27 July - Ocean Falls
Another day to fish for Pink Salmon! After a leisurely morning of coffee, a breakfast of yogurt with fruit and granola, and posting photos on Facebook, Rolynn and I set out for the Martin River in the dinghy Steve and I had repaired the previous day. The dinghy ride was far faster and easier than the mile hike the day prior. We beached the dinghy at low tide near the mouth of the Martin River, and to our delight found that the Pinks were still there. I guess the salmon were waiting for the right tidal conditions to swim up the Martin River to spawn. I gave Rolynn a quick primer on the use to a spin-casting rod, and she eventually got the hang of it. She hooked a few but did not catch any. I used my fly rod and caught five nice ones, and lost several others. Each provided a great fight lasting five to ten minutes, some jumping and others trying to run for the open ocean. I kept the final one for the following day's dinner. All were in the five to seven pound range, with beautiful spotted coloring on their sides and tails. Some of the males had humps on their backs and hooked lower jaws that they get when they are ready to spawn. They are sometimes referred to as "Humpies." After a round of celebratory gin and tonics, we walked to the Dark Shadows Lodge for a dinner of fish and chips. We had dinner together with Jack and Maureen Larsen, from Gig Harbor, Washington, who were at the marina with their boat "Loon a Sea". We chatted a bit with the owners and operators of the lodge, since we were the only guests besides some tree cutters who were staying there.
28 July - Ocean Falls to Troup Narrows
After breakfast Rolynn and I walked up to take one more look at the town before leaving Ocean Falls. We stopped at the lodge and chatted with the owners again and also talked to the owner of the marina, Burt, who we had met the day before. He took us on a tour of his large building that houses a marine ways, which could accommodate a fairly large ship pulled out of the water on a rail equipped ramp. Burt let us take a tour of Nearly Normal Norman's museum, housed in the building. Norman was busy working at the marina so he was not present. On the way out of Cousins Inlet after leaving Ocean Falls, we tried catching halibut in Wallace Cove with no luck. After catching salmon on a fly rod I'm not sure I can get excited about bottom fishing, but then I have not caught a halibut yet. We arrived at a wonderful spot in Troup Narrows and Rolynn won the anchorage bet as there were two boats there before us. Prior to settling in for gin and tonics Rolynn and I put the crab pot out. Steve grilled a pork loin and the Pink Salmon I caught yesterday. Rolynn supplemented the meal with grilled vegetables and noodles. While cooking dinner, we witnessed something extraordinary. A Bald Eagle swooped in to grab a fish, but it must have been too heavy and he got stranded in the water. I watched through the binoculars as he laboriously swam to shore in a sort of bird breast stroke. It was a near thing but he reached shore before running out of strength in the cold water. After drying his feathers a bit on shore he flew to a branch about ten feet off the ground. Once dry enough to fly, the eagle took to the air and soared around the bay drying his feathers. Quite and unusual sight! After dinner Rolynn and I checked the crab pot and found we had nine Dungeness Crabs; six were keepers. I won the crab bet since I guessed five. Dinner for tomorrow!
29 July - Troup Narrows to Roscoe Inlet
After a leisurely coffee and breakfast, we weighed anchor and set out not the five hour cruise up Roscoe Inlet covering about 35 miles. Underway Steve and I cleaned the crabs caught the previous afternoon, the largest we have seen. Steve employs a unique method of grabbing a set of crab limbs in each hand and twisting, separating the edible portion of the legs and claws from the carapace; very neat and quick when done properly.
30 July - Roscoe Inlet to Codville Lagoon
We departed Roscoe about 0800 for the five hour trip south down Johnson and Fisher Channels to Codville Lagoon. The weather was sunny and warm for the trip, although Fisher was a bit windy and we sailed through a two foot chop the last hour or so. We had to maneuver through about a dozen commercial fishing boats in Fisher near the entrance to Codville that we gill netting or purse seining for Coho Salmon.
|"Humpie" in Fitz Hugh|
bordered by huge trees, lush berry bogs, and beautiful ferns. The lake was picturesque with a long sandy beach stained red from the tannin in the cedar forest.
|Brian at Codville Lake|
|Brian's Cut Throat Trout|
We awoke to thick fog and departed at about 0900 when it began to thin. We picked up the shrimp pot dropped the night before on the way into Codville. After hand reeling in 400 feet of line, I was rewarded with the sight of 40 shrimp. I won the shrimp bet since I guessed 59 and both Rolynn and Steve guessed higher numbers. On the trip south down Fitzhugh Channel we spotted quite a number of Humpback Whales that were breaching, blowing, and wagging their tails. After one sighting, as I was waiting on the foredeck for a photo opportunity, a group of several
|The Bears are Here|
Kayak Cove to Wizard Cove - 1 August
The fog lifted by morning, and we departed at about 0900 for the three hour cruise up Cultus Sound (Cultus is a Chinook word for worthless), Sans Peur Passage, and Hunter Channel to our next anchorage at Wizard Cove. We were rewarded with the sight of a Sea Otter floating on his back just outside the cove as we departed. Sea Otters were nearly hunted to extinction during the 19th century and are scarce and very wary. We arrived at Wizard cove just before noon and were delighted that the anchorage was empty, since there is only room for one boat. We anchored in 32 feet of water without incident and Rolynn and I set out to explore the extensive waterway. Every anchorage has a resident
Wizard Cove to Shearwater - 2 August
We weighed anchor about 0800 for the two hour cruise to Shearwater. We paused outside of Bella Bella and the way so Rolynn could download her e-mail traffic. Steve and I waited until Shearwater. Shearwater was loaded to the gills with boats but the marina had a space reserved for us. We caught up on e-mail while Steve had the marina electrician trouble-shoot the generator. Once that was fixed we trouped to shore to shop in the grocery store and purchase a few gifts. Tonight we will eat at the marina restaurant and celebrate my last day aboard. I will take the water taxi to the airport at 0900 tomorrow morning to catch my 1030 flight back to Vancouver and civilization.