Blog 2 Ketchikan-Vancouver
19th – Kumealon Inlet to Lowe Inlet, Grenville Channel
Quote of the day: “This is paradise” – Dory
Yankee unfurled, speeding along at 8 knots with motor sailing. On deck, we dug out the old cast off of ropes and introduced some new knots and freshened up on others.
Anchored in Nettle Bay – Sea Dragon and her crew drew a deep breath and sighed in complete awe of the landscape we were surrounded by – complete paradise. Golden kelp kissed the coastline, the mountain range stood strong behind the thick tree line and the gentle sound of running water echoed from the waterfall across the bay.
Dinghies anchored up, our crew happy to be on land, we went exploring. A steep zig-zag incline up, through multiple spiderwebs, under and over fallen trees , we made it to the top of the hill. Descending proved to be trickier, the trail looked as though it was coming to an end. We battled our way down, sliding on our bums became a necessity, but holy moly it was worth it.
As we came out of the woodland, we came across big boulders which encompassed a mini lake between two waterfalls. Untouched. As we walked round, there were wee tadpoles swimming around in the shallows, bald eagles swirling around above and salmon still jumping! We clambered up the side of the second waterfall where a huge lake surrounded by golden glimmering sands like something Bob Ross would choose to paint. Stunning. The ground was moving with baby mini frogs. Copious amounts of animal prints were left in the sand and mud. Deer, bear and wolf! Golden flecks in the sand glimmered in the afternoon sun.
Swim time. The girls jumped in first, followed by some of the guys. Betty and Dory swam to the other side of the small lake and basked in the sun.
As we descended back towards the dinghy, a couple members of the crew were keen to explore the forked path to the left before heading back to the boat. Inquisitively, we split up and ventured to see if we could get closer to the waterfall. With every step we took, the sound of the water crashing amongst the rocks grew louder and louder. Berries and plenty bear scat was sprinkled along the trail. The dense woodland ahead became brighter and we neared the edge above the huge slabs of rock beneath. I jumped down to see how accessible it was and to see if we could reach the dinghy by walking around the headland. The waterfall was simply beautiful. What I hadn’t realised, was about a meter beneath me on the slab below was a large black bear fishing for his dinner. WOW. If I leant down, I could probably give its butt a scratch. He was so fluffy! Not wanting to startle him or thinking I was pinching his food, I quickly ran back to the rest of the group and alerted them to quickly boost back up the path incase he was taken by surprise. As we hurried back to the dinghy, Jake met us and we set off to see if we could spot him from the water…and we did!! We sat watching him make many attempt at catching all the salmon making their way up stream and finally he scored.
20th – Lowe Inlet to Bishop Bay
Quote of the day: “Once again, my butt is getting soaked” – Betty
Today was warm. Very warm. The morning fog began to lift but still clung to the deep crevasses amongst the mountains. The landscape here is spectacular. No matter the new heading we take, no matter what headland we turn, no matter which channel we venture into, the views get better and better.
The seabed in Bishop Bay proved to be a tricky anchorage. The contour drop off was monumental and very close to the coastline. After a few donuts and following contours, we found the perfect spot. Dinghies down, we whizzed over to the local pontoon. Bishop Bay is known for it’s natural hot spring. The hot springs water comes out of the ground from a crevice in the granodiorite bedrock beside the bath house. It flows out at a rate of about 32litres per minute. The water temperature at the source is about 41.3 degrees Celsius and 38.8degrees Celsius in the bath house. The water in the bathhouse overflows into an outdoor bath which overflows into the rocks.
In the bathhouse, visitors had hung buoys, reels, spinners and other nautical objects from the ceiling above, signed and dated.
A dinghy tour around the surrounding inlets, we came across a friendly humpback making his way from one side of the bay to the other. He seemed to get super close to the rocks, perhaps giving his belly a good scratch after a good feed.
After our feed, books were taken on deck to sit in the evening sun and read in the most remote libraries.
21st – Bishop Bay to Khutze Bay
Quote of the day: “My organs feel squished.” – Holly
Thick fog. As we steered into Sheep Passage, the fog broke and we were greeted with sheer cliffs.
We anchored beam onto the most magnificent waterfall. Looking up, the source was tiny.Mist billowed out in soft clouds where water and gravity collided. The water appeared white, bouncing joyfully over the rocks, descending and combining with other mini waterfalls into one huge flow disappearing into the lush grasses and flora beneath.
Exploring up river, we bumped into some slippery friends. The seals here are so inquisitive, we turn off the engine and let them swim right up to the boat to check us out. Their speckled faces, big bold eyes and flaring nostrils stare, hold it for a minute, and then throw back their head and bob back down. We must look so odd. Who are these bumbling aliens wrapped up in funny materials, flailing their arms around annoyed by the mozzies??
Uno and hot chocolate were in full swing in the saloon listening to Nick Mulvey whilst shades of pink cascaded over the sky.