Sea Jay Goes North 2011

Sea Jay Goes North  2011
Dawes Glacier Endicott Arm Alaska

Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday August 31 2009

Sunday August 30, 2009

Today we will head for Double Island Toba Wildernest Resort which is near Forbes Bay in Desolation Sound.

We passed through Dent Rapids and for those of you familiar with Big Bay on Stewart Island you will not believe the construction of multimillion dollar mansions and corporate retreats. Denny Washington, Nordstrom, Ritchie Brothers, PACCAR to name a few have all built very large retreats including a golf course. This seems strange to me in such a beautiful area. My first trip to Big Bay was as a PACCAR employee entertaining customers on their 97 foot company yacht. Since that time in the late 1970s this place has changed from a wilderness fishing area to the place to be seen in the megabuck corporate world.

Monday August 31st

We arrive at Toba Wildernest Resort about 3 pm and it is a wonderful little place with docks a few rental cabins and some hiking trails all tucked in behind Double Island with a sweeping view of the sound.

Young Kyle Hunter is the owner and he is very friendly. I would recommend this place for you to visit for a nice change of pace on the water.

Kyle took us to the water turbine power plant and it is really cool. Water comes down a pipe about 1000 feet from snow pack melting and generates up to 30 KW giving power 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

The cabins are very nice with a German motif and a wonderful trail along the rock laden beach.

This is a must stop for future trips to this area.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30 2009

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wed, Thursday, August 16 – 20

Sunday at noon we left Sullivan Bay and headed for Echo Bay where we attended the Echo Bay Yacht Club annual rendezvous cruise. We have been sponsored by Gary and Lenore Timm to join this club. Sunday evening was a pot luck dinner Monday night a barbeque Tuesday night chilly cook off and Wed night a prime rib dinner with baked potato, wine and all the fixings to die for. This is an amazing club made up of dedicated boaters that have been coming to Echo Bay for many years. It was a pleasure to meet this very diverse group of boaters.

We went fishing and caught nice Salmon every day but struck out on Halibut.

Echo Bay was sold two years ago and is now called Pierre’s at Echo Bay. The new owners have made great improvements with new docks, power and of course the famous Pierre’s pig roast and now added a wed night Prime rib dinner. It is truly a wonderful place to visit

Friday Aug 21

We left Echo Bay and headed to Port McNeal to get our oil changed on the main engines, fill up the fuel tanks (2300 liters), check the alignment on the starboard engine, fix a small oil leak on the port engine, drill tap threads in the base of the new steering cylinder and attach a bonding wire onto the base of the new steering cylinder and get a new radiator cap for the 20 KW generator set as it is leaking.

All was accomplished with the fine help of Dan Clair owner of Black Cat the local Cat Marine service center from Port Hardy.

Sat August 22, 2009

Sat morning August 22nd we left Port McNeal to rejoin our boating buddies Gary and Lenore and soon we were anchored at a small inlet called east of Eden.

This is a very small anchorage with room for two boats at the most but very cozy and beautiful water totems as you can see from the photos.

East of Eden is a very cozy anchorage indeed.

A nice dinner with Lenore’s smoked ham scalloped potatoes dripping with mozzarella cheese, and Cheryl’s famous cottage cheese pear and grated cheddar cheese on top and to bed early for the long 8 mile trip the next day to Laura Bay.

Sunday August 23rd 2009

We made the 8 mile trip at 8 knots to Laura Bay and set the prawn pots soon after we arrived then went out salmon fishing and caught only a medium sized Sea Bass which is really good eating.

Monday & Tuesday August 24th & 25th 2009

Got up at the crack of ten and went out to haul up the prawn pots and got a nice catch.

We will stay another night for more prawns.

Had a wonderful “Tequila prawn” dinner prepared by Lenore on Noon Balloon with lots of prawns for appetizers and wild rice for our starch.

It seems we have been reduced to sea food eating slugs devouring every ounce of crab, salmon, cod, sea bass and prawns in sight. What a way to end the summer.

Today we will pull the pots again and then move to Cypress Bay for crab hunting and we will probably leave the prawn pot out one more night since Cypress Bay is only 4 miles away. This is the site of a large fish farm raising salmon and is said to be excellent Crab country...

Cypress Harbour

Wed August 26th

We decided to leave the prawn pots in place and move to Cypress Harbour which is only 6 miles away and run back with the F 16 to pull the prawn pots.

It was an easy trip and upon entering the harbour you are greeted by an enormous Salmon farm.

We worked our way through a narrow passage into the head of the harbour which is a stunning scene of still water, rocks small bays and islands. The water is shallow in this area so we had to find a spot for Sea Jay to be clear of the bottom at low tide and after setting the anchor twice we settled in for two days. The crabbing was good except the over night set was pulled and emptied by some one who needed the crab more than we did. We suspect the construction crew at the fish farm that was working on a large floating house.

