Adventure Cove to Barkley Sound

August 3  -- Adventure Cove
Well, we should never have spent two days in Tofino doing grocery shopping, laundry, haircuts, restaurants and art galleries.  We decided to rent a car on the third day, to drive down and see Ucluelet and some of Pacific Rim NationalPark, and that's when the rain started.  It hasn't stopped since, except for a few brief sunbreaks midday today. We heard on the radio this morning that this is only the 13th time it has rained on August 3 since they've been keeping records -- more than 100 years
 
The day with the rental car was a bust.  Not realizing it was going to pour, we didn't bring along our foul weather gear, and so we were limited to restaurants, stores and visitor centers.  Craig was looking for some dacron line, so we tried several chandleries (marine supply stores.)  No dacron on the west coast.  Only nylon and polypropylene.  The visitor center was pretty sparse.  We ate in a restaurant in Ucluelet, and conversed with some local high school teachers, who talked about what it was like to live in Ucluelet.  We also talked to a pianist/church organist who was on vacation from Vancouver for a week.  She seemed like an interesting person, so we invited her up to the boat for dinner, and subsequently had a very interesting evening, while the rain poured down.  I give her a lot of credit for braving the elements to walk out to the end of the dock, with the rain going sideways, to have dinner with some unknowns she met in a restaurant.  We took some salmon out of the freezer, and feasted on corn on the cob from some warmer, sunnier clime

Above:  Our new friend, Cheryl Carrothers: inside, sheltered from the rain.  Cheryl caught up with us again in Fiji in 2004...

We stayed on the dock in Tofino another day, waiting for the rain to let up.  It didn't.   We decided to go fishing.  But as we motored out, the wind increased, it continued to rain hard, and the ocean swells made things worse.  The area had floats for crab pots about every thirty feet, which were almost impossible to see in the driving rain.  So we gave that up before we started, and retreated to Adventure Cove, where we are now.  
This is a very pleasant, protected spot.  The sun came out for a few minutes, and it's quite beautiful.  A fellow in a small float house by the entrance to the cove advised us as to the best spot to anchor.  Two other boats are in here with us, all hunkered down waiting for the storm to pass.  This is the cove where Captain Robert Gray, and the ship Columbia waited out the winter of 1792.  The guidebook says there is the remains of a stockade on shore, where the men lived and worked.  Maybe if the rain lets up for more than a few minutes, we'll go check it out.  In the meantime, this is a good day for e-mail, reading, practicing the electric cello, cleaning, repairs, maintenance ...

Left:  Craig cooking for entertainment on a rainy day

August 7, Tzartus Island

Hooray, hooray, the sun is out, all our towels are hanging on the lifelines, and the weather forecast is for more of same!
We learn about the weather by listening to one of our several radios.  There are about four VHF channels that are specifically designated as weather channels.  We've reached the point, in Barkley Sound, where we get the US weather forecasts better than the Canadian ones.  So we get to hear "Igor," the weather service's automaton, who doesn't quite know how to pronounce everything.  He reads out the forecasts for everywhere in Washington, then bar reports, and buoy reports, and lastly, the reports of Environment Canada for West Vancouver Island, South Portion (that's us).  Environment Canada doesn't ever reveal anything more than 48 hours ahead.  Igor, on the other hand, gives us the 5 day extended forecast, and then the outlook for the next fourteen days.  It all sounds good.  I think we're done with the rain!
 
Every morning at 8:30 a.m. we tune into the "Northwest Boaters Net" hosted by "Ralph," also known as "W7 zed ex," of Cape George, near Port Townsend.  As a public service and entertainment, he calls roll of any ham radio operator who wants to be on his list.  You can pass along messages, or more importantly learn what the latest Mariners score is, what the stock market is doing (they seem particularly interested in Krispy Kreme for reasons I cannot fathom) and whether any openings are scheduled for the Hood Canal Bridge.  There must be 60 or 70 people or boats on the list (including us).  We hear people call in from as far away as Coos Bay.  Everyone just says hello, or tells what the weather is in their area.  Occasionally they get into political commentary ("Ralph" says that the latest Star Wars demo ought to "show those closet commie congressmen a thing or two.")  We know better than to make any political commentary ourselves.  Ralph usually says,  "Excellent signal, as always, Craig."  
Every now and then, you happen on a Boaters Net person in your very own cove.  That happened to us yesterday -- we were in Effingham Bay in Barkley Sound, and another boat also called in as being there.  We dinghied over to visit them -- Gordon and Joan Mery, in a 45 foot ketch named Alegre -- they are just getting back from a round-the-world trip.  They left Portland 13 years ago, and the boat hasn't been back yet.  (Although they've flown home at various times).  They had to come up here for oysters first, before they head back down to Portland.  
We left Effingham Bay this morning to go out and find some salmon.  The salmon regulations are truly arcane.  They give you a 50 page booklet with your license, but it is constantly supplemented with update bulletins.  Currently (in areas which are not defined in the booklet, but available at Environment Canada's website -- should you have web access on your boat -- ha ha), you can catch Coho salmon inside Barkley Sound.  One hatchery fish, one wild.  You can't catch Chinook salmon however, and if you do you have to throw them back, hopefully before they die.  Hopefully you'll also recognize them before they die.  On the other hand, if you go outside of Barkley Sound, to an area "one mile beyond the surfline" you can catch Chinook, one bigger than 77 cm and one smaller than 77 cm.  If you catch one of these beasties, you're supposed to preserve the evidence of size by keeping the fish whole, or at least in fillets long enough to prove the fish was that long.  We haven't figured out how you get from the whole fish to your plate without cutting it apart, so we're just taking pictures and labelling things carefully.

So this morning, within Barkley Sound, the first two fish were, of course, Chinook.  Throw them back.  We motored out into the fog, one mile beyond the surf line, heavy swell, and we were both feeling fairly urky.  We said we'd give it a half hour.  Well, good luck, within 15 minutes Craig caught a 25 lb., 80 cm Chinook! (see photo left)  Most of it is now taxing the capacity of our freezer, but two steaks will be dinner tonight!

We're now anchored in a lovely little cove on Tzartus Island, in the sunshine, positioned to make the jump down to Victoria tomorrow, unless the weather does something unexpected.

Back to the previous report      

On to the next report →