The Inside Passage South

With our 2010 fishing season over we prepared for our trip south back to Vancouver Island. We kept busy with year end oil and filter changes, cleaning, provisioning and farewells to our many friends in Prince Rupert who we would not see until the following season. Our last three weeks in September had seen some beautiful weather, probably the best of the year, however if you are from Prince Rupert that always makes you nervous. Sure enough arriving the same time as our guests and friends. Dwight, and Anne was forecast one of the biggest storms of the year. With a careful eye on the weather and the possibility that we might have to delay we awoke on the morning of Sept 23rd to brisk SE winds however not enough to keep us tied to the dock. Sliding out of the harbour we bade farewell to Prince Rupert and motored our way towards the south coast.

Our first night found us in Lowe inlet, a very well protected marine park in Grenville Channel. And well protected it had to be as the next mornings weather left us no choice but to remain on the hook while the weather on the outside raged. On a secure hook we read and relaxed while hurricane force winds blew on Hecate Straight.
The following morning the weather abated and we left for Bishop Bay Hot Springs. With a nice whale show en route we anchored in Bishop Bay and slid into a relaxing hot springs soak. Man that felt great.

Day four we motored down Princess Royal Reach in the Great Bear Rain forest, keeping a watchful eye on the shoreline for the Spirit Bear. With a lunch stop in Swanson Bay to collect a little beach glass we found our evening anchorage in Bottleneck inlet, picturesque. secluded and complete with some nice dungeness crab.

Day five it was off to Shearwater. The weather was still unsettled with lots of rain however the route was sheltered and we enjoyed a smooth trip with our eye on the promised sunshine for days ahead. Our stop in Shearwater resulted in an expected spectacular show by the sea lions as they chased and fed on the pilchard surrounding the dock. Great entertainment as they fed non stop for the duration of our stay.

Day six as promised the skies cleared and over smooth seas we motored towards an evening on the beach at Hakai Pass. Always a highlight of our trip we were rewarded for enduring the rain by a spectacular evening on the beach. With a nice fire, roaring surf, and hot dogs on the spit our spirits rose and our clothes dried and we looked forward to smooth sailing for the remainder of our trip.

Day seven, crossing Cape Caution. With all secure we headed for the open waters and a great forecast for our crossing. The forecast was bang on and we crossed the Cape with calm winds and a glassy swell off our quarter as we motored into Port Hardy for the night. Congratulations Anne and Dwight on your crossing of Cape Caution. You may need more practise in consuming the traditional “fog”.

The remaining three days were spectacular, sunny skies, warm temps, and smooth seas accompanied us right into our berth in Campbell River. On October 3rd we bade goodbye to our friends Dwight and Anne as they left for their home in Cochrane. Thanks again for joining us, we hope that you enjoyed the trip as much as we did!!!