re-provision, catch up with emails and family, post on my blog before heading out on the next part of our trip.

As we motor to Port McNeil we are entertained by a humpback whale surfacing and breaching, a few harbor porpoises rolling to the surface and lots of eagles keeping a keen eye on fishermen. It is a sample of what to expect on the Central Coast. I know I will get close up pictures to post. Our next venture is tackling Cape Caution. The name itself should say something about our next leg. The motto applies, “One Day at a Time”.

#9 – Host a “Cinq à Sept”

A “cinq à sept” (pronounced “sank-ah-set”) is a Quebec French term to describe a social gathering usually between the hours of 5:00pm and 7:00pm. I have used this French expression many a time because I think it’s sexier then saying “wine and cheese”, “happy hour” or “afternoon cocktails”.

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Speaking of sexy, interesting fact that in France, “cinq à sept” was originally used as a figure of speech for a visit to one’s mistress. It was derived from the time of day French “hommes d’affaires” would make their “dalliances”.

None of that goes on at my cinq à sept! We serve drinks and hors d’oeuvres, enjoy each other’s company and talk about everything and anything. Guests usually loose track of time when 7:00pm rolls around, and many I have hosted have gone on way past bedtime. This group however, was prompt and stuck to the schedule. Maybe it’s a sign of age …