This was a good anchorage for taking photos of water totems and relaxing so we decided to stay another night.

Wed August 26th

Cheryl and I took the F 16 to Laura Bay and pulled the prawn pots. The catch was small but still would make two nice meals.

Gary and Lenore took Noon Balloon out of Cypress Harbour and pulled the already emptied crab pots while we ran back to Sea Jay and headed for Simoon Sound and McIntosh Bay. We found the exact spot that we anchored 12 years ago when Manny or Standard poodle and my Brother Doug and his wife were with us.

12 years ago we stern tied here with two Canadian boats and Urologist from Vancouver Island and the head Chef of the BC Ferry system. 12 years ago the prawn fishing was incredible pulling 5 gallons of prawns at a time. Now we are very pleased of the get 30 to 60 prawns in a single pull. Any way this brought back many pleasant memories of that anchorage 12 years ago. As you can see from the photos this area has its own individual beauty.

The first afternoon we went for a cruise of the area and got to see a very large barge landing at a logging site. The Tug driver was a pleasant woman who guided the huge mass of steel to a very small landing site where they dropped a draw bridge and unloaded all of the equipment. She said they were preparing to log at this site for many years and that it had been logged 20 prior.

Thursday August 27th

The black bears were out for their morning meal turning rocks over on the rocky shore line and we did get some photos of this action.

Friday August 28th

Today we head for Watson Cove on Tribune Channel where we have been told there is a nice anchorage with a waterfall.

Watson Cove was a disappointment so we forged on to Cutter Cove near Minstrel Island. Spent a windy night at anchor.

Saturday August 29th.

Pulled anchor at 6:30 and headed for Cordero Lodge down Johnstone Straight.

Arrived at 9:45 and tied up for a long nap.

Cordero Lodge is a wonderful German restaurant and we have been coming here since 1990. They have wonderful German dinners and it is a very pleasant and relaxing place to hang out.

We had a great dinner with Dick & Donna, Happy Wanderer, Gary & Lenore on Noon Balloon and it reminded us of the time 12 years ago when my big Brother Doug and his wife were here with us on Sea Jay II and we had a great evening with a couple from Courtney, their two daughters, and a wonderful guy named Blackie and his wife Carol that sang, played the piano and told jokes until the wee hours of the night. Sadly Blackie passed away in 2007 but Carol was here this time and I visited with here about our fun time with them years ago.

Sunday August 30, 2009

Today we will head for double Island which is some where south of Big Bay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lauren and Emmy

Tue Wed Thurs Continued

Tuesday Wed, Thursday, August 16 – 19

Sat at noon we left Sullivan Bay and headed for Echo Bay where we will attend the Echo Bay Yacht Club annual rendezvous cruise. We have been sponsored by Gary and Lenore Timm to join this club. Sunday evening was a pot luck dinner Monday night a barbeque Tuesday night chilly cook off and Wed night a prime rib dinner with backed potato wine and all the fixings to die for. This is an amazing club made up of dedicated boaters that have been coming to Echo Bay for many years. It was a pleasure to meet this very diverse group of boaters.

We went fishing and caught nice Salmon every day but struck out on Halibut.

Tuesday, Wed, Thursday August 16-19

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday August 17

We had a nice Echo Bay Yacht Club pot luck dinner with a pirate theme on Sunday night and met some new friends. we are now members in good standing of the Echo Bay Yacht Club which is made up of boaters that have been comming up to the Broughtons for many years.

The members come from a wide varity of locations in North America and membership is around 50. Tonight we get our burgee and continue this annual 3 day event.

Tom Finished up The steering cylinder this morning so we loaded up the F 16 at the crack of ten to go Catch a salmon and catch a Salmon he did. A beautiful 16 pound Silver/Coho.

Check that smile on Tom's face. it took us an hour or so to find the hot spot but when we did... wham he had the fish on at 50 feet and it put up a good fight only to become another victom of Jim's net.

Monday August 17

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday August 16


The new Steering cylinder is installed and first thing this morning we will connect the rudder arm and test the system.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sat August 15 2009

Aug 11 & 12

We spent two days cleaning the boat getting e mail caught up and arranging to get the new steering cylinder shipped to Sullivan Bay. After some frustrating and contact with the President of Westport Ship Yards we got word that the parts will be shipped to Laconner overnight from Florida and Pacific Mariner will even install the proper fit our application.

Pacific Mariner will even loan Tom Sircoloumb (a former Pacific Mariner employee that takes care of Sea Jay and is flying up on Sat aboard Kenmore Air ) a pressure bleed pump which will make it mush easier to purge the steering system of air after installation.

