Saturday, June 29, 2019

June 27, 2019 - Grenville Channel and Lowe Inlet

We started to pull the anchor in lovely Khutz Bay only to find that the anchor chain was apparently snagged on something.  Being in 60 feet of water there was no way to know what was going on down there.  We had about 150' of chain out and only got about 25' of it up when the windlass ground to halt and the bow moved downward.  Yikes!  We jockeyed around, forward and back, side to side, for a minute or two but that did not break it free.  But we managed to get another 15' into the boat and then it stalled again.  We did this several times until all of the sudden everything was fine.  We retrieved the anchor with no issues after that.  But, it gave Alex and I each a few minutes of serious concern.  The is a reported wreck in the bay, but it was several hundred yards away according to all of our charts.  We were in the outflow of a river, so perhaps it was a tree or root-ball sitting on the bottom?  We will never know.

The anchor is free.  Time to move to a new location.  Beautiful day.
It was an absolutely stunning morning with whisps of fog hanging in the hills and dipping into the water.  Almost magical.

Fog forming in the valleys and spilling out into the sea

We swung by the old village of Butedale.  Kathy and I had stopped here 15 years ago when we made this trip in a previous boat.  It was a crumbling, ghost town back then.  Someone has bought the place and is attempting to restore it.  They have recently torn down most of the buildings, install a new dock and ramp, and are working hard to make this a place to stop in the future.

The waterfall at Butedale

Not much left.  Most of the old buildings are now gone.

Only one large building remains.
This is about the extent of the information we have about the future of Butedale

Unfortunately, they were closed today.  Darn, soft-serve ice cream would have
made our day.

Lowe Inlet is in the middle of the long and narrow Grenville Channel.  The currents can run up to 4 knots in Grenville Channel, so timing is critical if you want to make any progress, and be fuel efficient.  It is a bit complex to figure the exact transit times as water enters from both ends of the channel and mixes somewhere in the middle.  The mixing point changes depending on the tide levels at each end of the channel.  Common wisdom says you should enter from the south just before the tide starts to drop (arriving on the flood current) and fight that current for an hour or so, and then ride the ebb as the direction changes when the water starts to drop.  Getting that right is tougher than it sounds.

We swung by a small fishing village to take advantage of their cell tower to check weather, texts, email, and to put up a few blog posts.  Then we debated our next move.  Stay put here for the night, or continue on into Grenville channel and try to get to Lowe Inlet.  As far as we could figure the currents would be in our favor and we would get a free boost in boat speed.  We were right.  Our throttle setting was about 7.5 knots, but we were doing 9 knots.  Nice.  We were surrounded by commercial fishing vessels all headed north.

Getting passed by a commercial fishing vessel in Grenville Channel. 
See anything different about this boat?

A nice vantage point.  People get creative trying to make these long passages
more interesting.

Oh, this morning as we motored out of Khutz Bay we discovered the other Hatteras was anchored in the outer bay.  We are on a very similar timeline with them and have seen them multiple times now.  They pulled anchor about 30 minutes after us and followed us for an hour or two and then turned into Ursulla Channel to go visit Bishop Bay Hot Springs.  We chatted on the VHF for a few minutes until they disappearing in the deep canyon walls and radio connection was lost.

We pulled into Lowe Inlet just as the wind picked up to almost 30 knots (from about 10 knots).  The seas quickly turned to whitecaps, the temperature dropped 15 degrees, and a few raindrops started to fall.  As we turned into the great protection of Lowe Inlet with it's steep and tall canyon walls, the wind dropped to less than 5 knots.  The skies cleared.  The temperature soared to 82 degrees.  It was if we had been transported to an entirely different climate in a matter of minutes.

Our cat Zappa has a schedule.  He sleeps in a little cat bed in the
pilothouse but awakes about every hours to get some attention,
then back to his bed.

Steve's dream boat.  A Nordhavn 52.  Maybe someday?  They were anchored right
in front of the waterfall in Lowe Inlet.
The waterfall at Lowe Inlet.  Kevin said he wanted to kayak this.  We did not
let him.

In Lowe inlet we anchored in about 65' of water, on the skinny shelf just to the south of the waterfall.  When we backed toward shore to set the anchor we were in about 20' of water, and about 50' away from going aground.  When we swung away from shore the depth plummeted to over 100'.  The anchoring is definitely challenging up here.  We have great ground tackle and are setting electronic "anchor watches" to warn us if we drag anchor.  We are anchoring in locations recommended by books and friends

It's going to be a great day!  How often do you get good news in these dialog boxes?
The gods are surely smiling upon us  :-)

Friday, June 28, 2019

June 26, 2019 - Khutz Inlet

Another long day of motoring.  But what a great day.    We were greeted early in the morning by a single Dall's porpoise swimming in our bow wake for at least 20 minutes.

Graceful Dall's porpoise,  /They look like baby Orca whales

Swimming on his/her side.
We then stopped at the spectacular waterfall in Kynoch Inlet.  Kevin flew the drone, and it became quite an event.  He changed the maximum flight height and went higher than ever before.  At about 500-600' the drone lost it's mind and rotated sideways and appeared out of control.  It quickly righted it self, but it was quite scary.  It did it a second time a minute later.  Kevin brought it back to land on the boat and it went into "return to home" mode.  It flew away from the boat and hovered.  I quickly moved the boat close to that location.  Kevin could not regain control though and it hovered precariously about 6-8' above the water.  We feared it was going to lower itself into the water just 10 feet from us.  Kevin regained control and it flew directly at the boat.  Alex grabbed for it and managed to knock it to the deck where it crashed, unharmed.  Alex however suffered a cut on one finger from the prop.  Wow, close call.  Alex is fine, but now we are a bit fearful of the very real chance of losing the drone even in light winds.  With no internet, Kevin is unable to research the drone and it's settings/capabilities.  Also, the app on his phone that lets him see the image being taken is crashing on him.  We are going to install the app on my phone and see if it is any more reliable.

