Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Here be treasure

Tonight we’re anchored in Pirate’s Cove and while we haven’t found any doubloons we have found some beautiful serenity.  And a family of raccoons. 

Pirate Cove-009

The entrance to the cove is pretty scary – I have a lot of respect for whoever first navigated it.  We did it way too close to low tide and low tide today was a really low tide.  We’re having extreme tides right now which accounts for all the debris that is floating around wherever we go.  The driftwood gets knocked loose from the beaches on extreme high tides and in some places today it was an almost solid barrier.  It gets congregated along the lines where the tide is changing and sometimes it is hard to find a path through it. 

We left Cow Bay just after noon and made a leisurely passage up here so that we can easily make the slack tide in Gabriola Pass.  Slack is around 8:30 and we’re about 5 or 6 hours from the Bay so we didn’t want to try to make that from a morning start.  If we miss that slack then the next one is at 3:30 which doesn’t leave us enough time to get across Georgia Strait. 

Just after we got out of Sansum Narrows Marilyn’ screeched “whale”.  I looked out the door where she was sitting in time to see a large black back maybe 3 feet away from the boat.  Then it disappeared behind us, I stopped the engines and we never saw it again.  She actually saw the white and black and had a good enough look to know which way he was headed (he was meeting us) but neither of us got a great look at him.  So no matter how fleeting a glimpse, that’s our first whale sighting in the bag.  We were beginning to think it would never happen.  We drifted in the channel for maybe 15 minutes – long enough for me to drink a cup of tea – but never saw anything more.  We did see the snout of what may have been an elephant seal but he was too far away and never surfaced again once I got the glasses on him and we saw a few dolphins later on.

Once again we had trouble getting the anchor to stick but I don’t think it was the anchor’s fault.  This place appears to be a rocky inlet into the island.  There’s no evidence of sand on either shore so I think we were just dragging the anchor across the rock hoping that it would snag on a crack.  Eventually it sort of held and we quit pulling but I never pulled anywhere near as hard as I would have liked to so we immediately ran a shore tie.  That’s what the guidebooks recommend for this anchorage anyway and to facilitate that there are steel rings embedded in the rock all around the anchorage. 

We went for a quick putter around the bay tonight.  Marilyn will no doubt go for a much longer trip tomorrow.  She likes to hang over the edge of the dinghy looking at underwater wildlife.  Me not so much.  As we were coming back to the boat I could see some movement along the shoreline deep in the bay so we drifted in quietly and watched a raccoon family washing their supper in the bay.  It looked like they were digging up little clams and having them for supper.  Evidently they hadn’t read the red tide warnings that are conspicuously posted all around the bay.

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