Sunday, July 5, 2015
Backwaters to Broughtons
High winds were forecast to continue after arriving back to Marinero and April Point. Our next destination was the Broughton Islands. We wanted to avoid high winds and big waves in Johnstone Strait so we opted to take the back route through four sets of rapids instead. We had to pick our timing carefully to make it through the Yucultas, Dent, Greene Point and Whirlpool Rapids, all at slack tide. When we left on this trip we fully expected to love the Broughtons. What we discovered along the way is that the route to the Broughtons has been pillaged. Disappointment set in as we passed through clear cut after clear cut in the backwater passageways.
I was sick and exhausted at this point so everything is a blur up to Kwatsi Bay. Highlights along the way were Dent Lodge where we enjoyed a lovely sunset and some time in the hot tub. Hummingbirds were everywhere and we found one in the lodge. It was buzzing up against a window like a bee so Jason and I rescued him, by gently helping him out a window. It was crazy getting to touch a hummingbird. After going through the Dent Rapids the following morning, we spent the afternoon tied up to a dock at Blind Channel waiting for slack tide on Greene Point Rapids. This gave us a chance to hike to a couple of massive 600 year-old cedars. We also met a 94 year-old man (he didn't look a day over 80) who told us about how he had spent the last thirty years of his life RV'ing and, after this trip on a friend's boat, he had to take up yachting before he ran out of time. I hope I have that much energy and am that fit when I'm 94. We spent that night at Forward Harbor which a reviewer on Active Captain gave four out of five stars....even though their dog had gotten eaten by a cougar on the beach, so we thought it must be really good if it still got four stars after that....or maybe the reviewer really didn't like their dog? The anchorage was ok, and needless to say, with limited time there and large felines with a taste for canines on shore we didn't paddle into the beach. The following night was spent at Matalpi Islands, an old First Nations village site with a sad vibe and views of clear cuts across the channel. The following morning we motored in the rain through logged-out channel after logged-out channel feeling disillusioned. It didn't help that we heard a mayday call along the way by a captain with a life threatening injury after putting his arm through a window. When we got to Tribune Channel we were joined by a group of Pacific White-sided dolphins who played around our boat and lifted our spirits as we approached Kwatsi Bay.
Kwatsi Bay is a beautiful little bay surrounded by high mountains with a quaint little marina run by Anka and Max. We spent a lovely day paddling around and enjoying the company of the owners. Max showed us a hundred year old paddle wheel from his hydro-power setup that broke during the winter. He told us that this is the driest, hottest year they have ever seen and that water sources everywhere are drying up. He said water shortage is a problem that no one in this normally water-logged area has ever thought about as a possibility so no one has a Plan B worked out yet. Anka and I swapped broken wrist stories and compared each others healing progress. In the evening we joined other boaters on the dock for happy hour, where we swapped stories about being held up by wind down south and exchanged info on the mayday call we had heard come over the radio. It seems the captain made it to an ambulance, but after that no one knew his fate, though we are all hoping for the best.
Click here for photos.