Mid July 2011
We had a crew change after the music fest ended; Greg and Joanne left in their car which Norm had driven up from Sidney and Norm carried on with us. We had to stop in Campbell River for a day to have the brand new navigation system reprogrammed. The technician felt that a power surge may have caused the problem so we have devised an elaborate procedure that involves turning the nav system off when anchoring to avoid the large power draws from the electric winch. Just to be safe we also don’t use the microwave or the blender when the nav system is operating which is whenever we are underway. We plan to address the problem when we return to Sidney but for now it’s a pain in the hootchie.
You’re going to need a map to follow our progress from here because for the life of me I can’t figure out how to include a map in the blog. Google maps works well. We proceeded along Discovery Passage with some trepidation as we approached Seymour Narrows. Last fall we heard a boat send out a Mayday over the VHF radio after having seen a fishing boat flip over in the narrows. We made the passage at slack tide and had no trouble at all.
Our first anchorage was in Kanish Bay on Quadra Island. We tucked into a small bay that had remnants of an old pier and had a beer ashore at a lovely campsite for kayakers. I think that was the last time we wore shorts for the next two weeks. The next day we continued to the end of Discovery Channel and made a left turn down Johnstone Strait into cloudy and rainy weather. The mountains, which would have been spectacular, were shrouded in clouds sometimes almost to the water. By the time we reached Alert Bay, across from Port McNeill, we were shopping for a tarp to cover the driving station. Norm learned that his rain coat was sufficient to repel only a light mist and purchased a full-on rubber rain coat and bib overalls.
There are memorial totem poles displayed in the ‘Namgis burial ground in Alert Bay. These differ quite a bit from the totem poles we would see in the villages of the Haida. We didn’t stay long in Alert Bay due to the rain.