Eliana is on the move. It brings to mind the age old, unanswerable question... Which is more important, the journey or the destination? We're finding both in British Colombia. Before departing Sidney, my Dad (Wayne), his wife Florence and her sister Doris came aboard for the first few legs north. I am slowly realizing each step in the journey IS the destination. As sights and sounds unfold before us, we share them together. Just that once, never to be repeated again precisely in the same way.
As I write this, we are at anchor in Frypan Bay on Penrose Island just north of Cape Caution. No other boats in here. It's one of uncountable anchorages in thousands of miles of island and coastline. The beauty of British Colombia simply can't be described. How is it possible that pine trees grow prolifically on vertical granite mountain walls? We've heard there is almost no topsoil, that the roots weave into rock crevices and lichen. The shape of the land hasn't changed in thousands of years because it is solid rock. Abundant rain and sun support vegetation towering thousands of feet in the air. Towering waterfalls come seemingly from points higher than what we can see. On cloudy days, they cascade out of the clouds with the sound muted by trees and echoed by granite. Occasionally, a gravel slide will cause trees and all in it's path to pour into the ocean. Otherwise there is very little erosion, which makes for a naturally pristine ocean water.
I made a short, 2 minute video with highlights of the past few days. I put the link at the end.Kwatsi Bay
Case in point is our last stop, Kwatsi Bay. We heard about Kwatsi from friends. It's located just off Tribune Channel on the eastern side of the Broughton archipelago. The tiny bay is surrounded completely by 4,000' tall, nearly vertical granite. Words, even pictures don't describe it.
Kwatsi Bay is blessed with a charming family who live there. Max and Anca
have two children, Russell and Marieke. Since 1995 they have welcomed visitors to the bay with the warmest hospitality possible. There is some space to anchor, but they've constructed a float on logs in front of their home where a handful of boats can tie up. Through time they've added a small store and cabin. Max generates electricity with a water powered generator he built himself. Through necessity they are capably self-sufficient for all essentials. Port McNeal is two hours away by boat and otherwise their only neighbors are the bear, mink and otters.
Eliana resting in Kwatsi Bay. Click to enlarge.
Kwatsi Bay entrance.
Max and Anca's store.
Nearby waterfall. As we hiked to see it, Debbie was singing "Mares eat oats, does eat oats and little lambs eat ivy" at the top of her voice to ward off the bears. Ummm, none came.The Cedar Tree
One evening, as a dockside potluck dinner was wrapping up, Jim Roby (a semi-permanent guest at Kwatsi Bay) offered to take us to a nearby place called Watson Cove to see if we could find the 'The Tree'. It's a cedar tree discovered back in the 1800's that is estimated to be 3,700 years old. This tree would have been alive in Moses' time! It's lived through millenia.
It was late in the evening and the sun was getting low. Jim knew where the tree was, but to be sure, we took Russell (Max and Anca's son) to show us the way. We hiked through timber, logs, underbrush and bog to find it. Debbie carried her air horn in case of a bear.
The tree was magnificent. A giant among the tall trees surrounding it. The forest was thick and dark enough there was no way to actually see the top of the cedar up through the canopy. But the base left no doubt about the credibility of the claim. We won't soon forget this tree and pray that 3,700 years is just the start!
Russell showing us the way to the tree. He grew up here and knows every square inch.
The Cedar Tree - 3,700 years old. Compare it to the 60 - 70 year old trees surrounding it. No point in taking a picture up. You can't see the top. Click to enlarge.Pender Harbour (Fourth of July)
This year, since we were in Canada, we found ourselves celebrating Independence Day in conjunction with Canada Day. The celebration is nearly the same so we enjoyed the parades and fireworks of Canada Day. On the fourth, we found ourselves in Pender Harbour on the northern end of the Sechelt Peninsula. The weekend crowd had left so we had our own little party.
Fireworks I photographed from Eliana. This was on Canada Day, but for us it was our reminder of Independence Day. Notice there is a sailboat mast in this photo. Click to enlarge.
Eliana proudly flying Old Glory on the fourth.
Pender Harbour. A popular summer vacation spot for British Columbians.
Dad, Debbie, Florence and Doris at the Garden Bay Pub and Restaurant. Underway Notes
So far we've found navigating the Inside Passage to be more technical than what we've seen in the past. The extreme tides and currents present a challenge, but it's more a matter of good planning than anything else. We have witnessed two incidents which hold important lessons for all of us. A 45' trawler entering the marina just behind us was swept into the breakwater rocks due to a 4 knot current across the entrance. Instead of establishing her approach from some distance out, she attempted to 'turn in' with the current on her stern. Later we saw a large yacht turned almost completely around in a swirling tidal eddy at the entrance of Seymour Narrows. No apparent damage there, but the danger was clearly marked on the chart.
The positive of cruising the Inside Passage is there is virtually no ocean swell or big waves (that we've seen yet). And if I haven't emphasized it enough, the scenery along the way is so breathtaking. This must be some of the most beautiful cruising anywhere.
Sunrise on Malaspina Strait. The sun's light is broken by the jagged mountain peaks behind. Click to enlarge.
Dad and I.
Approaching Seymour Narrows.
Barge traffic is common through here.
Logging stations like this one were also common along the way.
As we snaked through the various passes, I turned the display to 3D beforehand to help visualize what we were going to see. It really did help given this was our first time through.Shoptalk
Another lesson learned.... Yesterday, as we were underway the hydraulic oil temperature started rising. As we came to the anchorage and started the windlass, the temp alarm went off. We barely got the anchor set when it all shut off that quick. Starting at the cooling water intake, I verified there was ample sea water flow to the hydraulic driven Jabsco cooling pump. I opened the pump and looked at the impeller which appeared to be OK at first glance. Hmmm, what else could it be? I decided to replace the impeller anyway. After removing it, I found the impeller HAD actually failed and was no longer pumping. The fins had worn nearly through at the midpoint making them unable to hold any pressure. A new impeller immediately solved the problem.
Looking at the maintenance log, I had performed an annual inspection about 6 months ago and remember removing the cover, looking at the side and declaring it in good shape. Here are three lessons:
1. Inspecting an impeller means REMOVING the impeller completely to inspect it. Simply taking off the cover doesn't guarantee all is well.
2. The blue Globe impellers I use don't come apart like the black rubber ones do which is good because you don't have to go searching for rubber bits clogging up the heat exchanger, but just because the impeller looks intact doesn't mean it isn't worn out.
3. Now that I know the wear cycle, I have replaced the word "Inspect" with "Replace" on the annual maintenance instruction.
The worn out impeller. All the lobes are still on, but each one is worn to the point it had no spring left to pump.
That's all for now dear readers. Please visit our website with comments and questions by clicking on the link below. I appreciate the many encouraging comments we receive and if you have a question, I'll do my best to get it answered promptly right in the same comments section.
Also, be sure to view my video: Sights and Sounds of British Columbia - July 5 - 8, 2011
Lying: Frypan Bay
Total Mileage: 5,580 MilesTrack Eliana