Saturday, May 2, 2009

#6 - Blind Channel to Lagoon Cove

Today we're moving north in Johnstone Strait further up the Inside Passage and our intended destination is Port Harvey. We want to investigate and maybe moor at a newly constructed resort. The barometer has dropped about 15 millibars over the last 18 hours so we expect the winds to increase. The weather forecast calls for 20-30 knots from the southeast, the typical wind direction for these type of storms, which will be mostly behind us for today. We leave about 9:30 AM in calm wind and flat seas.
Today's route from Blind Channel to Lagoon Cove

Wild Blue's Pilot House Equipment

For those techies that like to know what sort of navigation equipment we carry aboard Wild Blue, here's the rundown. Displayed in the photo above the windows, top left are three readouts: boatspeed, depth, and windspeed; just to the left of center is a digital barometer, then various engine and tank gauges, and the Active Stabilizer Control Panel, just to the right of the gauges. Below the windows, to the left of the wheel is a forward looking sonar, main radar display, the autopilot control on center which is just above a digital engine readout, main chart plotter display, and lastly a backup chartplotter/radar. Just in front of backup chartplotter is the SSB marine and ham radio. There are six marine VHF radios, 3 permanently mounted and 3 handheld. Some of this equipment is duplicated on the flybridge driving station, when the weather allows us to drive from up top.

A 40-foot Canadian Coast Guard cutter came racing down Johnstone Strait at 24 knots.

The winds built from behind as we cruised up the Strait. We had 1+ knot current going with us as well which meant we didn't feel much wind on the boat and there was no big wave build up. Once we turned the corner for Port Harvey, we immediately felt the big breeze. We motored around Port Harvey examining the various "resorts" for tying up and decided it was just too breezy. We took a photo of the Vancouver Island's Mt. Palmerston whose summit hovers at 5,775 feet. This was similar to last year's photo and shows a bit less snow remaining than 1 year ago.

We think this year's photo shows less snow, absolutely concrete proof that Al Gore deserved the Nobel Prize!

So after looking at the Douglass cruising guide, we decided to try Lagoon Cove. We moved up Havannah Channel, then turned northwest up Chatham Channel. The wind was building and we had 30-knot gusts as we passed last year's anchorage of Cutter Cove.
One lonely boat anchored near shore in pretty Cutter Cove.

We continued on, ignoring the Blow Hole shortcut because of the high winds. We circumnavigated Mistrel Island counter clockwise, and then really got blasted by the BIG breeze. The channeling effect of the wind through the tight passes caused quite a bit of acceleration, it slammed us from the side causing the boat to heel just like a sailboat, only we don't have a deep lead keel! The stabilizers automatically compensated, but their force wasn't enough to flatten the boat. The water was streaming white, with lots of spray lifting off the small waves. Luckily then, it was a short distance to Lagoon Cove, and as four dockhands took our lines, and we tied up bow to wind.
Lagoon Cove is usually calm spot, and lived up to its reputation.

Wow! These Lagoon Cove people know their hospitality. Each person that helped us dock introduced themselves and we had a friendly chat that lasted for quite awhile. There was Bill and Jean-the owners, Bob and Pat-the caretakers and John who was spending a couple weeks doing maintenance for the upcoming season. They handed us a map of the area, the trails, the gardens, the yacht club lounge, the trash facility (aka burn bin), and the exercise facility (wood chopping).

Lagoon Cove's Yacht Club Lounge and reading room.

There's 50 and 30 amp dock power, which is rare in these parts. A complete shop with spare parts, and small gift store complete the accommodations. But the best amenity was a freshly caught and cooked plate of huge BC spot prawns, ready to consume. They were awesome and there were so many, we just put away our dinner for later. We'll definitely be back here on the way home.

Lagoon Cove's fresh caught BC spot prawns were delicious!

It's going to be difficult to leave these friendly folks, but we want to see Lacy Falls and Shawl Bay Marina tomorrow. See you there.

1 comment:

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