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Barkley Soundings -Chapter 2-

Freya's Adventures, with B&B

July 15 – Deer Group: No Deer, lots of Seals

Spent the last few days in the Deer Group. We didn't see any deer while there - I would suspect we aren't getting up early enough, but did see evidence of them on beaches. Plenty of seals though.

It was a calm drizzly departure from our anchorage near Friend Island to move a short jaunt over to Tzartus Cove, with a brief detour to check out Robbers' Passage and its nearby sea arch and various sea caves. Persistent rain prompted us to erect a tarp over the cockpit for just a little more shelter and to keep some of our wet gear out of the boat. Nothing really dries out, but this way it doesn't get more wet.

July 16 – Still Raining

Tzartus Cove was pretty in that misty west-coast way. Of course, it was still rainy, rainy, rainy. Feeling too boat-bound, we abandoned ship (temporarily) on a long dinghy excursion...singing: “...as we sail away, into the mist – ick!”

Bjarne felt like getting the blood flowing so chose to row rather than use Stealth; Barb pitched in too once Bjarne's enthusiasm for exercise waned. We drifted past caves, checked out numerous blobs of starfish and mussels, wandered a sandy beach on a small islet, and amused ourselves taking photos of seals who were spyhopping around the dinghy. All along we seemed to be followed by at least one seal, and then more as time went on. After a couple of hours under rain-threatening and drizzle-delivering clouds we were a bit chilled and damp but warmed up soon with wine, a most excellent dinner, and a lit furnace. Supper used up leftovers and things that could have spoiled if left longer - pita, spaghetti sauce, and lots of mozzarella. Any guesses? The pepperoni would have kept longer but we weren't about to skip that.

July 17 – Bikinis in BC

Moved our floating rain shelter over to Dodger Channel during a morning holding hints of sun. The afternoon saw us dinghying over to small beach on Edward King Island and poking around on shore – noticed deer prints, the usual stuff in and around the tidepools (barnacles, anemones, starfish, seaweed).

Dinner was a Shepherd's Pie creation by Barb, with beets, chicken, beet-coloured potatoes, carrots, and corn. Cheese sprinkled on top and lots of garlic in the middle completed the dish. Yum!

Popcorn & movie – Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep – filmed in Desolation Sound, BC. This movie was cheesier than our previous night's pizza, and they sure had different weather than us...the boat's Captain and crew wore bikinis in almost every scene.

July 18 - Shoreleave in Bamfield

We motored from Dodger Channel over to Bamfield in the morning of a awesome day – finally some sunshine. People in town also commented on the weather; everyone is happy to see the sun.

Bamfield town lines both sides of an inlet; one side has road access while the other shore requires a short water-taxi ride to get to. We did the usual in-town stuff – lunch at a restaurant, disposing of recycling and garbage, checking email, and hunting around for provisions. Stuff isn't cheap in these small stores on the fringe, but the folks are friendly. Perceptions can be different too. Bjarne was chatting with the store owner, and asked if he lived near the store. He said no, he was at the other end of the boardwalk. As far as we could tell that would be a 15 min walk from work.

Back to Dodger Channel in time for an evening game of Yahtzee.

July 19 – Better Late Than Never

We checked out two nearby beaches in the dinghy. On the second, larger beach, we met three women who were on their annual kayak trip – for the 26th year! They were all white-haired but looked to be in fine form. We had a friendly chat and it sounded like they would have been up for a game of bridge had we known how to play.

Prompted by the card-playing kayakers, we checked out a fancy beachside campsite, with a hand-lettered sign saying “Brad” created the camp and people were welcome to use it. Quite a bit of work had been put into it, with a couple of wind-break walls made of small upright logs, a barbeque, some shelves, a toilet area, a few chairs tucked away and other odds and ends.

Our sail across Imperial Eagle Channel was close to perfect. The seas were small, there was some sunshine, and the wind was just the right strength - a bit forward of the beam - allowing us to reach the Broken Group on one tack doing about 5 knots. We continued under sail, wending out way through the various rocks, reefs and islands; the winds were strong and gusty, but mostly downwind, making for fun sailing to go along with the challenging navigation.

We anchored in what is locally named Joe's Bay (after a fellow, Salal Joe who squatted here for many years), to wait out forecast winds of 20-30 kts, rain and fog. Sigh. Ah well, we still had a bit of sun for happy hour, but nimbostratus clouds had moved in by 1730h.

