August 10, 2010 By Becky – We woke to a great morning and are heading north from Cortez Island. We are inside a lot of islands and the water is calm. The mountains (some snowcapped) rise on either side of us and it is beautiful! We have had amazing weather and tend to have sunny afternoons for happy hour on the deck each day.
Paul is determine to teach me to be a sailor and I think I am doing OK other than the few times he has to take a deep breath and show me again. I have a bit of a hard time with the anchor since I can’t kneel on the knee that would make it easier to deploy since that is my artificial knee. I also struggle with enough strength to manhandle the chain when needed so Paul has to come to the rescue occasionally. We have seen eagles, seals and porpoises but are not yet far enough North for whales.
Boaters tend to be very social folk and Paul’s boat draws a lot of attention. I am learning the answers to the most common questions so can fool some people into thinking I know what I am talking about. At Chatterbox Falls we ended up having an open house since everyone wanted to check out his boat. The women tend to envy the room and layout. The men discuss the engine and other things I don’t have a clue about. I just know that it is a very comfortable boat and I am loving every moment of the trip. It is fun seeing the other boats also and I am continually amazed at how BIG some of the boats are.
We stopped in Lund yesterday and had lunch. It is a cute little marina with a bit of a resort feel but also a bit of an old fishing village. Then we meandered our way around some small islands to Gorge Bay on Cortez Island. We are heading to Bute Inlet today that is glacier fed and so we expect it to be much colder and to have more awesome views. The water temp has already started to change color and has dropped 10 degrees even though we are just heading in to the Inlet.
August 11, 2010: Stargazer saves the day.
Yesterday began at 0315 when Becky woke me by saying, “The boats are awfully close”. She was right, the lowering tide had changed everyone’s scope in the harbor, and for some reason, the Ellie K seems to dance differently on an anchor than other boats. Knowing that the tide was going out, I decided to take in some chain. Well this brought me right into the two Bayliners rafted together. Pushing off from them and starting the engine, got us a cordial good morning from our neighbors. So finding my glasses, getting the Radar turned on, we reset the anchor in pitch darkness. But the stars were beautiful and worth getting up for in there own right. We were on Cortez Island, in Gorge Harbor. It was a breathless night, with plenty of room so we managed to find a spot soon, but it took us a while to warm back up, our feet were freezing.
We were up shortly after anyway to start our day, and our tour of Bute Inlet. I had looked at it a few times on the chart, but it has to be its own destination because it is out of the way and there is nothing at the end of it. It is a wide, deep Fiord with high Mountains on each side and we were blessed with a beautiful sunny day. The end of the Inlet is open and exposed so we decided to head back out. Wagoneers decribes a place called ‘The Nook’to anchor, a little west of Orford Bay, we set the way point for the Lat- Long that they gave and watched the lowering sun cast shadows on the mountains. I could see a crack in the mountains on the heading that we set, but decided to check Orford Bay when we passed. The afternoon wind was blowing right into the bay so we sailed on, the quarter of a mile to the crack in the wall. I was glad that I had bought the Wagoneers guide. It is a fantastic little hole, room for a few boats with a log tied across the back of the cove for running a stern tie, and a waterfall. We let out all of our 200 ft of chain a bit more of the 5/8 nylon rode, in 150’ of water, tied rolling hitch to it, pulled the stern around, listened to the waterfall as the sunset and enjoyed steak and Pepper Jack quesadillas. We look out across Bute Inlet, three miles to rocky ridge named Cosmos Heights, wonderful. Coffee and Banana Nut muffins in the oven, waiting for the slack of Arran Rapids, then Dent Rapids three miles later. Hoping to hit Green Point Rapids later in the afternoon and stop in Beaver Inlet in Loughborugh Inlet tonight.