Sunday, September 1, 2013

Ewin Cove, Hot Springs Cove, Ahousat and Quait bay.

23rd August. Ewin Cove to Hot Springs Cove. 47 miles.  
Hot Springs
We had been watching the unsettled weather, hoping for a break to round Estevan Point and on to Hot Spring cove. We departed at 7am hoping for some lighter winds but as we entered the open waters the wind built to 25kts plus with 6-7foot seas. The sails were raised we sheeted in and close hauled our way down the coast having to beat to windward. The 32 miles rhumb line passage turned into 47 miles and we zigzagged our way down the coast. We turned downwind and headed for Hot Spring Cove, sailing within a 100 yards of our anchorage spot. 

Nimbus clouds forming in Young Bay

Sunset in Young Bay. In this case not sailor's delight

The guys on Loon were anchored in the cove as well and I went over to see them before going on the lovely boardwalk hike to the hot springs. I believe I was lucky in so much as the warm springs was empty and I bathed in the hot water pools overlooking the great Pacific Ocean. It’s a special place but best experienced in solitude I think. I walked back to the dinghy and counted 52 people heading to the springs. I had been lucky.

24th August. Hot Springs Cove to Young Bay. 7 miles. 
Young bay wins the award for the most uncomfortable anchorage of the trip so far. The south winds enter the harbor along with the relentless swell. When the tide turned and the winds dropped in the night we were beam on to the swell and we rocked from side to side for a few hours until the wind picked up again and faced us to the swell.   We looked forward to a peaceful night.
Boardwalk to the Hot springs
 Young Bay is about 750 ft across and room for about 3-4 boats. We tucked in behind the island on the north west side and took the dinghy to shore with the aim of taking the trail to Cecelia Lake. The trail was very overgrown and at points along the way the trail vanished in the very dense rainforest and was obstructed by fallen trees. We all thought it was great fun and were all glad to stretch our legs. Unfortunately we did not get to swim in the lake as we could not find a clear place to enter the water. We made our way back down the trail to find that our dinghy was well down the river, still tied to the tree but the tide had come in much higher than I had expected. I would get my swim after all!
The weather forecasts still looked bleak, 35-40 knot winds so we decided to stay another day. The rain came down in a great deluge, washing the decks clean and turning the water black with dancing droplets. We dropped the crab trap in the water and over the two days were rewarded with 2 nice Dungeness and 4 red crabs with their large, tasty, claw meat. Yum.
 The rain continued in showers, some of which were very heavy. We hunkered down in the cabin and I read Loamhedge out aloud. What a wonderful book.
Jude and I wrote  song for Irit’s birthday and we practiced it in hope that we might be able to record and send it to Irit for her big birthday. What fun we had. We were in hysterics trying to get a decent version to send.

27th August. Young Bay to Ahousat. 14 Miles.
Finally the weather broke, the rain stopped and we headed to the small settlement of Ahousat with its dock, laundry, small store and restaurant. 

We tied up at the long single dock, Native Indians came and went in their boats, dropping people off and picking people up. Friendly and very polite I enjoyed chatting to them. The mail plane came streaking down the inlet between the trees and pulled up behind Sarita. We posted a couple of letters and watched the plane whisk them away to their far flung destinations.  

Linger Longer came in and anchored further up the inlet. We joined them for supper in the restaurant, exchanged notes and opinions on places we have visited, future destinations and the weather.

The owner of the store showed us a video of a Cougar, or mountain lion, swimming across the inlet, jumping out of the water and running up the dock whilst confused people on the dock ran or went for guns. Apparently it was on the Canadian news the previous day.

28th August. Ahousat to Quait Bay. 16 miles
Again the extended forecasts look a bit wild so we looked for a protected place to wait out the passing of the weather fronts to make our passage to Ucluelet. Quait bay won the prize for best looking sheltered location so off we headed past pebble lined beaches, weaving our way through the myriad of crab traps. Speeding boats out of Tofino ferried tourists to Hot Springs cove and whale watching tours on the coast. Clearly we are nearing civilization after 2 months away from it. Some people might crave the hustle and bustle of a town or city but we were all slightly disappointed as it meant that we were nearing the end of our trip. We went through the narrow entrance to Quait bay. The winds were extinguished and we settled into an afternoon of driving rain hammering the decks.
Linger Longer entering Quait bay
29th August. Quait bay.
The weather continued to look bad so we stayed put in Quait bay. Linger longer came in to the bay as well and they heard from Cambria calling us on the VHF. Kirk kindly relayed our position and plans to David and Stephanie.    

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