Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 6 - Saturday, Aug. 18 - Sea Otter Cove Beach Hike

 Day 6- Saturday, August 18, 2012 – Still in Sea Otter Cove

Wow!  We must have been tired.  We didn’t get out of bed until 10AM this morning and I slept like a rock.  We woke up to fog, clouds, but a light breeze.  We decided to try to find the trailhead that lead to Lowrie Beach.  Pepper spray, check.  Cameras, check.  Dog leashes, check.  Val decided to bring the air horn as she’s worried about another wolf attack or bear attack.

We had a hard time finding a place deep enough to beach the dinghy.  We keep running aground about 100 yards out from the shoreline and knew that the tide would rise about 8’ or so meaning our dinghy  would be a long, long ways from shore at high tide and the water is very cold.  Initially, we had it tied to an island with an isthmus that was dry for hiking at low tide.  Upon further inspection, we decided we may not be able to retrieve it at high tide.  So, the rest of the crew went to find the trail head while I found a steeper beach to secure the dinghy.

The trail to Lowrie Beach was pretty well grown over and really, really muddy.  I thought I was the smart one because I had my big rubber boots on until I sunk up to my knees in the black, stinky mud.  Connor turned out to be the smart one in his flip flops even though he had to dig them out of the mud a few times.

The hike through the bog and the forest was well worth it though.  Even on a cloudy day, this beach was still so amazing and beautiful.  Time just flies by out here and before we knew it several hours had passed.  We all enjoyed ourselves, the scenery, the roaring and crashing waves, and, most of all, Tanner’s daredevil water stunts in the big waves.  That dog is just plain nuts!  He loves to swim in the biggest crashing waves possible.  We all belly laughed at him for a long time.

Back through the bog and the forest we went, to the beach where our dinghy was anchored.  Just as Val crossed the last fallen log before the dinghy, she gave a bit of a shriek.  I turned to see her holding her hooded sweatshirt and she was just staring at it.  I also heard what sounded like a bit of a “squeaker” from her.  “Hmmm?  That’s peculiar,” I thought.  Just then, her sweatshirt started to smoke!  I thought that even more peculiar.  She was starting to look pretty nervous but I still could not figure out what was happening.  Now her sweatshirt looks like it’s about to burst into flames and it’s starting to make noise!  Suddenly, it dawned on me at the same time she began to tell me what had happened.  She was wearing her sweatshirt around her waist with the air horn in her pocket.  When she sat on the log, it jammed the horn into the canister releasing the gas in her pocket.  The evaporation looked like smoke and the “squeaker” was a sick sort of sound that it’s supposed to make when it’s fully discharged.  We all had a good laugh at that one!

I had set the anchor as high as I could on the beach but it was now out quite a ways out in the water but, thankfully, the wind had blown the dinghy back to us on the beach when we arrived back from our hike.  Actually, there was a pretty good wind blowing through the bay and the white caps were significant for our heavily loaded dinghy.  We only idled but the waves were crashing over the bow and we were all soaked and chilly by the time we motored a half mile or so back to the boat.  The wind must have been blowing outside the bay pretty hard too as the four hurricane mooring buoys are all occupied.  I’m glad we were tied to one!

We fired up the diesel furnace and the genset right away and flipped on the hot water heater for toasty warm showers.  Val started to make a delicious late lunch or early supper; we didn’t care what it was called- we just wanted it!  Salmon nachos and salmon sandwich for me and soup and leftover pork loin and prime rib sandwiches for Connor and Val.  I just can’t get enough fresh fish and seafood.  Val also made hot chocolate and spiked hers and mine with Caramel Baileys, which warmed our innards immediately and made us both quite happy!  Connor found his fix in the whip cream can.

The wind has died and it’s now supper time, even though we just got done cleaning up our dishes.  The furnace feels so good that I really don’t want to leave my comfy, cozy abode to go set the crab trap.  The forecast seems fine the next couple of days so we’re planning on leaving here in the morning to check out San Josef Bay Beach and then make the 20 mile unprotected run to Qautsino Sound with many miles of protected waters to explore and quiet anchorages.  There’s also supposed to be communications and supplies in the little village of Winter Harbour.

All warm and cuddly on the boat, Connor is doing his homework while Val is “reading” a.k.a. snoozing, and both pups are just plain pooped.  I made a batch of tomato basil pesto dough from scratch to bake fresh bread tomorrow and then started a new book, yet another high seas peril story…go figure.  I do think it makes me a better captain, however.  The last of the sun is just breaking through and you know what they say, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight!”  Have a good evening!