Hakai Luxbalis Conservancy Area
15 July 2018 | MB
We continued our journey south today and had to go out in the ocean for 30 minutes or so.its the first time we’ve felt the swell of the Pacific in more than a month. Luckily it was small, less than 3 feet, so we didn’t have any problems. We pulled into a nice anchorage called Swordfish Bay that is so close to the ocean the swells actually reaches into the entrance and waves crashed on the entrance rocks. But no swell in the anchorage itself, thank goodness. We went exploring by dinghy to a beautiful white sand beach, part of a tombolo marking the entrance to the bay. It felt very tropical, except there were no palm trees and the temperature is all of 65 degrees. It’s nice to see something otherwise r than rocks and evergreen trees. Karen caught two crabs unwittingly by picking up a moon snail shell and stuffing it in her pocket, only to be discovered during the night when they made scuffling noises in their plastic bag.
16 July 2018 | MB
We explored some possible anchorages on the way to our final destination, a narrow bay with a great view to the south, perfect with winds out of the northwest. On the way we checked out Spitfire Narrows, a passage with lots of cautions in the guidebooks. It was low tide and the passage was a complicated S-turn between reefs about 20 feet wide, maybe less. I could see why the books recommend high water slack only. Even then it would be very tight. We ended up in Brydon Anchorage, a somewhat narrow bay with limited room to swing at anchor, so we chose to have a somewhat short scope. I’ve been keeping a close eye on it as the tide comes up, especially as it blew pretty hard all afternoon. We were planning a kayak venture but we were deterred by the wind — plus the dozens of lion’s mane jellyfish that have been around the boat all afternoon. I understand their stingers can be deadly, even fatal, even if they are dead. I am going to pay particular attention to washing off the chain when we weigh anchor. It’s 7pm and the wind is finally relenting. I expect another calm night at anchor.
17 July 2018 | MB
We went all of two miles today but the character of the anchorage changed completely. We are nestled among a group of outer islands where we can even feel the ocean swell at high tide as the reefs between islands become waterways. We spent the day exploring the area in our inflatable kayak, starting with one of the outermost islands, Typhoon Island. It’s well named I think — a narrow cove on the ocean side was filled with logs, both on the beach and in the water. There must be really big storms here. We next crossed to Triquet Island which involved about a half mile paddling in the ocean swells. Karen was not amused. Triquet has a beautiful white sand beach with several kayak campsites. One was occupied by some kids from a boat anchored in their bay — not visible from our anchorage, I should add. Triquet is also the site of an archeological dig that recently uncovered evidence of human habitation more than 13,000 years ago — the oldest in North America. We didn’t get to see the dig though because the tide was too low for easy access. And the good weather continues.
18 July 2018 | MB
We explored Kildidt Sound today which was a long enough trip to get the batteries fully charged and the fresh water tank filled. It was cloudy most of the day, a change from the sunny cloudless days we’ve had for more than a week. By 4:00 the sun was back. We explored the entrance to Kildidt Narrows which has currents up to 12 knots on spring tides, according to the chart, and I can believe it. An hour before low tide we could see white water in the Narrows and the current was still one knot a full mile downstream. High water slack would be the only time to do it in any boat other than a high powered dinghy or fishing boat. We anchored in a nice cove, unnamed on the chart, and rowed to a nearby bay that has a rock fish trap that must have been built by the native population and could be hundreds of years old. I think the salmon it used to trap are long gone, though.
19 July 2018 | MB
The clouds we had all day yesterday cleared off about dinner time and left an extraordinarily clear sky. When we woke up about 1am the stars were incredible. We loved the way they reflected in the calm waters of the cove. Best stars of the trip so far.
Today we went to the Serpent Group, an isolated group of islands right on the ocean. Karen was in heaven. There is one narrow anchorage on the lee side of the islands in front of a beautiful white sand and shell beach. On rowing ashore we found the ocean side full of tide pools with many, many creatures of all types. Karen spent several hours exploring them and identifying the different kinds of anemones, sea cucumbers and things of all kinds. Around a corner from our little bay were two kayak camp sites that had obviously been used recently. And later two people in a covered canoe paddled into the bay to stay for a couple of days. But the anchorage had no swinging room which meant it was either put out a stern anchor or go, so we left for a more suitable anchorage in a nearby inlet. Met some nice people there and took some time to relax — take showers, make bread, listen to jazz, sit in the sun… Just another day in paradise.
20 July 2018 | MB
It was cloudy and cold all day, with drizzle off-and-on, so we took a short trip to Turnbull Inlet, a narrow inlet with a lagoon at the end having a dinghy-only entrance. It was an easy trip, but anchoring was a bit tricky as the inlet is quite narrow. So we set our large anchor quite well and then shortened up scope so we wouldn’t swing into the shore. It’s working well and since we are protected from most winds I don’t anticipate any difficulties. But the day has been uninviting so we hunkered down in the boat and read. Pretty relaxing day.
21 July 2018 | MB
It was foggy and grey when we got up this morning so we decided to stay here. There was a high tide of 11 feet at 9:30 this morning, perfect for entering the lagoon. So we launched the dingy and rowed through the entrance on the last of the flood and a 1-knot current. There was just enough water for us — parts of the entrance were less than a foot deep. The lagoon itself was nice, opening up to a circular basin with a small island in the center, but the real treat was the entrance narrows. It was full of starfish, sea cucumbers and other kinds of tidal creatures. We exited with the first of the ebb, again with a 1-knot current, and rowed against the current to slow ourselves so Karen could study the bottom, and try to take pictures. Shooting through the surface of the water is not very effective, I’m afraid. We decided to stay another night just to enjoy our little home away from home. And it gives Karen time to paint some of the scenes she saw in the morning. Perfect.
22 July 2018 | MB
When we were in Pruth Bay a month ago the bunchberries were in bloom. Today they have the bunches of red berries that give them their name. The beaches are just as beautiful as ever and this time the weather has improved a little — enough to make the hike to the lookout. A spectacular place to be sure, with 360 degree views and a rocky landscape with stunted trees and even a shallow pond with water lilies looking for all the world like a Japanese bonsai garden. All this on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. We’re glad we came back here — it’s a different experience this time around.
23 July 2018 | MB
We woke up to fog in our anchorage right by the ocean so we went 10 miles inland to sun and warmth, relatively. Green Island Anchorage is named for one of its enclosing islands, covered with salmon berries, which are a lighter shade of green than the surrounding conifers. And the water is emerald green. We were the first in, so we took the prime spot in front of the entrance to the lagoon and spent much of the afternoon in the kayak exploring the narrows as the tide fell. It was amazing for the number and variety of sea cucumbers as well as starfish and other creatures. We could see them clearly from the surface in our polarized glasses but taking a picture is another matter. What’s really called for Is a waterproof camera so you can get it below the surface. Sigh. Maybe next year.