Sunday, September 1, 2013

Zeballos, Tahsis, Bodega Bay, Bligh Island

18th  August. Queens Cove to Zeballos. 15 miles.
The short passage to Zeballos was uneventful and we tied up in this small port and went to have a look at this interesting town. I went and paid our harbor dues to Arlene and Jeff at the harbor office, had a chat with them for a while and met Jude and Katya. We caught the smell of frying coming from a store and went in to have a look and see if we could get some french fries. It has been a while since we have had any and the thought of having some made us salivate. Sure enough Linda the store owner kindly obliged and made us some lover skin on fries which we devoured. We chatted to Linda, a real character. She told us of her passion rock collecting and showed us some examples and kindly gave Katya a stone pendant she had made. We bought some basic provisions from the store and went for a walk up the river to see if we could find some interesting rocks.

 In the evening the fishermen returned with their catches. A native pulled alongside the dock opposite us and unloaded his catch of King Salmon and kindly offered us a lovely 18lb salmon which we gratefully accepted. We chatted with a Chinese couple who used to live in Hong-Kong. Apparently he is a ballroom dancer?
Zeballos is an interesting town with its mining and logging history, its old timber, false fronted buildings and high mountains surrounding the village at the head of an inlet. The dock was bustling with life. Commercial fishermen came, unloaded their catch, refilled with ice and left again. Sports fishermen proudly landed their catches: Salmon, Lingcod, Halibut, Redsnapper. Children jumping off the wharf into the clear waters coming out of the river and into the inlet.   Zeballos seems like a seldom visited place by cruising boats, most heading for Tahsis instead. According to the harbor master we were only the 10th cruising boat in this season.
As the water in the harbor was so clear I took the opportunity to put my dive gear on and check out the condition of the bottom and zincs. I was watched by a young local native boy who, Jude said, held his breath every time when I went under the water.

19th August. Zeballos to Tahsis. 15 miles
Another short trip so our departure was not until midday, we motored down Zeballos inlet being overtaken by fishermen heading out to sea. We negotiated Tahsis narrows which are relatively benign and headed north up Tahsis inlet where we dropped the prawn trap on 300 feet of water at the mouth of the Leiner River. As we headed over to the marina Kirk from Linger-Longer called us on channel 16. Kirk had seen us and thought me might be anchoring out in the inlet. We motored into the marina and we greeted by the friendly staff, tied up and greeted by the guys on Linger Longer and Loon.

  Tahsis  is one of the few provisioning stops along the west coast. One has to borrow the courtesy car from the marina and drive into town and choose from a very limited selection of produce, with little or no fresh produce. We were glad to be able to buy some items though.
 We invited our friends over in the evening to help us eat the King Salmon we had been kindly given in Zeballos. Kirk kindly bought a lovely bottle of malt whiskey and we sat on the aft deck in the fading evening light.

20th August. Tahsis to Bodega Bay 16 miles.
The following morning we caught up on some laundry and I tried to upload my notes to this site but the internet was down. It was the first chance I have had since Prince Rupert. Pruth Harbour did have some internet but it was weak and flakey.
Having finished the laundry we cast off the lines and collected the prawn trap which yielded 85 prawns and 1 octopus, which was returned to the water despite the thoughts of pan frying it.
 Linger Longer were already anchored in Bodega as we arrived and were getting into their kayaks for some exploring. We dropped the hook and I went for a swim in the water which was 17c. warm.
 We stayed in Bodega for a couple of days. I caught a couple of good sized Dog Fish, which were returned. I don’t think they are good eating but they also have a venomous barb on their backs which makes landing them a bit of a challenge without killing them.

22nd August. Bodega bay to Ewin Cove, Bligh Island. 10 miles.
Weaving our way through the small islands on the west side of Bligh island and up Ewin inlet we were pleased to see that the anchorage was empty. The winds licked up a bit and seemed to swirl around the anchorage making us sail on the anchor a bit. The winds eventually died down in the evening and we had a good night’s sleep. 

The weather forecast still looks unsettled. Low pressure systems keep sweeping across the coast and the Pacific high is nowhere to be seen. The north of the island is getting battered by 50 knot winds and high seas. 

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