M/V Cloud Nine

M/V Cloud Nine
A 1973 North Sea 38' pilothouse Trawler, made in Osaka, Japan by Kita Trading Co. Ltd.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back In The Broughtons

After 4 hours in dense fog, we break free and say, "Thank you Sun!"
Our voyage south out of Prince Rupert met with fog, fog, and more fog.  Some days we cruised totally on instruments, not being able to see more than 100 feet in front of us.  We were happy when it would open up to 100 yards!  We took the "outside" inside passage in order to see different country (cruisers who have done it have said how beautiful it is).  Well, ... wish we had pictures to share with you, but, alas, fog has a way of dominating the landscape.  When you wake in the morning to this dense fog, you ask yourself, "Do I wait and see if it lifts?  If I wait, will the winds increase and make the trip uncomfortable with the waves?"  I'm not sure about what other boaters would have done.  We could have waited for a few days; however, we knew we needed to get south and out of the fog which dominates the Prince Rupert area this time of year, and we'll always take calm seas over rough waters, so ... onward we went!

We enjoyed quiet anchorages along Principe Sound, but dealt with the heavy, low fog each morning.  After 3 days, we decided moving inland was the best bet, and we would have to wait to actually see the "outside" inside passage on another voyage.  

Moving through Meyers Passage to the inner waters, we were just about through the Narrows when we spied just ahead whales spouting.  We shut down the engine and drifted into the center of the turn in the channel and we realized there were two adult orcas and a youngster feeding.  (We later talked with other boaters who passed this way days earlier and the whales were there at that time, too.)  

We drifted for about 45 minutes watching them circle the channel, feeding.  At one point (Picture above, they headed right for our boat.  One swam under water right beside our boat, and the other adult came up within 20 feet for this picture.  

We continued on to Shearwater to do laundry and get some groceries, but due to the crowded marina, were forced to go anchor elsewhere. 

Namu was our next stop, a repeat from our trip northward, and we once again said hello to Renne and Pete and enjoyed their hospitality.  Renne and Pete are caretakers for Namu, what used to be a cannery which was abandoned back in the 60's.  

Renne & Pete's house will be set up in Lizzie Cove,
eventually on their 3 acres.
When I say abandoned, it's exactly the right word, for an excavator is still there, cases of mayonnaise, shelf after shelf of fan belts and filters, along with a sinking ship.  It seems when the cannery shut down due to lack of fishing, it was too expensive to haul everything away, so the company abandoned.  Owners of the property hire caretakers to watch the property, but as Renne and Pete said, "It's just too sad to continue to watch the place fall down around us."  

Bev, Renne, Theresa and her sister
"The Namu Nookers"

So, they'll be moving all of their personal float docks, including their house, workshop, and the gathering float, to Lizzie Cove this September.  

Namu has been special for so many years due to the presence of Renne and Pete.  There are flowers planted among the falling-down buildings.  Strawberries and potatoes grow along walkways.  Renne's greenhouse is a marvel to see.  Sad to think it will all be ending, this magical place!  It will never be the same!  It's been an honor to meet them both!  We wish them well in their new place, Lizzie Cove!

Nancy catches her first salmon in Namu!

Leaving Namu and heading south, we anchored in Fury Cove with 12 other boats!  We can see the increase in boaters as we move south.  There are a number of boats here, waiting out the fog bank that's been prevalent.  Cape Caution can be tough in normal conditions, but add a fog bank along with rough conditions and there's just no sense trying.  So the boats gather in Fury Cove, along with other coves in the area.

Entering the Broughtons!
We left Fury Cove, in a fog bank, but calm sea conditions and headed around our last hurdle of open ocean water and pulled into Allison Harbour for the night.  Next stop?  The Broughtons.  The sun came out the next morning and what a beautiful site to see the mountains.  

As we entered Wells Passage into the Broughtons, there were seagulls feeding, along with a juvenile eagle. There had to have been more than 100 gulls feeding.

Jennis Bay Marina with M/V Deerleap on the docks.
After a night in Napier Bay, with logging crews that started at 4:00 a.m. (ugh!), we moved over into Drury Inlet and through Stuart Narrows, taking them at slack water.  With current at 7 knots on a flood, these narrows can be dangerous, with the rocks and island on either side.  But, through them we went and down to Jennis Bay Marina, a family-run establishment.  Floating homes, as well as their own home on land, and logging trails for hiking, make this a nice get away for boaters. 

Babies waiting to be fed by momma.

Jennis Bay does not see a lot of boat traffic because of the narrows, and it really is a shame because these are nice folks, with a rustic set-up, but they aim to please.  The M/V Deerleap was there.  This 85-foot classic wooden yacht, built in 1927, home ports in Port Orchard, WA.  It travels to all the classic yacht shows and visits the major boat shows in the Pacific NW, winning awards each year for her true beauty, inside and out.

We are currently in Shawl Bay Marina, another family-run marina in the  Broughtons.  We had plans to leave this morning, however, when we backed out of our slip, Jerry was unable to put the boat back into our forward gear.  So as we drifted towards rocks, he shut down the engine, climbed down into the bilge, manually shifted the transmission into forward, and restarted the engine, turning it off again as we approached the docks.  We drifted in, with help from folks catching our lines, tied up, and are repairing a broken transmission cable.

Big thank you to Harry & Pat from the M/V Reflection from Anacortes, WA.  Harry, an ex-Navy submariner, happened to have a Morris cable on his boat, and Jerry, as of the time of posting this to the blog, has installed this cable and we're able to shift gears once again.  It truly amazes me, time after time, how incredibly generous boaters are with their time, extra parts, advice, and good 'ol support.  We owe Harry & Pat.  Thank you!  It also amazes me how talented and knowledgeable my guy, Jerry, is.  He'll figure out a way to fix anything and everything!  Thank you, sweetie!

Our plans are to continue through the Broughtons over the next week, enjoying hide-e-holes, and a couple of more family-run marinas before continuing south to Discovery Passage, the rapids at Dent and Yucalta, Octopus Islands Marine Park, Comox, Nanaimo, the Gulf Islands, and a visit with our new Canadian friends, Brian and Pattie from S/V Elusive on Saturna Island later in August.  We'll update as we can!
Punchbowl Cove - Misty Fjords, Alaska