Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday July 19, 2009
The Colliers and Stewarts headed south to Kayak Cove the Timm’s and Matheson’s are headed north to Ellerslie Bay.
July 20 & 21 Ellerslie Bay
Ellerslie Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful anchorages on the west coast.
We anchored at the head of the bay and had a very nice Prawn Dinner. Next morning we set the prawn pots then headed outside the bay at high slack tide to do some bottom fishing. Gary found a suitable “high Plateau” and using large jigs loaded with octopus bait we caught 7 fairly large Red Snapper and they were wonderful pan fried with a light dusting of bread crumbs toped off with crab cocktails. Next morning we pulled the prawn pots and they had nothing in them. Very disappointing.
On July 21st we headed for Klemtu an Indian village settled by two tribes. We stopped for fuel and water and called on channel 6 for a tour of the Long House. I got Francis on the radio and he said he would meet us there and that it was a short 15 minute walk around the bay.
Soooo we walked to the Long House and it was an n interesting walk to see the First Nation people and their lack of concern with junk in their yards. The road was paved for a short distance then turn into a dirt trail that was downtown Klemtu. It was a hot day and when we arrived at the Long House we were pretty warm. There was Francis sitting on a folding chair just outside of the back door to the Long House. Francis , a 72 year old senior elder of the tribe was difficult to understand at first and seemed to ramble on about the Eagle, the Bears and the Orca. After about 30 minutes standing outside the long House being eating by Black Flies Francis took us to the front entrance were we stood for another short time for a story about the Spirit bear which was actually very interesting. Then he opened the door and we went inside to see a beautiful structure with enormous Cedar timbers holding the hoof with an open covered area in the center which is to act as a chimney when they had their fire pit in action . There were bleachers on two sides with a sand floor and an 8 foot in diameter stone fire pit on the center of the floor. At the opposite end were very large Totem cedar carvings and a hollowed out log which is used like a drum for up to ten drum beaters. Francis said to use only the left hand when striking the log. The sound was awesome to say the least.
We got Francis to call a cab to get us back and it was a run out mini van with no suspension, no muffler and I got to ride in the rear compartment behind the back seat over the pot holes and ruts. We all decided that it was a worth while stop to see Klemtu and the Long House.
That night we anchored at the head of Alexander inlet which was a very windy muddy passage about 5 miles long.
July 22nd 2009
We pulled anchor and headed for Kutze Inlet. Upon entering the inlet I gat a radio call from a fishing boat that was traveling nearby and he gave us directions on entering the bay and where to anchor. He was a retired commercial fisherman with his wife and grandson and we anchored at the head of the Inlet just opposite from a wonderful waterfall that must have been several thousand feet in height . This is truly one of the most beautiful anchorages we have experienced in our 30 years of boating. We were just off the drying grassy flats between where the Kutze River enters the Bay and The waterfall. At low tide there were dozens of eagles sitting on the mud flats. Wayne the fisherman said that we may see Grizzles on the grassy flats. We shall see.
We celebrated Cheryl 65th birthday and Lenore provided a super pork roast dinner complete with a round cake filled with apple pie filling. It was outstanding.
We went to the river in the F 16 a crossed the channel to look for brown bears and saw none. Set the crab pot and got only one nice male crab.
Tomorrow we go to Butedale only 8 miles away.
Stopped at Butedale and decided the dock was not safe so we continued on to Bishop Bay Hot Springs.
The anchoring was iffy but we finally dropped 300 feet of chain and we held well with great weather.
The hot springs was very nice with a recent overhaul of much of the walk way. The water in the hot springs was just right for a 15 minute soak and it was very clean and clear with not a trace of slime on the rocks. There was even a camp ground made of all cedar planks looking out over the bay.
Bishop Bay Hot Springs is a must stop venue for sure.
July 25 2009
We traveled up Gardner Canal with the thought of staying the night at Shearwater Hot Springs but did not like the poor anchoring condition so we traveled on to Owyacumish Bay which was a stunning setting with a big roaring waterfall and river coming into the bay all set in very tall steep granite cliffs and snow capped mountain ridges. The water was blue green glacier water with a very low salt content. We anchored near the outflow of the waterfall and went up the river to look for bears and saw none. There was a cabin at the mouth of the river there fall Kayakers and campers. It was a wonderful setting that looked like a movie set it was so perfect.
That afternoon we toured at least 4 big waterfalls and then when turning in for the evening I noticed that we were suddenly in 158 feet of water and we seemed to have moved 180 feet from the original anchoring position. I mark all anchoring locations on the moving map with a man over board sign so I can tell if we have dragged anchor.
The wind was blowing hard and the tide was going out Sooooo… silly me sat up until 5 am to make sure we did not drag anchor. Cheryl took the 5 am to 7:30 watch because I could not say awake. It turns out that once the tide was back in and the wind stopped blowing we seemed to be in the original anchoring position. By the way the stars are fantastic up here with no city lights to interfere with the sparkle of the Big Dipper.
July 26 2009
We pulled anchor and headed for Kitimat which is about 50 miles due north. The water was like a mirror and the scenery was wonderful. We arrive at Kitimat about 1:30 and stayed at Mk Bay Marina.
Kitimat is a town of 11,000 people with three major industries. ALCAN an aluminum producer, a Pulp Mill and a large producer of Methanol. These industries are on the other side of the bay and they produce an angry cloud of some kind of pollution. The trees on the hills surrounding these plants are all dead.
We hired a local native that Lenore met in the Marina store, and for $20 each way Randy drove us into town where we had lunch and replenished our groceries and booze supply.
That evening we went to the local Indian village to have dinner at their restaurant on the water and it was excellent!
Kitimat is a very pleasant experience and the people were extremely friendly.
Kitimat is around 100 miles from the Alaska border and is the most northern destination we have made in our boat.
Tomorrow we will begin to head back south starting with Hartley Bay where the salmon fishing is said to be good.