Shearwater, Fury Cove, and the Dreaded Cape Caution

(August 23rd, 2017)

It was a chilly morning, but sunny.  As usual, I woke up before everyone else and turned on the heat.  It was cold while I got dressed and ready for the day, but tolerable.  By the time I woke up the girls, the boat was toasty warm.

It was a provisioning morning before a long, eight-hour run.  The girls were excited to help with grocery shopping.  After a breakfast of a new bread recipe I was trying (which I think is going to be a keeper), the girls and I set off for the grocery store.

Unfortunately, it was 8:45, and the grocery didn’t open until 9AM.  The coffee shop was open, though, so we stopped to get our morning latte and Italian sodas.  Ellie got cherry, and Morgan had peach.  We spent a full hour just trying to download library books for Morgan, but the internet was so slow that we only snagged two Puppy Place books.  With another 4-5 days until we have internet again, and her tendency to blow through an entire Puppy Place book in a single day, I’m worried her stash of reading won’t last.  Most ports we visit have little  leave-a-book-take-a-book library, which is great, but they never have kid books.  It’s mostly romance novels that no one would ever admit to having read and left there.  “Oh, my mother-in-law gave it to me.  The spine is broken in because she was thumbing through it.  I’d never read something like that.”  And the evidence gets hidden at the local port laundromat’s library.  For myself, I finally downloaded a Jack London compendium that contained The Cruise of the  Snark.  After reading the first few pages on Ruby Slippers and determining that Jack London just might be my prior incarnation, I’ve been trying to coax our library to get an e-copy ever since so I can confirm my suspicion.  The library hasn’t purchased any of the copies I requested, but I did find it in a large book of collected works.  So, I might actually read a book in the near future.  Imagine that.

While the girls and I were up on shore, Rich spent a few hours doing some much-needed engine maintenance.  He walked up and got himself an espresso from Hodge Podge, then checked the marine store for Delo 400, since he knew he needed to add oil to the engine, but they didn’t have Delo, just other brands (which were likely the same, but we didn’t know for sure, and we had Delo on the boat, so he gave up and pulled our Delo out of the deep locker rather than buy more).   He then checked the oil (down a quart) and filled it, replaced the banjo bolts and crush washers on the oil line for the turbo (the same banjo bolts that threatened to delay our departure back in May), cleaned the sea strainer, drained about 2 cups of water and debris from the Racor fuel filter bowl, and worked on tracing down a coolant leak.   Rich believes the leak is from a hose on the rear of the heat exchanger so he tightened the hose clamp on that hoping it would stop the leak.

This is what came out of our Racor fuel filter

The grocery store trip was uneventful.  Actually, to call Shearwater’s grocery store a grocery store is a bit of a stretch.  It’s more like a mini-mart, on grocery store wannabe steroids.  As usual, we managed to check off about half of our list, abandon the other half of items they didn’t have, and the girls and I took the cart of groceries back to the boat.  There, we said a fond goodbye to Rebecca and John, Breakaway’s departing crew, made a stop to fuel up, and headed on our way around noon.  For lunch, I used some of our freshly caught coho salmon to make a salmon poke bowl. 

I thought it turned out delicious, but the girls wouldn’t eat it.  Morgan claimed that she didn’t like raw salmon, but I told her that red fish she fights with Ellie over in conveyor belt sushi bars is raw salmon.  “Well, I just don’t like this kind of raw salmon.”  Fine.  In the afternoon, I used some leftover cookie dough from a few days ago to bake some cookies; I prepared a batch of yogurt for the morning (first try – we’ll see how it goes); and whipped up a rub for the evening’s pork spare ribs.  It was, overall, a culinarily enjoyable afternoon.

The free time I had to do some cooking wasn’t the only reason we had a nice run – which was good, because otherwise the eight hours would have been a long slog.  First, the sun held out!  It was the first day without rain we’ve had in nearly two weeks (or so I thought…).  Second, it was mostly calm.  Although the wind was against us and we didn’t sail, it wasn’t too strong and didn’t slow us down more than a few tenths of a knot.  I would have liked to have done some salmon fishing, but we had enough fresh protein for the evening meal, so hopefully I could fish the next day instead – we didn’t want to make a long run even longer. 

It was still daylight (although the sun was almost hidden behind the ridges to the west) when we arrived in Fury Cove, and set our anchor.  The rain from the north had caught up with us (so much for our rain-free day), so we hunkered inside for the night once the anchor was down.  We had a great rib dinner, then set off to bed, ready for a 6:30AM departure around Cape Caution the next day.

Old Bella Bella town

Bright and early we pulled the crab pot to find nothing, then pulled anchor and motored out to the outer bay to check the prawn trap, finding nothing again, then exited the protection of Fury Cove to head out and around Cape Caution.  The weather and waves were nearly identical to what was forecast. 15kts or so from the southwest, with swell over six feet out in the most open portion and leading into Queen Charlotte Strait.  The swell had some chop on top for a while making it a bit uncomfortable at times, but overall it was manageable, especially as we turned southeast and were running with the seas.   About halfway through QC Strait, the seas and winds calmed down to near zero and eventually flat, calm, glass.   We also finally got some help from the currents, exceeding 10kts over ground at certain points of the run.   We had no need to use our three different bailout harbors so we motored on.

This is what it looked like at 10kts speed-over-ground in Queen Charlotte Strait

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