Monday, 31 August 2015

The Broken Islands

The Broken Islands

As we waited out our weather for the offshore sail south, we did some exploring around the Broken Island group. The first stop was Joe's Bay anchorage. We found a secluded spot away from the kayakers and pleasure boats. A beautiful cove hemmed in by four or five islands. We immediately dispatched the unfortunate crabs we had caught at Ucluelet, and had one for lunch, and saved the other for topping our barbecued steaks later that evening. The life of a cruiser can be very difficult at times. ;~)

After our delicious lunch, we launched the kayaks and began exploring the islands and islets in the vicinity. What an amazingly picturesque place! Very quickly we came upon an oyster bed, and gathered up eight unfortunate dinner guests. Later that evening, after our dinner, the sky gave us a wonderful sunset.

In the morning we discovered that the crabs had been talking, and the pot only contained a few youngsters who had ignored the warnings. Kids nowadays!

After an easy breakfast, and some minor maintenance, we motored off to one of Dave's favourite spots, a place called Refuge Island. This is actually out of the park and borders on Vancouver Island. Dave insisted we immediately paddle up Lucky Creek. This was a very enjoyable paddle through dark green rain-forest for about 1/2 a mile. The site at the end was astounding! A seemingly endless series of waterfalls and crystal clear pools tumbling through huge craggy rocks greeted us. We pulled the kayaks onto the rocks and then swam each pool as we ventured farther up the creek. The final scene was breathtaking! One could stand at the top of a high rock and see a 300 degree panorama of huge waterfalls and deep clear pools. It looked like a movie set. By this time we were fairly chilled from our swims. We had a quick beer on the warm rocks and kayaked back to Cygnus.

The following day we motored a short distance south to Mayne Bay and anchored in an unnamed cove. There we rousted about three dozen butter clams from their bed, and cooked up a wonderful pot of chowder for lunch the next day. We also found a bazillion oysters and chose five of the best to join us for dinner.

The next day we decided to try our luck at salmon fishing again at Swale Rock. This time success! We managed to hook a perfect Coho, about 21". Just the right size for a couple of delicious meals, the first being at Nettle Island where we spent a restless night with the wind pummeling us as an unexpected extreme low pressure system hit us after midnight. Suspecting we might see more winds, in the morning we moved about a mile to Jacques/Jarvis cove for much better protection, and a change of scene. We had to enter at high tide to get enough depth, but the holding was great, and as expected, the winds came up again as the barometer rose. We had another down day of reading and a short explore in the kayaks between blows.

After hearing the weather report, we decided to stay another night at Jacques/Jarvis. A good thing. The wind came up again and whistled through the rigging for much of the night. Then the rain came down in buckets. In the morning we decided to head for Ucluelet and get ready to head south. The trip there was quite rough and windy. I think others were taking refuge at Ucluelet also, since the harbor was full and we had to raft up to another boat. This evening, laundry, showers, groceries, and maybe pizza for a treat.

Cheers! Pete and Dave.
Pete with his first salmon

Tuesday, 25 August 2015


Sorry for the delay in posting. Dave and I have been very busy preparing for the offshore leg of our journey, and have had limited network access.

Since arriving in Tofino, we decided to do a bit more exploring of Claquot Sound before heading south. Dave talked me into returning to Hotsprings Cove. It didn't take much arm twisting. We motored out of Tofino and soon found a favourable wind to take us up Millar Channel and Shelter Inlet to Bacchante Bay. There we had the whole Bay to ourselves. This was definitely one of our most picturesque and interesting anchorages. After setting the anchor, we paddled the kayaks up Watta Creek, through a beautiful rainforest, and then hiked on the stone beach for a bit.

In the morning, we motored to Hotsprings Cove. This Cove is a must-see. A gorgeous 25 minute stroll through an old growth cedar forest on a boardwalk that never lets your feet touch the ground, brings you to an amazing hot spring that spills out of the rock, cascades over a 15 foot waterfall and spills into a series of soaking pools amongst high rocks that protect you from the wind. The whole experience is magical. After a good soak, we made the decision to do some last minute preparations for offshore, and so spent the next day working in paradise. A few more trips to the spring later, we set off for my first offshore adventure. The seas were about 8 feet, and the winds from the northwest about 15 to 25 knots. Once we hoisted a full sail pattern, and killed the motor, Cygnus settled in beautifully, and we had a wonderful sail back to Tofino. This was a great training excercise for me. I was unsure how my stomach would take the huge swells, but it turned out well, and I was even able to hoist the Jib with Cygnus pitching and rolling. It was a very exciting experience! We put in to Adventure Cove on Lemmens Inlet.

