Thursday, August 21, 2008

North Coast: Week Three - Heading South

Finally, a break in the weather, and there was much activity on the docks as all the boats - fishing and cruising - were being prepared to head South. Even though our gasket set was lost in purolater heaven, we left with the convoy and optimistically made our way to warmer and drier climes. We traveled with Skylark II and Lyla, and it was reassuring to have other boats around, in case our engine played up again. We were thankful that the engine ran perfectly on our first day as we travelled through Grenville Channel and anchored in pretty Kumealon Inlet, enjoying drinks and dessert on with Lyla on Skylark II.

In hopes of getting a slight head start to make up for our slower speed, we left Kumealon Inlet earlier than the others, travelling by radar in the morning fog. As we entered the channel, the fog lifted momentarily to reveal a glorious blue sky!! Wahooo....laundry day! We were able to sail with our genoa for short periods, but mostly we motored along, as our laundry dried in the breeze.

After a long day, we found ourselves at Hartley Bay, again with Lyla and Skylark. Hartley Bay is a small community, built entirely on muskeg. Because of this, all the roadways and building foundation are elevated above the ground. There are no vehicles here, only ATV's and golf carts to move between the homes on wooden roadways. A beautiful, picturesque community. We were told that the woman in the green house sells bread, but apart from that and fuel, services here are very few. We spoke briefly with a visiting fisherman at the docks who had been having good luck on the water this week. We were inspired to do a little fishing the next day!

Pierre and Danielle on Lyla have cruised extensively with their boat and have caught all sorts of wild and exotic (to us) fish over the years. Over the last several weeks on their trip to Alaska, they had been very lucky catching halibut. BUT...they were hoping to catch a salmon. We would try our luck north of Butedale, and although Pierre had a great fight with a big one, I caught the only salmon that day!

After another night at the rickety docks of Butedale, we made our way to Windy Bay to wait out the predicted gales. A couple of relaxing days spent exploring, crabbing, reading, and resting!!