Alex at the falls in Kynoch Inlet

Paulo, Alex, Kevin

Kevin and Steve

Getting closer

Drone shot.

Great to have this new perspective while cruising

After that excitement we motored along the beautiful fjordlands region towards our final destination fo Kutzh Inlet.  We anchored in about 60' at the outlet of a river.  Move any closer to shore and you risk going aground at low tide if you swing around.  Not much further out and your are in 200' of water, far to deep to set an anchor.  It is a challenging anchorage, but is well worth the effort!  There is a magnificent waterfall tumbling all the way down a 3000' mountain. Next to it is a 4100' peak.  This is an impressive anchorage.

a BC ferry headed south

A humpback whale, very close to shore

Anchored in Khutz Inlet

Spectacular scenery in Khutz Inlet

Hanging out in the salon.

A final shot of the long waterfall.

Awesome.  3500' to 4100' mountains

Thursday, June 27, 2019

June 25, 2019 - Shearwater and Rescue Cove

As we motored toward Shearwater we encountered a wall of fog.  We were finally able to fire up both radars and use them in "real" conditions.  With two radars, AIS, and several chartplotters, it was easy transit up the curving channel to Shearwater.  At Shearwater we found the other Hatteras 48LRC anchored.  So, we anchored next to them and went over for a chat.  After chatting for nearly an hour Alex and I dinghied over to the public dock at Shearwater so we could visit the grocery store and pick up some needed veggies, produce, and other essentials like beer  :-)

Fog ahead.  We encountered several vessels in this two mile stretch  before Shearwater

Hatteras 48LRC anchored at Shearwater.  Not our Hatteras though.

The town of Shearwater BC.  Well stocked grocery store.  Marine store, laundry and more

After we pulled anchor and headed out we had an unexpected treat.  As we were motoring along we saw several small flashes off to our starboard side.  We immediately recognized this as the splashes from a school of dolphins/porpoises from our time in Mexico.  Sure enough about 4 or 5 Dall's porpoises were headed for our boat.  They came along side and headed into the bow wake for some play time.  They are so much fun to watch.  Extremely agile and quick.  Beautiful black and white markings.  Magnificent creatures.  All four us stood on the foredeck watching them play for about 15 minutes.  It was truly a joy to watch.

Porpoises surfing the bow wake

Alex checking our one of the Dall's porpoises
A few hours later as we were about to round then Ivory Island lighthouse when we saw a strange object in the water.  It looked like a piece of driftwood.  As we got closer we were able to identify this object.

An otter lounging in the sea.

Ivory Island lighthouse

The kids watched a Star Wars movie and played some video games today.  They are also reading several books.  It's been several long days of motoring.  

Alex checking weather on his phone before we loose internet

Kids watching a movie

Alex caught red handed, raiding the snack cabinet!!!

Typical dinner aboard Adagio.

Rescue Cove was stunningly calm.  Kevin flew the drone to get the birds-eye view.  It was worth a flight to get these pictures.

Awesome Rescue Cove.

View from above

Nice sunset in Rescue Cove

The other Hatteras 48LRC, from Bellingham, WA

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

June 24, 2019 - Mound Island to Fury Cove, to Codville Lagoon

We pulled anchor around 9:00AM at Mound Island with the intention of motoring to Blunden Harbor to spend the night.  But as we motored toward Blunden Harbor in flat waters we decided to push further and round Cape Caution headed for Fury Cove.  It was a bit rough at Cape Caution.  We were the only boat out there.  We slogged through ocean swell and chop.  Zappa got sea sick, and Kevin was not feeling well either.  

We spotted two humpback whales in Fitz Hugh Sound.  Here is one of them.

No Vacancy

We arrived at Fury Cove around 8:30PM to find it quite full.  About a dozen boats there, which is approaching the limit of the bay.  But we found a safe spot to drop the anchor.  Much to my amazement, there was another Hatteras 48LRC anchored in the bay.  Since they only made 49 of these vessels, and most remained on the East Coast, it is very rare to see another one while cruising the west coast.  We saw one in Puerto Vallarta in 2015 while cruising in Mexico.  Other than that, I don't recall ever seeing one since we have owned Adagio.

Anchored in Fury Cove.  Another Hatteras 48 LRC here

Our sistership.

A typical Canadian lighthouse

We left Fury cover around 6:30AM but several other boats had already departed before us.  Cruisers definitely are early risers.  That waters got very flat and conditions were perfect for the trip to Codville Lagoon.

Reflecting on the cruising life

Unbelievably calm Codville Lagoon

Can't get much calmer than this.

Entering Codville Lagoon.  It's a narrow entrance.

Hugging one side of the channel due to reported rocks on the left side.
In Codville we rowed to shore in our small dinghy and hiked to a lake.  It was very pretty although we did have a few rain sprinkles in the air.  We had a few heavy rain showers in the afternoon, which washed a good deal of the salt off Adagio.

Tomorrow we will stop at Shearwater/Bella-Bella for some groceries, then continue north. 

So far the trip has been going as planned, if not better.  The boat has performed flawlessly for the entire trip.  The engines have only required a little oil to keep the level topped off.  The transmissions are running cool.  The watermaker is keeping our tanks full and the solar panels are keeping the batteries charged in the afternoons while anchored.  All of the electronics are perfect and even all 4 people are happy  :-)  With spectacular scenery and almost perfect weather, who could complain?