As it turned out, our weather window for sailing south disappeared. The winds have switched to southerly, or light, and we need a stiff northerly for this leg.

We decided to take advantage of the situation by motoring to Ucluelet and then exploring the many sights in the Broken Island group. Upon arrival at Ucluelet, we toasted Dave's completion of his circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. Also, amazingly, the odometer on the chart plotter was exactly 1000 nautical miles since Olympia! Quite an accomplishment, and quite an adventure so far.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Tofino, BC

     Pete is back aboard Cygnus! He drove and bused all day Monday to arrive at Tofino about 9:30 PM. We had a great day on the beach and around Tofino yesterday.

     Had a small problem at Nootka Sound. The prop shaft zinc was missing. The bolt for it was still there, but the zinc was gone. The diver just put this zinc on in June, so it did not last long at all. Anyway, I inflated the dinghy, put on a mask and snorkel, and leaned over the side of the dinghy so I could reach the bolt (and breath at the same time). Then I was able to remove the old bolt and install a new zinc.

     Along the way to Tofino I stopped at Hot Springs Cove. The springs there are incredibly warm, about 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit). It is so nice I might just talk Pete into going back there with me.

     We expect to spend a few days enjoying the fine weather and scenery here at Clayoquot Sound. Then we will head offshore for a few days. This should be enough to get us to Newport, OR where we can clear US customs.
Rugged Mountain at the head of Tahsis Inlet

My dinghy riding from Bodega Cove to Bligh Cove

Steam rising from the creek at Hot Springs Cove

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Hot Springs Cove

Hi All,
    Dave is anchored at Hot Springs Cove tonight. Perhaps he will have a good soak and he'll stop attracting horseflies. ;~)

New Track Log from Andy

Here is the link to the portion of the track log from Port McNeil to Tahsis. Thanks Andy!

Port McNeil to Tahsis


Hi all,
    As suspected, Dave has remained at Bligh Island to wait out the weather. All looks good for the next few days though, so we should expect him to move on today.
Cheers! Pete.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Bligh Island

Dave is now anchored at Bligh Island. Likely named for an infamous scoundrel, and now, appropriately, playing host to another. Heh! Heh!
There is a gale warning for the coast at the moment, so we may see him stay put for a while.
Cheers! Pete.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Bodega Island

Hi all,
After swilling margaritas, doing laundry, catching up on emails and the blog, getting a much needed shower, and stocking up on more provisions, Dave left Tahsis and is now anchored a few miles away at Bodega Island.
    We have agreed that I will meet up with him again when he reaches Tofino. We hope to do some sightseeing around Claquot Sound and then, weather permitting, head for Newport Oregon.  I'm very much looking forward to my first offshore sailing experience!
Cheers! Pete.

Monday, 10 August 2015

Tahsis, BC

Made it around Cape Cook
with no issues and the wind at my back. The sea otters have been joined by black bears on the wild life watching list. 3 black bears so far (2 may have been the same one - same beach different days). I met some wonderful folks from England, and another couple from Calgary, at the Bunsby Islands. Kyuquot Sound was very damp, but pretty all the same. I have made it all the way to Nootka Sound now. I am presently enjoying a Margarita at Tahsis, BC. A few more days at Nootka and it will be time to decide where to go next...
Solander Island, off Cape Cook

Klaskino Intet

     After losing an anchor at Sea Otter Cove I sailed on to Quatsino Sound. This is the northernmost of the “Five Great Sounds” of Vancouver Island’s west coast. There is obviously a boat ramp somewhere in there (Winter Harbour among other places) as the sport fishing boats were (almost) more numerous than the biting flies. I was able to make the trip from Sea Otter Cove entirely under sail with northwest winds of 10-20 knots
Quatsino light

My good friend the Sea Otter (this is why I haven't been enjoying any crab dinners)

Klaskino Anchorage

Cygnus at Klaskino Anchorage
at my back. I set the wind vane steering for the first time this trip, so the wind provided both the propulsion and the steering. Great Sailing! All along the way the features of the Brooks Peninsula became clearer. This will be the last great obstacle in my course along Vancouver Island’s west coast.

