Whether you anchor here or secure your vessel to the friendly docks we know your stay at Lagoon Cove
will be one to remember. I imagine more than 90% of our yacht club members have visited the Barbers,
Bill and Jean, many times going to or from the Broughtons.
So for the other 10%, sadly enough you have really missed out.
Bill, a legend in the area, passed away this Spring but Jean has said she will run the place this coming season. Every evening during the boating season Bill would furnish a large bucket of prawns he caught that day to share with all the boaters who brought some potluck dish for the feast. He called it “Happy Hour” but with all the goodies Bill and Jean furnished, plus the donations from all the other boats, nobody ever left hungry! Toward the end of the eating orgy, knowing he had a captive audience, Bill would ease into one of his famous bear stories. No matter how often you heard them, they would always end with a “gotcha”!
He was a great storyteller and very much enjoyed every minute of them. We met them the first year they arrived at Lagoon Cove and have been great friends ever since. Bill will be missed.
To get the full benefit of meeting people and their boats, and the camaraderie experienced at marinas in the Broughtons, you found yourself throwing a line to Bill or one of his hands, and you may end up with half or more of your vessel hanging over the end of the pier, or stuck into a position that only a good puzzle player could set you free when you’re ready to move on. Yet, no matter how little was actually on the dock, you paid for the length of your boat. We sometimes anchor just beyond the marina but you need to beware of the cables and water pipelines that run along the bottom in the obvious anchoring areas.
Our anchor site is at 50o 35.789’N, 126o 18.796’W, just as the cove shallows as it leads into the lagoon. Inside this lagoon, accessible only by dinghy because it is so shallow, the crabbing is quite good in six to twelve feet of water. That’s right, 6’ to 12’!
Minstrel Island, the large island to the north of you as you navigated the shallow and narrow Blow Hole on your way to Lagoon Cove, is surrounded by “hunting and gathering” possibilities. This is the area Bill used to harvest his prawns, on the Clio Channel side. The northwest and north side of Minstrel, during the runs, are quite productive for various salmon fishing efforts. Carolyn even caught a big halibut here a few years back, in Knight Inlet. Speaking of Minstrel Island, we were one of the first boats to visit the new owners here also, a few years back.
Our initial negative instincts proved out after a few years when they were hauled off by the Royal Mounties for growing illegal plants in the school house! Now, the dilapidated docks are up for grabs. We have tied here a few times; the last time was during a bad storm with the Coast Guard just across the pier from us. There is still some interesting hiking up in the woods but during the berry and apple season you need to heed the black bears – they have the right-of-way. The hiking is also quite interesting and beautiful up behind Lagoon Cove’s burn area. You can get a different view of The Blow Hole if you go far enough.
I need to point out a couple factors about arriving and departing Lagoon Cove. Usually, at the onset of your voyage, you would be coming up Johnstone Straits into Havannah Channel and then up Chatham Channel. The perfect time to head up Chatham Channel is just prior to low tide giving you an opportunity to view black bear on your port side feeding on the little crabs that hide under the large rocks lining the channel. Plus it will give you a boost in current running your direction. There is a lot written about this shallow and narrow channel but simply keep an eye on your chartplotter and you won’t have a problem. Upon leaving Lagoon Cove we normally prefer to enter Clio Channel and then Beware Passage near the Karlukwees deserted First Nations Village. Just before entering Beware Passage, check out the rock faces near Nicholas Point and see the prominent and strange pictographs painted here many years ago.
When you visit Lagoon Cove, be sure to spend time with Jean and get one of her incredible cook books full of ideas for the Happy Hour feasts. They have wonderful shirts and jackets here also. If you get there before we do, say hi and tell them we’re right behind you.
To a wonderful summer,
Don and Carolyn Bloye
M.V. Island Spirit