Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Waddington to Glendale cove

Waddington Bay to Booker Lagoon

 The forecast was for showers and 15 to 20 knot winds for our short 15 mile trip to Booker Lagoon, a large secluded inland lake with its only entrance 50 feet across. Reported currents of 14 knots meant that timing was important to enter the lagoon. We motored out of Waddington and down the channel until we turned north and unfurled the sails in sunshine. Not a shower in sight. Steve was on the helm, close hauled in 15 knots. Dolphins and Orcas were spotted. We entered the outer anchorage and dropped the hook and had lunch whilst we waited for slack water. A group of Bald Eagles, soared overhead.

We entered the lagoon at slack water, kelp on our port and rocks on our starboard sides. Once through the channel the large lagoon lay ahead and we searched for a place for the night. We found a spot on the north end. Sheltered with a few islands to explore this looked like an ideal place to spend a couple of days.

We explored the shoreline, found and old cabin in the woods which had been abandoned some years ago and walked Luda in the woods. Sandy tried her luck at fishing but the fish were being somewhat elusive although one small fish was caught.

Booker Lagoon to Claydon Bay and Turnbull Cove

We exited the lagoon at 4pm, being slack water. We debated leaving at the earlier slack water but being at 2.30 am it was an easy choice to make. There was a group of 5 boats awaiting to enter the lagoon and we were pleased that we had had the place almost to ourselves for two days.

We had a short sail to Claydon bay, Whales were spotted again and we spent the night at anchor, set the crab trap and enjoyed yet another quiet evening with only three other boats in the bay. The next morning we were pleasantly surprised to find 4 Dungeness crabs in the trap but the ones that were of legal size were females so they all had to be returned.

We left at 10am for another short trip to Turnbull Cove. On approaching the entrance to the anchorage we spotted a white haze over the water about 2 miles ahead. This normally happens where a large waterfall meets the water surface. In this case it turned out to be a huge set of rapids. The combination of a very low spring tide, a narrow entrance and a huge body of water behind the entrance made for quite a spectacle. Apparently it is quite unusual as these white water rapids are salt water rather than fresh water river rapids. We drew up as close as we dared to watch the spectacle and marveled at its power.

Turnbull cove has a narrow entrance but has plenty of space to anchor. We managed to get a good spot that would give us sunshine into the late evening. The mountains that rose all around us were very steep and scared with landslides.

We all trooped off in the dingy for a hike up to a mountain lake. A lovely walk took us to a set of moss covered wooden steps leading to a lake with crystal clear water. A swim was definitely in order. Katya, Sandy, Steve and I leapt in and enjoyed the dip and spent about an hour soaking up the sunshine and cool water.

Turnbull Cove to Sullivan Marina      

Having spent the last 8 days at anchor we decided that we would stop off at a Sullivan Marina and replenish our water, refill the propane tank and get some cinnamon rolls – very important for breakfast.

Sullivan Marina is a small floating village with a general store, fuel dock and restaurant. The docks were lined with large motor cruisers, some like apartment blocks. All looked a bit out of place in this wilderness.

Sullivan Marina to Glendale Cove

We originally planned to go from Sullivan to Kwatsi Bay marina but when we arrived there the small Marina was full. We managed to make the most of the wind and sailed most of the way and saw our first black bear of the trip who was searching through the rocks at low tide. We decided to carry on to Glendale cove, a somewhat unprotected anchorage up Knight Inlet which is supposed to be a good place to see Grizzly bears.

On entering Knight Inlet the winds built up from 10 knots to 20 knots and then 30 knots behind us. We enjoyed the wonderful downwind sail with the current going with us but were somewhat apprehensive about what the unprotected anchorage would be like. No other boats in sight the whole trip up the Inlet.

On Arrival into Glendale cove we found that we were alone in the bay which allowed us to choose the best protected spot to drop the hook. There was a small breakwater on the west shore which would be useful to take Luda for a walk on. We anchored in 40 feet of water at high tide which would give us about 15 foot at low tide.

Given this is supposed to be a hot spot for Grizzly bears I was somewhat apprehensive about taking Luda for her usual evening walk. I packed the air-horn and set off for the shoreline. When we stepped ashore there was evidence of bears everywhere in the form of droppings, and I mean big droppings. Each one was probably about twice the size of Luda. Needless to say our trip ashore was somewhat short.   

The girls prepared a beautiful supper, with Steve and Rog lighting the BBQ to grill the chicken. A slight mishap in lighting procedures blew the lid up off the BBQ which set Steve and Rog into fits of laughter. We all dressed up and Katya made Steve and I bow ties.

Whilst having our evening drinks on deck Jude spotted something moving on shore. Sure enough the binoculars confirmed that it was Grizzly bear strolling up and down the shoreline, only 150 meters from the boat and another 200 meters from where I walked Luda.

Being an unprotected anchorage and winds of up to 25 knots predicted we decided to set an anchor watch through the night. 2 hour watches up until 5am when we would all get up and see if we could spot some more bears. The night was uneventful. The tide dropped until we had only 13 feet below us and we could hear Dolphins blowing around the boat.

In the morning I took Luda ashore again in the Kayak and we scanned the shoreline all around us for more signs of bears. One was spotted in the distance but then the same bear that we saw the previous evening came out on the shore again. Jude, Rog and I jumped in the dingy to get closer to it and we followed it for about ½ an hour. It was quite a special moment.  Steve and Sandy went out later and we managed to get within a 100 feet of the bear.       


  1. Great to hear more of your adventures but just a reminder, bears can swim! and hungry bears can swim even faster!!! Is Katya fixing her own shoes??? Deda Fima would be very proud! Miss you very much!Will you be with us for summer?

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  3. What an experience! The bears must be HUGE to have "poo's" that size!