     After sailing through the fishing fleet off of the Quatsino light, I anchored for the night at Koprino Inlet. The flies here were very difficult to cope with. It was unbelievable how many horse flies can hang out around one place. It is a pretty enough anchorage, but I left first thing the next day to get away from the flies. I ran the engine a few hours to charge the batteries (the windlass battery was especially hurting after its exertions trying to save an anchor at Sea Otter Cove) and anchored behind Anchorage Island in Klaskino Inlet. The Brooks peninsula loomed in front of me all the way, covered, as it is want to be covered, in a blanket of low clouds. This is known as the “Cap on the Cape”.  Tomorrow I plan to leave at first light to make it around Cape Cook, and the Brooks Peninsula, before the afternoon gale kicks in. Gale force winds are a regular feature of this location, there is rarely a day that weather radio does not call for this. As with all obstacles I find along the way, my plan is to turn it into a non-event with careful timing. Guess we’ll see… J

Sea Otter Cove

     Two of the major obstacles in my course fell in a single day; Nahwitti Bar is famous for dangerous seas as the ocean swell breaks on a seriously shallow bar, and Cape Scott is famous for conflicting current streams further conflicting with ocean swell making an effect some have described as a “washing machine”. I left Bull Harbour a bit before 6 AM to make the low water slack at Nahwitti Bar and crossed the bar without any trouble, though the seas were a bit over 2 meters and quite steep at about 5 seconds. I motored slowly (~4 knots) so as to arrive at Cape Scott, the westernmost point on Vancouver Island, at high water slack. The seas were very confused here (just as advertised) but no problem to cross at high water slack. I stopped at the first protected anchorage on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Sea Otter Cove. This is a very pretty cove with lots of interesting places to explore. Regrettably, it is not very well protected from NW winds, which howled through the cove the entire time I was there.
     There was a serious issue when it came time to pull the anchor; it wouldn’t budge. Even running the engine at high speed would not break the anchor free from whatever was it was fouled on. I think it may have fouled on the anchor or chain for a mooring buoy that is no longer there (but shown in the cruising guides). The water was too murky to see anything, so swimming to the anchor would have been useless and extremely cold. The end result was I left a 44 pound Bruce anchor and 25 feet of chain on the bottom of the cove. It was disappointing to cut the chain, but there was no real choice. Now I am down to one anchor, a 45 pound CQR. This is the anchor I used all the way to Glacier Bay and back a few years ago so it should not be a problem. Still, I need to buy a new spare at my earliest convenience. If you know of anyone selling a 40-45 pound anchor…

Cape Scott

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Queen's Cove

Surprisingly, Dave pressed on despite the southerly winds. He is now in an appropriate anchorage named Queen's Cove. :~)
Cheers! Pete.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Near Whiteley Island

Hi all,
     What a gadabout Dave is! He has moved a full mile from Dixie Cove to a snug little un-named cove near Whiteley Island. I would expect he is sheltering from the Southerly gale warning on the coast and having a good look around.

Friday, 7 August 2015

No word

Dave may have decided to do some exploring. The winds offshore are not favourable for sailing south. They will turn back to the northerlies hopefully on Monday. Stay tuned.
Cheers! Pete.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Dixie Cove

Hi all,
     It looks like Dave is doing some great sightseeing. He is now anchored at Dixie Cove Marine Park. This is one of the areas he really wanted to explore.
Cheers! Pete.

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Bunsby Islands

Sorry It took me a day to post this. I was battling either the flu or food poisoning. I spent most of the last 20 hrs on the big white telephone.
     In any case, yesterday Dave made it to the Bunsby Islands. Just south of the Brooks Peninsula.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Brooks Peninsula

At around 2:00 P.M. I received a location from Dave. He has made it around Brooks Peninsula.
Things may go a wee bit slower for a while since there are some heavy seas out there. Looks like he's tucked into a snug anchorage.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

KMZ file to view

Hi all,
    The following is a link to the GPS track that Dave has been recording since we left Olympia. Thanks to Andy Jeschke for creating this for us. I have taken the libery of compressing it to a manageable size. If you click on the link, it should bring up a Dropbox dialog box. Click on open, and you will see a file called Flight of Cygnus.kmz. Double clicking on this file should start Google Earth and display our route so far.
If you have problems, email me or comment on this page.
Also, if you know of a way to post a direct link, please let me know, I would love to know how.
Cheers! Pete.

Google Earth Track Log

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Klaskino Inlet

I think Dave is having some fun times sailing. He's moving fast behind a 30 to 35 knot N.W. wind. I wish I was there! He may hole up for a bit. I think the winds are getting a little high the next few days. He's in a spot called Anchorage Island.