Bjarne is currently sanding and oiling the flag pole. He also set out the hummingbird feeder again but the one hummingbird that has come out since didn't check out our fake “flower”. It did park itself for a few seconds on the lifeline, an unusual sight.

The rain arrived in time for dinner. The latter consisted of more salad, a beef noodle dish invented by Barb, and pudding for dessert made from an instant pudding package purchased in New Zealand (loyal readers will recall we were last there in 2005) – figured it was about time to eat that for goodness sake! Not bad but it was improved by clever BJ who sprinkled coconut and butterscotch chips on top.

July 20 – Birds and More

We awoke to the sound of constant droning and the sight of a very popular hummingbird feeder. Bjarne hopped out of bed to take photos of the 4 or 5 birds who were sometimes taking turns at the feeder, other times threateningly swooping at each other. Very territorial, these hummers.

Speaking of buzzing, or perhaps irritating drone is a better description, there have been some boats running their generators. Not only do we have to listen to the noise (fortunately they aren't right beside us), I also have to listen to BJ complaining and wondering why they haven't gone solar. Other not totally pleasant noises comes from the crows, whose racket at times makes me the think the word should have been cacawphony. One unusual noise, not unpleasant, was our boat neighbours practising their musical instruments (concertina and fiddle it sounded like). They seemed to improve by the afternoon, or perhaps they had put on a CD. On the pleasant side, we have the trills of eagles, the sploosh of fish jumping, and of course, the low buzz of the hummingbirds.

We were expecting rain today and fearing that we would be stuck on the boat later, we took the opportunity to explore a bit before the worst of the wet stuff hit. Bjarne says it was not raining, just merely thick mist. Well, whatever you call it, it was damp. It did make for some neat misty scenery though. We enjoyed seeing two eagles perched in a tree on a small islet. The photographic evidence will no doubt show two somewhat eagle-shaped dark spots in a tree. This anchorage seems to have more bat stars than we usually see (they look like starfish with webbing between their appendages); we also saw a few really large 5-armed starfish, at least a foot and half wide. There are many shores and channels to explore here as the “bay” is formed by 5 islands with a few islets and drying reefs.

Food highlight for the day: cranberry orange muffins for breakfast; rice crispie squares with cranberries for snack; rice curry with chickpeas and dried apricots in the mix for supper.

Communication challenges provide some of our entertainment. Bjarne was trying to describe where an eagle was.

Barb, see that tree at 45 degrees?

Yep, I see it.

OK, go from there up to the dead tree, and just to the left you'll see the eagle.

No, I don't see it,” after some perusing of trees. “Which tree? Wait, what was the starting tree? That one?

No, that one,” says Bjarne pointing somewhere toward the shore.

What?! That's not 45 degrees!

Sure it is – well close anyway.” Bjarne gets out the protractor that we usually use for navigating. “OK it's 35 or 40 degrees.”

Some discussion ensues about whether the angle is from the water to the tree or the vertical to the tree.

That tree is not close to 45 or even 35!” says Barb, whose spatial ability is admittedly limited, but really, 45 degrees isn't hard to tell.

Which tree are you looking at?

Barb points.

No, not that tree! I didn't say 45 degrees over the water!

But there are those dead trees above it like you described.

If I meant TWO dead trees I would have said two!

Oh wait, I see the tree you mean – why didn't you say that one? It's more like a large branch than a tree. Hey, there's the eagle!

See what I mean? - all kinds of entertainment.

July 21 – Keep Your Eye On Your Die

Today started with sunshine! We were amazed and pleased. It was a pretty normal day aboard: we gathered up the water collected over night which was enough to wash a few clothes, thus taking advantage of both the rain from last night, and the sunshine today for drying. We oiled some wood, read, and had a kayak ride (BJ).

As is also normal, there was at least one challenge for the day...

We competed at a game of Boggle in the afternoon. Just because I was winning was no reason for Bjarne to throw the Boggle die down the cockpit drain. You could say I had a sinking feeling as it disappeared into the drink. Fortunately it turns out the die floats - barely - in fresh water, better in salt water. A flashlight shone on the cockpit drain hose revealed a dark cube shape bobbing in the water. We closed the drain off by shutting the seacock (difficulty moving the handle demonstrating why one should open and close valves periodically), detached the hose from the top, and added water until the die floated within reach. Rescue complete.

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This page last updated 6 Jun 2020