We met several of the Echo Bay Yacht club members at Sullivan Bay and spent time with Tom and Joanne owners of a magnificent 1941 converted 76 foot super seiner fishing boat named Laredo. This wonderful super seiner from the last century has a 22 foot beam weighs 100 tons and even features a wood fired fire place Olympic stove in the main Salon. Tom has maintained most of the original features in the operation of the boat, such as brass voice tubes to communicate with the engine room, a rotating brass dial that actuates the throttle. The 343 Cat engine is a repower from the 1960’s and has air start. This monster sports a five foot in diameter propeller, is capable of 10 knots and gets a mile per gallon at that speed. With 1500 gallons of water and 3000 gallons of fuel this is a long range vessel and spent it’s former life fishing for salmon and sardines as a super seiner. These boats were so effective in catching salmon they were later banned by the government and sold off for conversion to yachts or work boats.

Once arrangements were made for Tom S to arrive at Sullivan Bay on Sat we left Sullivan Bay for Turnbull Cove and delightful anchorage about 5 miles from Sullivan Bay on the afternoon of August 12.

That evening we were treated to a fantastic pot roast dinner aboard Laredo. .

Thursday August 13 2009

At the crack of noon we had all on Sea Jay for a Jimmy Dean sausage with Gary’s wonderful gravy made from the sausage grease and Joanne’s home hade biscuits.

Yum Yum!

Then is was out for bottom fishing and Gary and Lenore caught cod and yellow eye for dinner that evening. We only got some bites but did not land a fish.

Then is the late afternoon we took three dinghies went about 6 miles to Nimmo Bay to see the famous Nimmo Bay Fly In fishing lodge that was featured on Boston Legal with Denny Crane and his buddy on one of their episodes in the show. Located in Little Nimmo Bay it has 6 very nice cabins on the water with several larger lodges in the woods, 4 helicopter pads and a very large main lodge with docks and a large floating patio with chairs and a fire pit. I suggest you look at their web site. This is a high end fishing lodge where they fly you to dream fishing only accessible by helicopter. To our surprise there were 2 65 Pacific Mariners moored at their dock and apparently only recently they have opened the lodge to boaters. This lodge was a favorite getaway of George Bush Senior.

Nimmo Bay also offers excellent anchorage inside at the head end of the bay with a beautiful back drop of peaks and meadows at the head of the bay. One must enter this Bay at High tide as the entrance holds many rocks that are just below the surface at low tide.

That evening it was dinner on Laredo with Crab Cocktails fresh, yellow eye and rock cod and salad for dinner with much discussion about Lithuanian culture.

Friday August 14, 2009

Today we leave our friends and head back to Sullivan Bay to make repairs on Sea Jay’s steering system. Tom is to arrive tomorrow with a new steering cylinder and with any luck Sea Jay will have rudder steering by Sunday. I must admit rudder steering is a luxury that is only a pleasant memory in our past. Friday we did go to Claydon Bay via F 16 for cocktails with the Tom’s and Morris’s on Laredo.

Today Tom S will arrive at noon with the steering cylinder and we will begin the repair.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tuesday August 11 2009

Second day at Sullivan Bay waiting for steering ram to arrive with Tom to install it.

Tom Matson took off this morning with his helicopter what an unusual sight to see it leave the top of his floating house.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday August 2nd

Sunday August 2nd

Today was a day of rest. We went into Shearwater, worked the internet then had a nice lunch, stocked up on Milk and stuff then shoved off in early afternoon for Discovery Cove / Anniversary Cove.

We set the prawn pots and had a very nice late afternoon cocktail cruse around this beautiful Bay. This is arguably one of the most scenic anchorages on the west coast. Ha Ha. :0)

We did have a nice catch that evening but next morning was zero. We suspect someone pulled our pots and emptied them.

August 3rd

Spent a wonderful second day relaxing at Discovery /Anniversary Cove.

Tuesday August 4 2009

We headed for Spider Island group to anchor inside Hurricane Island and arrived after a leisurely run and got a great Grey Whale show with the big tail going up then down.

Once anchored on Hurricane Island we went out to set the prawn pots which later proved to be a good idea.

Tonight we are having Lenore’s famous Salmon Pie. It is wonderful!

The Spider Island group is where we got lost two years ago with Doug and Gail Stewart on a 3 hour dinghy tour that took 5 hours. We took a wrong turn and ended up in the ocean surf.

Wed August 5 2009

We Headed for Fish Egg Inlet and ended up in a wonderful anchorage called Oyster Bay which is a very wild and remote area.

