Charito & Ian at the Helm

Charito & Ian at the Helm

Tied up to a floating dock at Shearwater we awaited the arrival of Ian and Charito who were flying in from Saskatoon via Vancouver, Port Hardy and Bella Bella. All their connections were great and they landed on time at 1PM, took a taxi to the dock then a seabus to Shearwater Marina. It was wonderful to see them as we hadn’t been together since Nick and I were in Saskatoon last November. Although the weather on arrival was overcast and raining, it soon cleared up and turned out to be a warm, sunny day. Our very generous friends, Barr and Terry on S/V Absolut invited the 4 of us to dinner and we enjoyed drinks and Terry’s wonderful Stromboli. This is a dish made with pizza dough, covered with any meat, cheese, veggies you have, then rolled up, baked and sliced into pieces. So good with a side salad and a glass of vino (or gin, vodka, rum…! Thanks Terry & Barr (who, incidentally, lives up to his name as he is a great barr-tender!).

After taking advantage of one last shower at the marina we departed the next morning, cruising Lama Passage, Hunter Channel and into the north end of Hakai Recreation Area we dropped the hook in a lovely sheltered bay in the McNaughton Group, sharing it with  large American power boat.

Early the next morning we had a torrential downpour and due to an open window over our bed we woke up to wet sheets and cushions. Luckily the sun came out and a light breeze dried everything out quickly! We decided to sail across Queen’s Sound for the Goose Group which is a lovely group of islands named Goose, Duck, Gosling, etc.

Darcee, Nick and Ian sailing in Hakai

Ian checking the sails while Nick and I enjoy the ride!

There are beaches all over the Goose Group and a large kayak camp. Ian and Charito enjoyed dingy fishing and then the beach.  Only one other boat was anchored in this large bay, a large catamaran.

Ian & Charito dingy fishing at the Goose Group

Heading back across Queens Sound, Charito and I enjoyed the warm sun and calm seas sitting at the bow of Kyan II while Nick and Ian steered and navigated us closer to shore. On the edge of Hakai at Spider Island, Ian tried a little fishing but the bite wasn’t on so after careful maneuvering around very rocky area and into more open water we decided to sail and found a lovely wind that scooted down Hakai Passage. Once in another protected area of small islands, called the Breaker Group and then the Planet Group we tried our luck at trolling for salmon again. After no luck with that Ian started jigging and caught a nice cod fish that fed us dinner that night! Then we headed into Lewall Inlet on Sterling Island for the night and enjoyed a lovely quiet spot all alone!

The next day after trying a little fishing (of course!) we headed to Pruth Bay on Calvert Island where we anchored and took advantage of a walk to one of the nicest beaches in the area, West Beach.

Charito & Ian at West Beach Pruth Bay Calvert Island

Charito & Ian at West Beach Pruth Bay Calvert Island

We also got a few hours of internet so took advantage of email, Facebook and texting to friends and family.

Since Ian wanted to fish at slack water (the short time between tides), we set off very early the next morning to get to Nalau Island where we trolled for salmon along with numerous small open fishing boats from nearby lodges. While they had herring for bait and downriggers to help them get the fish, we had to rely on spoons, hoochies, plainers and flashers to entice the fish to our boat! Happily it worked and Ian brought in a nice 7.5 pound Coho salmon!

Ian & Nick with 7.5 pound Coho

Since we had a long day ahead of us to the next anchorage we agreed to leave the area but Ian wanted to keep trolling while they cleaned the fish so I took and helm while the fellows cleaned fish. Wouldn’t you know it…with with the boat very messy with fish cleaning… BAM! we get another fish on! Very exciting as Ian played another salmon and brought it in. A nice 11 pound Coho!!

Ian and his 11 pound Coho

We’ll be eating salmon for quite awhile!!! All of this boating and fishing were new to Charito but she was enjoying it and doing great!

Off we went up Fitz Hugh Sound in the blistering heat, with no wind so had to power all the way and we ran out of beer!!! Once in Codville Lagoon we set both the prawn and crab traps and set anchor. Finally, some warm water to take a needed dip!

Ian, Charito & Nick enjoying a swim at Codville Lagoon

All of us went in, including Tami the Shih Tzu and felt amazingly refreshed after rinsing off the salt with the sun shower. Although there is large Sagar Lake about a 30 minute hike in, we opted to do our swimming off the boat this time. Hearing about a grizzly bear attack earlier in the week unnerved us a bit so we opted to play it safe.

Even though we had salmon for lunch (panko coated steaks), I made it again for dinner. This time with pasta and a hollandaise sauce. Enjoyed by all! Ian taught us a new way to play a kind of cribbage after dinner which was fun for all.

After picking up our crab trap (2 nice ones) and our prawn trap (about 60 prawns and shrimp but we threw the small ones back in and ended up with about 20) we headed back into Lama Passage.

Prawns

At the opening the BC ferry Northern Expedition passed us and in the channel we saw a tug towing a large log barge going south. We made a quick exit into Lizzie Cove to meet some people we had heard from friends who grew and sold fresh vegetables. Unfortunately they did not seem to be there so we moseyed on towards Bella Bella, sometimes under power and sometimes under sail (the wind whips around oddly in passages), passing seiners and gill netters as well as the usual other recreation boats. On the way Charito made bread which turned out wonderful!

Charito making bread

Charito making bread

Charito's yummy bread

Charito’s yummy bread

Once in Bella Bella we got fuel but were unable to get water as their reservoir is low. Charito and I quickly ran up to the store for a few snacks and cold beer!

Hard to believe the week is almost over! We’re back anchored at Shearwater, doing laundry, having a shower, stocking up and enjoying our final evening with Ian & Charito. Dinner was pesto salmon and garlic, buttered prawns/shrimp as an appy. We ate well all week and are feeling like we need to ‘lighten up’ for a few days!

This morning we said farewell as they headed back to Bella Bella for their flight home. All-in-all a wonderful week, with lots of sun, fun, fishing, sailing, a little swimming, hiking and beach combing and of course a lot of really good eating! Next, onward to Prince Rupert. The weather is changing again and it is raining (not a bad thing as we need it!).