Quatsino Sound to Klashkish Basin

July 8: Coal Harbor
Ian and Sibyl left us this morning to return to Seattle and work. Unfortunately their last several days were very damp (lots of rain). They had left their car in Port Hardy, which, as it turns out, is only a 15 minute drive from Coal Harbor, even though they are on opposite sides of Vancouver Island. (Coal Harbor is at the inner end of a long inlet from the outer coast). So Ian and Sibyl took a cab and retrieved the car, which was most helpful in many planned and unplanned errands.

The most distressing unplanned errands were those connected with the discovery of considerable moisture and mildew under our berth. Its been so long since weve cruised in the Northwest that we had forgotten the cardinal rule of propping cushions up during the day, so things can air out
First, we made a second trip to the laundromat (after having done all the "regular" laundry earlier). Wes successfully washed the mattress cover and mattress pad, but were still uncertain how to deal with the basic problem. We decided to look for something to space the mattress off the underlying wood surface, and ended up buying cedar lath and building a lattice. Fortunately the sun came out, so we were able to dry the mattress, air out the boat, and work in the sunshine on the dock. Things are looking up considerably! We've purchased every mildew preventative and mildew spray in Port Hardy, and contributed to the local economy, which actually seems to be not doing too well. The folks here are friendly, down on the government, and looking for better times.  
Today "Conrad," age 5, came around and wanted to help with the lattice building project. Actually he wanted a tour of the boat, and Craig said if he'd help with the lattice project, he'd get his tour. So Conrad carried boards, turned them over so they'd dry in the sun, and pestered us with a thousand questions. His family, originally from Holland and now from Montreal, but here on vacation, were fishing off the dock. We also met and talked to a prawn fisherman, a young man who just bought a small boat to set up for charter fishing, and a couple who just opened a restaurant here in Coal Harbor -- seemingly against tremendous odds, but with great food.
Coal Harbor, which seemed downright dismal when we came in in the rain, was quite pretty today, and almost hot in the afternoon. Float planes land here several times a day, the forest comes right down to the water, there are six or eight bald eagles hanging around looking for fish, and there's a family of Canada geese up on the shore. The clouds still hang over the mountains toward the coast, and we'll be heading that way tomorrow morning on our journey south.

July 11: Klashkish Basin
We are currently in a very tucked-away basin in Brooks Bay, just north of the Brooks Peninsula.  We had
a great sail today, wind up to 30 knots, big waves, boat speed up to 11 knots, some exciting moments,
and it was a beautiful sunny day. Nonetheless, we breathed a big sigh of relief when we got in here. The
guide book says about the entrance to this basin (called Klashkish Basin, if you want to look on a map)
that fishing trollers have to bring their spars to vertical to get in here. It's true -- the entrance can't be
more than 30 feet wide, with high walls of greenery on both sides. Even with the high hillsides on all
sides, the wind still whistles through here. The Canadian government installed 8 mooring bouys in here -
- apparently for fishing boats -- but there isn't any commercial fishing any more to speak of. So we're in
here with two other sailboats.

 
It's an amazing thing how few people there are here. In all of Quatsino Sound (30 miles or so deep into the northern end of Vancouver Island, up to Coal Harbor) we saw only 2 or 3 other sailboats, and no power boats other than small local fishing boats or fishing trawlers. The country is beautiful and wild, and more people should come and see it. Of course the wind and seas off the west coast of Vancouver Island can be extreme, and that would put most people off. But even small trailerable boats can explore an inlet that has road acess (and Quatsino Sound would qualify for that).

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The last two nights we spent at a little bay within Quatsino Sound which the guide book named "Rubby
Dub Cove," a name which appears on no chart. (It is within Koskimo Harbor, if you're looking at a map).
No one else was within sight, although we could occasionally hear machinery from a logging camp
several miles away. We explored adjacent  inlets in the dinghy. We went ashore and walked around a bit.
There, as is typical, you can only walk on the parts that are below the high tide line. Above that it is
impenetrable rain forest. Craig went fishing and caught a ling cod (delicious dinner last night, and
anticipation for tonight). We took advantage of the sunshine and seclusion and had our showers on the
swim step. (Inspired, perhaps by the name: Rubby Dub Cove.) This morning there were a doe and two
fawns on the shore of the adjacent little island. Eagles were circling overhead, as always. There were so
many birds it sounded like we were in a jungle.