Today upon arriving inside Fish Egg Inlet the Steering went out on Sea Jay and after inspection I found that the main hydraulic steering cylinder ram had begun leaking hydraulic fluid. Gary and I added fluid to the steering reservoir and pressurized it to 30 PSI and the fluid ran out again. So since this is not a slow leak, we can’t just add fluid and go.

Sooooo not to worry…
We ran the boat on into Oyster Bay with no rudder control using the engine speed and bow thruster (at slow speed) to steer the boat.

Thursday August 6, 2009:

Learning to steer at 16 knots with no rudder control.

There were a few options for us to consider.

1. Go to Duncanby Landing have a nice dinner and start making make calls to get a new steering cylinder.

2. Go to Fury Cove and take the dinghies to Duncanby Landing to make calls.

3. Cross the straights and head for Blunden Harbor. There we would be in cell phone range and perhaps our Sat phone would work again.

While I was zigging and zagging like a drunken sailor learning how to steer at 14 to 16 knots Gary checked the weather and it turned out the West Sea Otter Buoy was only .7 meters and wind waves were minimal. In other words it was flat seas and good to go. So after 30 minutes of learning to control 1600 horse power to steer the boat we decided to go for it and cross Cape Caution with no rudder control.

Some of you may ask, why do we have to go 14 to 16 kts to cross the Cape. The answer is because we can. And the quicker you get across the less chance you have of having the weather turn bad during the crossing.

We decided since we must get a new steering cylinder and if the water conditions were good we would make a run at crossing Cape Caution. I ran the boat for a while and began to get the hang of steering with engine speed alone. We averaged 15 knots for 57 miles while crossing the Queen Charlette Straights and the water was very calm which helped enormously. We ran into fog about 2/3 of the way across so we had to trust our radar and GPS because as you know fog plays dirty tricks with your mind and you go in circles like a hunter lost in the woods.

We arrived at Blunden Bay in the early afternoon and I began making Sat phone and limited cell phone contact to get a new cylinder located and shipped up for installation. (The Sat phone just started working again. It seems to loose the signal north west of here) Hmmmm……

Meanwhile we can run the boat fine with out using the rudders as long as both engines run.

If we loose and engine we will not be able to steer the boat. But if we go slow we can use the bow thruster for emergency steering. The boat idles at 5 knots so if we had to we could get out of harms way to anchor. That is the rumor I am spreading and I am sticking to it. The fact is we have no choice but to be positive about these little bumps in the road.

Blunden Harbor is a very large and beautiful anchorage. I am surprised we have never been in here and highly recommend it to any one crossing Cape Caution. It is a perfect anchorage and stepping off point to cross the dreaded straights.

In the late afternoon we took a tour in the F16 with Gary and Lenore leading the way in Nooner to see a portion the Elizabeth Lagoon. It is wild, awesome and enormous. We saw two kayakers looking for a camp site to stay for the night.

Friday August 7 2009

Spent another day at Blunden harbor and did a tour of the other leg of Elizabeth Lagoon and pulled in another nice catch of Crab We pulled the crab traps and Gary got an awesome catch of some really nice crab. I got one female and though her back. We cooked so0me of the crab and check the rest into our deluxe Crab Hotel. Gary dropped two delicious mackerel into the hotel and the crab made fast work of them once they were settled in at about 8 feet down in the water he Sat TV is working again and I am sort of sorry is does to see the news and all the political fighting going on like a soap opera. We are waiting for Pacific Mariner to locate a steering cylinder.

Sat Aug 8 2009

We pulled anchor and headed south by southeast then east up Wells Passage to Carridan Bay. This is a great anchorage not far from Sullivan Bay and only exposed to the East


Sunday Aug 9 2009

Pulled anchor and headed for Drury Inlet. This is a wonderful area that has a unique rugged aura about it with many rocks and small islands. We anchored at the head of the inlet amongst many small islands called Muirhead Islands in about 29 feet of water.

This is a beautiful place for a dinghy tour so we went for a great tour of Actaeon Sound which is quite extensive with some old logging rafts, a steam ship and a few newer logging operations. One must be very careful in this area because of the hundreds of rocks that abound in this beautiful Sound.

Monday Aug 10 2009

Pulled anchor at 9:30 so we would hit Stuart Narrows at slack tide keeping in mind we are still running with no rudder control. Once through the Narrows I called Tom our Pacific Mariner Guru technician and he informed us the cylinder may be in his hands as early as today. So we decided to head for Sullivan to wait for him to fly up with the steering ram and install it.

Sullivan Bay is a wonderful floating village with a restaurant, general store, fuel, and floating Houses. In its hay day it was the place to go to catch salmon and bottom fish.

Sullivan Bay has new owners this year and has been completely rebuilt with all new docks and Electrical system. We have been coming here since the late 1980’s