Wednesday, July 6, 2016

God's Pocket to Sea Otter Cove

After we said good-bye to Emma we started our sad drive back up the island. We spent the night in Courtenay where we had a lovely dinner on the patio of a river-side pub. The following morning I provisioned at a local natural food market before we drove the last leg to Port McNeill. Jason dropped Aaron and I off at the top of the dock in the rain and then drove up to Port Hardy to drop off the rental car. There were no dock carts available at the top of the dock so we filled two shopping carts with soggy groceries, bags and chihuahua, and rattled our way down to the boat. After I got everything put away I started on laundry next. It was the classic port day of lots of errands and getting the boat ready for the next big thing.

The following morning we set off early for God's Pocket, a tiny scuba diver and sea kayaker resort which was one of our favorite stops from last year. We anchored out in a little bay where humpback whales sometimes stop to spend the night. Apparently they are pretty noisy sleepers and God's Pocket guests occasionally complain to the staff about it. That's such a funny thing to think about. We are pretty sure we could handle a sleepless night with noisy humpback neighbors and hoped they would stop in for the night.

After I gathered some bull kelp to dry on our life lines, we paddled into shore and hiked to the top of a little mountain and then over to a rocky point where we gathered seaweed and barnacles for dinner. Meanwhile a couple of humpbacks cruised through the channel in front of us. Back at the boat I stir-fried everything up and grilled some salmon for a super delicious dinner.

Sadly no humpbacks joined us for a slumber party, so we awoke refreshed and ready to head over the infamous Nawiti Bar and the dreaded Cape Scott. This was a source of major stress for us last year but we made it through with no problems so we were much more relaxed this time. Jason had decided to try the lower route through the reefs and seaweed instead of going over the bar which can get a bit hairy. On the way out of Goletas Channel a Pacific Whitesided dolphin played in our bow wake before we reached open ocean. The seas were really choppy since we were a few hours before the tide changed, but nothing super scary. It seems like a good route to go to avoid the bar if you choose not to cross at the slack.

With some sloppy seas I was pretty sea sick on the way to Cape Scott. It was really chilly out so I was also super cold. The combination of being sea sick and cold made my body sort-of just shut down and I couldn't really keep my eyes open any longer so I headed below and crawled into bed where I soon fell asleep. I'm not a napper so this was a really weird experience for me. Apparently going around Cape Scott was a non-event. Jason and Isaac read and I slept right through it.

We entered Sea Otter Cove and tied up to one of the gargantuan fishing-boat-sized mooring balls for the night. We had the anchorage to ourselves for a couple of hours before another boat came in. They snagged the mooring ball next to ours and we asked them how their passage had been around Cape Scott. Due to engine trouble they they had hit the Nawitti Bar three hours late when the current was starting to ebb pretty strongly. They had radioed a navy boat which had just gone over the bar who reported back that it was fine. So they continued through and got the snot beaten out of them. It was so rough out there, with large standing and breaking waves, that it tore their kayak right off of the life lines on their boat. Yeesh! That sounds bad. I'm thankful we had such a mellow experience going through a few hours earlier.

Click here for photos.

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