Thursday, August 28, 2008

North Coast: Week Four: Central Coast

This week begins with "bumping" into my parents in Seaforth Channel, near Bella Bella. Although I knew that they were going to try to meet up with us, we didn't know when they were leaving or have any way to reach them to find out where they were. Our only way to connect was with our handy little SPOT device. We send a automated email each evening with our position. My parents would then have to call my sister to find out our lat and long, and then guess where we would be traveling the following day. They cruised right past us twice, as we were holed up in a safe harbour!! When we finally met, we traveled to Eucott Bay and waited out the rain and wind, were entertained by dolphins, enjoyed the hotsprings, and waited for Ken and Cherie to arrive via ferry at Shearwater. When Ken and Cherie did arrive, we met them in the dark at the Shearwater dock, thanks to the shuttle service provided by the b&b Ken and Cherie had arranged, and had a nice evening of catching up before they retired to their comfy (single) beds, and John and I to the boat at the dock. The next morning, we bought copious amounts of rain gear and boots, enjoyed brunch in the pub, picked up a few groceries, filled the water tanks, and we were on our way to explore Burke Channel. The weather wasn't as cooperative as our first two times up this way, and we found ourselves in chopping seas, with a fresh wind. Luckily, I steered to keep my stomach calm.

Without a protected anchorage to hide from the wind, we went all the way to Ocean Falls, where we could tie up our boat safely. Ocean Falls, once a booming mill site with the biggest hotel north of San Francisco, is now a small community of fifty year round residents, and twice that in the summer months. Fishing is still very good in the area, and we saw several boats catching salmon at the mouth of Cousins Inlet. We stayed three days with Ken and Cherie and were able to explore the old town, Martin Valley and the old holiday homes along the inlet. Although it rained constantly, we enjoyed poking around town, fishing, relaxing and visiting. Ken and Cherie jumped back on the ferry for the return trip to Port Hardy.