Sunday, August 26, 2012

Day 11- Mary's Basin, Esperanza Inlet (49 46'47.3N, 126 50'10.4W)

Day 11- Mary’s Basin, Esperanza Inlet (49 46'47.3N, 126 50'10.4W)
We learned that Fair Harbour was pretty close to where we spent the night so we decided to cruise through the gorgeous “fjordlands” enjoying multiple whale sightings, otters, and seals.  We also saw the first fish farms of the trip.  Fair Harbour wasn’t much at all but they did have a satellite phone, free wi-fi, and water.  Now we’re set for a while.
The winds were forecast to change from the NW to the South and the BC Marine Weather zones were mostly red indicating various warnings.  We decided that we should quickly visit the highly famed Rugged Point beaches and then fish our way down to Nootka Sound where we’ll be in protected waters for a few days.
I couldn’t get a good bite on the anchor so I kept watch on the boat and cleaned up the lunch dishes, prepped for fishing, and did some cleaning.  Val, Connor, and the pups headed to shore for the short hike across the isthmus to the “outside” beaches.  There was a large double masted sailing vessel anchored near us with thirty teenagers on board.  As one of their dinghies rowed by us, they told me they were in sailing school and this was their northern most departure.  From here, they head back south to Bamfield.  My crew returned with hands full of sand dollars and big smiles.

Off to the fishing grounds.  The swells were rolling in pretty good but those huge rock fish were hitting hard and fast.  We were trying for halibut but kept catching red snapper.  We all are super impressed with the size of these guys and they’re lots of fun to catch but after three monsters on board and the wind kicking up we decided it was time to try the next spot south and closer to Esperanza Sound.  It was a short but rolly ride.  The closet door flew open on one big swell and my computer jumped to within an inch of its short life.  Now, my whole row of keys on the right are smashed in.  Fortunately, everything still works and I may be able to get out my fishing pliers and pry the smashed casing away.  Crap!  Val ended up contributing back to the fish; yes, she personally fed them.
We tried one more spot for halibut but Val was so sick, it was grey, windy, spitting mist, and we weren’t getting bites so we throttled up and picked our way through the rocky headlands into Esperanza Sound and found a pretty anchorage called Mary Basin, where we hope to find some bear and a waterfall tomorrow.

Our trip meter says we’ve put on 568 miles so far.  We haven’t seen an electric hook up since Campbell River on Day 2 and have been pretty self-reliant.  I think this is the longest I’ve gone in years without going out to eat!  Just today, we started to see a couple of recreational boats.  Other than the small First Nation (Indian) villages, it’s been pretty remote.  We like having quiet anchorages all to ourselves.
My eyes are rolling and I can hardly stay awake and so I bid you all a farewell.