Blackfish Ahoy!

(August 25th, 2017)

What a great little anchorage we’d discovered!  Joe Cove is a quiet, private little anchorage with good holding, on the south side of Eden Island. 

The trip into Joe Cove, through the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, is nothing short of breathtaking.  The small islands in the area are home to fascinating wildlife.  Our trip into the archipelago yesterday began with a drive-by of the local sea-lion rookery on Screen Island.  Their barks, audible at a distance, were both impressive and comical.  Then, we traversed Trail Passage, through beautiful rocky shores covered with birds of all kinds.  The low-lying rocky islands make for an inspiring passage.  I’ve heard that salmon fishing in the area is good, but we were unsuccessful.

Us and our buddy boat, Breakaway, were the only boats we saw during our time near Joe Cove.  The cove itself was picturesque, with great kayak exploring opportunities.  I’d hoped for some berry-picking, but the new-growth forest is too thick to make meaningful progress through, so we mainly stuck to the kayak.  According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, resident bears aren’t an issue in the archipelago, although bears do sometimes transit the islands.  So, it was nice to know that our chances of a bear encounter were low.

The float at Joe Cove has seen better days.  We didn’t dare climb aboard, fearing rot would send us swimming.

Our crab fishing efforts here were unsuccessful.  Our first evening, we caught three small dungeness, about three inches each.  We returned them to their ocean home and put the pot down again, hoping to find those crabs’ bigger siblings overnight.  When we pulled the pot up in the morning, it was empty except for our bait fish’s skin and bones.  A few large moon jellies joined the pot for the ride back up.  There wasn’t a good place to set the prawn trap, so it stayed aboard.

After our little kayak tour of Joe Cove, we pulled up anchor and headed back out of the cove and the marine park toward Blackfish Sound.  In Queen Charlotte Strait, a small group of humpbacks swam along in front of us.  Then, in Blackfish Sound, we were quite pleased to encounter something we haven’t seen in a while – blackfish!  A large pod of orcas was busy hunting among the sport fishing fleet off Parson Island.

We had a comfortable, and fairly uneventful, motor from Joe Cove to Port Neville. Another fishing effort was unsuccessful.

Once in Port Neville, we anchored in 40 feet of water.  Anchoring there took some time, because we anchored near the mouth of the bay, which is all rock.  Farther back, we could have (and should have) set in sand.  All night, the current was whipping by, as fast as two knots.  The anchor chain’s groan as it dragged across the rock bottom kept us awake most the night, even though it was snubbed.  Luckily, we were well set with plenty of chain out, so even in the rock bottom and heavy current, we held just fine. 

Bottom fishing from our anchorage in Port Neville yielded no results.  I also tried trolling from our anchorage, since the current was enough to put us at trolling speed; but, it wasn’t deep enough, and I watched as our diver kept bouncing off the bottom.

Breakaway joined us for a fun and lively taco dinner.  I prepared a boat-made latin spice rub for our salmon, which we then grilled, along with a Baja-style slaw.  Cookies finished off the evening. 

We were a little nervous that Breakaway wouldn’t be able to get back to their boat – with a small 3-horse motor on their dinghy, darkness, and a ripping current, we were glad they made it safely back.  Off to bed we went.


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