Friday, June 22, 2012

Nanaimo to Jervis Inlet

Nanaimo to Jervis Inlet

We were all pleasantly surprised by Nanaimo. The promise of an ex coal mining town did not sound that inviting but the marina was clean, showers good and the town very pleasant. A lovely walk along an esplanade overlooking Newcastle island lined with coffee shops, restaurants, boats and seaplanes was a fun place for a walk Luda and stretch our legs.

Nanaimo is our last large provisioning port before we head across the Strait of Georgia for the wilderness of Jervis Inlet and up to Princess Louisa Inlet, which from all accounts is spectacular. Jude and Sandy spent the next day stocking up on food and cleaning up the inside of the boat. Steve repaired the oarlocks on the dingy and I had a second attempt at getting the dingy outboard running better (success this time) and trying to organize a Canadian pay as you go cell package with data plan, which took half a day as ATT had not unlocked my iphone as promised 3 times. We have it done now and our Canadian cell phone number is:  +1  778-269-3501.

We departed Nanaimo at 9:15 on Tuesday the 19th. Forecast was for light winds – 5-10 knots from the south, which is what we got. The Canadian Navy missile range, Whiskey Golf, was active so we had to create a route that went to the west and north of the large test area. At one point on the journey we drifted into the area and were shadowed by a patrol boat until we changed course.

We crossed the Strait with a little wind and a current that helped us along at around 8.5 knots over ground and entered Agamemnon channel for the short cut to Jervis channel and the Harmony Islands, our destination for the evening.

The Agamemnon channel was about 5 miles long and sparsely populated with a few fishing huts. We were all getting the feeling that we are entering the wilderness area we have been waiting for. For those wanting to know what the weather has been like, it has been quite amazing so far. No rain in two weeks, some overcast days but mostly sunny days with midday temperatures around 15-20 Celsius.

We arrived in the Harmony islands at 4:30. Still another 6 hours of daylight left at this latitude! On the east side of the islands is a narrow channel where we planned to anchor. Our first night at anchor this trip and my first attempt at stern tying. The channel is steep to shore and about 100 ft in most places so we had several attempts at getting the anchor satisfactorily set before we sent Steve ashore in the dingy to tie the line around a tree and back to the boat. All we eventually did without too much fuss. 

The beers and snacks came out and Katya and I went across to an island to take Luda for a walk and go rock pooling. Katya found many amazing purple starfish and other creatures which kept us amused for a couple of hours.

The evening weather was warm and the views at this anchorage are spectacular. Calm water views with a backdrop of snow covered mountains rising high in the distance and the sound of the 1400 ft Freil waterfall, which is only half a mile away.

Back on the boat the fishing rods were bought out and within seconds we had rockfish on our lines. Katya was so excited. I decided that the water is warm enough for a swim and surprisingly it was! Bliss.

We have decided to stay here tomorrow and relax and explore this lovely anchorage before heading up to princess Louisa inlet.

Wednesday 20th June

A relaxing day was had by all. Steve and Sandy paddled off in the Kayaks to look at Freil waterfall. Katya and I went exploring in the dingy. We found more starfish and caught a nice sized rockfish at exactly the same time as Jude caught one. Jude’s was larger. Both were kept for cooking for supper.
Two more boats arrived later in the afternoon. One large motor boat and another sail boat that anchored 5-6 boat lengths away.

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