Barkley Sound Day 14 – Sea Lion WOW at Wouwer Island

Another late morning with cereal and oatmeal, except for Devon who got up pretty early and washed some of the kids stinky clothes. It was a sunny morning and by 11:15am we had barely done anything other than breakfast. Batteries were down to 60% and the aft water tank was down to about 7 gallons, so it was time to run the genset and watermaker. I’m looking forward to when we have solar and dont need to use the genset as much.

The dinghy needs to be cleaned and then 303 UV protectant put on, but suddenly we couldn’t find the 303 spray, so that project got abandoned. I attempted to get some Internet research done over 5 bar ROGERS EDGE on using my phone as a hotspot, but couldn’t get any webpages through. The only thing I was able to do was use the Xgate satellite email software to send email’s over the cellular connection (was pretty slow, almost as bad as the satellite, but without paying for the satellite air time). Still need to work out better Internet access for our boat in the future. The WiFi booster works, but I think we also need a Cellular booster, and probably install both of those antennas way up in the mast, on the second set of spreaders. I thought I might try the Xweb compression for web browsing that the Xgate software includes but I couldn’t get it to work, something about invalid login, despite the fact that the login works fine for email.

The girls decided that they wanted to open their Kiwi Crate so out came the box and they built the pendulum for swinging paint over paper to make art. The girls made a few pendulum paintings, then tried to the solar art project but we didn’t have construction paper on the boat so that may not have worked out. After project time Katherine made arepas with tuna cheese in some and roast beef and cheese in others. Then we got ready for today’s big excursion, farther and longer in the dinghy than ever before. We shut down the generator since the batteries were charged and we were leaving the boat, but we left the watermaker running.

FIrst we headed west out of Effingham Bay and then south through a little channel between islands, then west some more over to Wouwer Island where there was supposed to be a sea lion rookery. We ran across a sailboat with two children aboard anchored there and they directed us to a beach with a trail where we might find the sea lions. We beached the dinghy and followed the trail (MUCH EASIER than yesterday’s hike, and far shorter) to the beach on the opposite side. No sign of sea lions, but we explored the beach for a bit anyway. Then as we were leaving the beach we heard a sea lion that sounded like he was right around the rock pile on the side of the beach. We couldn’t get there on foot but we figured we’d dinghy around the island to see. Wouwer is right on the edge of Broken Group so it’s fully exposed to the Pacific Ocean. The weather was super calm today though. So back at the dinghy we loaded up and made our way around Wouwer to the exposed western side but no sea lions. Skunked again! But we went by a pretty large yellowish jellyfish that we’ll need to look up later. Sort of an egg yolk color, with a similar shape to a lions mane, but without the mane…

On our way around Wouwer as we passed the other sailboat again, they asked if we’d seen the sea cave on Effingham, which we hadn’t, and they suggested we take the hike of death to see it, as it’s accessible from the same beach we went to yesterday. Yeah, no thanks on doing that hike a second time, I think we’ll dinghy around the island instead. Anyway, we headed back toward Effingham Island and then through a couple small channels until we were alongside the Effingham Island western coastline, and we started our counter-clockwise circumnavigation. Once we got around to the open/exposed southern side of the island we saw a massive eagles nest in a tree high up on the bluff, and then a couple deep caverns in the rocks, and finally we found the sea cave. It’s pretty cool and you might be able to kayak, or possibly dinghy through it, but we didn’t get close enough to verify that. Then we continued on, passing a sea arch on northern side, and then rounded the point, through another channel into the bay to our boat. All in we were out for about 3 hours and travelled over 9 nautical miles by dinghy.

Back on the boat we were all pretty tired but it was time to make dinner. First, I needed a shower, so I took care of that, dried off, got dressed and then I was ready to BBQ. Devon had prepared a tasty salad, and one of our Salmon filets for the grill. She also made fresh pesto from the live basil plant we have on board for pesto spaghetti. Everything turned out awesome and I managed to time the cook on the Salmon really well. The watermaker was still running but our water use was super high today, so I let it run until 9pm after which I shut it down. I also ran the genset one more time for about 90 minutes to bring the batteries back up, since the watermaker was drawing about 14amps for several hours while we were out and about. After dinner we made cookies while I spent nearly and hour navigating 5 pages of the reservation site only to have it timeout before finishing. It took this long because the 5 bar ROGERS EDGE service took about 5-8 minutes to load the next page after each click. I gave up for the night and will try again when we are moving the boat to our next stop tomorrow, which should give us a period of better cellular coverage.

I cleaned up the deck of the boat, put the kayak on deck, and closed up the cockpit for the night, so we are mostly prepared to leave in the morning. Tomorrow, we think the weather will be nice again so we are thinking of going back to Pipestem Inlet for warm water + sunny swimming before we move to our final night at Ucluelet before we drive home on Saturday.

• Anchored in 60 feet of water in Effingham Bay at Effingham, Barkley Sound, BC • Engine Hours: 0 hours
• Genset Hours: 644.9 to 649.8 = 4.9hours (batteries charged to 100% in 3 hours, watermaker still running for 10 hours) • Water Consumption: 55 gallons (washing clothes, dishes, showers, dishes) • Watermaker Production: 77 gallons
• Water Temp about 62F
• Air Temp about 72F
• Barometer 1019.1 and falling

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