We just departed Shawl Bay Marina, 50o 51.735’N 126o 33.803’W,where I was able to connect to the Internet for a short blip (and partake of the Pancake Breakfast they serve every morning!). We seldom tie to a dock but sometimes, because of friends there, or facilities we may use, it becomes necessary.
When we done service to the Pancakes today we headed a short distance to a new place we noticed, listed on Coastal Explorer navigation software as Echo Cove, 50o52.500’N 126o 39.628’W. Your charts probably will not name this place but just to the north is another small cove called Reid Bay that does show up.
Be somewhat aware of the rocks and shoals marked on your plotter as you enter Echo Cove. We found the most desirable anchorage spot, in about 40’ of water, to be at the coordinates I gave above and a stern tie to large logs on the beach seemed like the best thing to do. The cove itself is quite deep so crabs may be had at the head in shallower water and crabs and prawn may be present in the center of the cove in deeper water. Shawl Bay consistently brings crab up from 300’ and the prawns to the north in Moore Bay are not much deeper. Your views to the east are quite spectacular and in today’s wind, from the NW, you are totally protected but any quadrant from the east could get choppy.
Another place we passed yesterday, Shoal Bay, 50o44.128’N 126o29.880’W, just next to Billie Proctor’s home (most famous person in the Broughton’s), is great for crabs but a bit short on scenery. Looking at old float houses and historical beach relics is interesting to me, but still the occasional Bald Eagle and Osprey hunting and diving in the area is fascinating to watch. The entrance can be intimidating with its shallow spots but once inside you will find you can get by with very little anchor line. Check your tides closely for the night and next day so you can plan your exit comfortably.
While here, take the dinghy back out and tie to Billie’s dock in front of his boat Ocean Dawn. It’s actually prudent to call Ocean Dawn on channel 16 just to see if he’s home so he can show you around. If you’re new to the Broughton’s buy his two books and you will learn much about the history of the area, the proven fishing strategies he’s perfected over the years and the love and respect shown the flora and fauna here. Earlier this spring he pulled a single cedar log from the water, hand made lumber and shakes, and built an exact replica of an old fisher or logger cottage. He says he likes it better than his home! His “museum” is unbelievable, filled with “stuff” he’s collected in his 77 years scrounging the coastline and climbing around in the hills.
Our last little goodie will probably be our anchorage for the next couple nights. We’ve been waiting here in the Broughton’s for the radio to report fair weather for venturing on up north past Cape Caution. Right now we’re looking at a predicted 35 to 45 knot blow out of the northwest. We’ve had enough winds in Johnstone Strait just getting this far this season.
We’ve looked at the Polkinghorne Islands near the end of Wells Passage as a good wait stop before heading north. All we’ve heard about this place is the southern anchorage at 50o47.641’N 126o55.338’W is nice for a lunch stop and the lagoon shallows are good swimming but the holding is not good enough to chance overnight. I think we’ll check it out and let you know later. If it proves too iffy, we still have the western Carter Passage to wait out the current winds.
Well, it turns out that the water is fine, no bad winds, the tides are in our favor so…. We head outside Wells Passage and make the ten or so mile trip up the coast to spend the night in Blunden Harbour, that much closer to Cape Caution.
Come on up, the wter's fine.
Don and Carolyn Bloye
MV Island Spirit