Years from now, when we reflect back on some of our best cruising days ever, today will surely rank right up there. Judging by the previous night, it didn’t seem to have a chance. As we prepared to crawl in, Sandy started noticing mosquitoes in the cabin. We had only seen a few outside, before closing the hatch. We buttoned things down as usual, with our sunbrella flap velcroed into position to cover the gap between the companionway hatch and the sliding hatch. Nonetheless, we kept getting buzzed by pesky mosquitoes. We sat up late, intermittently reading and swatting. It didn’t seem possible that so many could be inside, but there they were. We finally gave up and went to sleep, knowing that we would be donating blood that night.
Sandy was awakened early this morning by the buzzing of mosquitoes, and so got up, turned on the stove, and commenced to swatting mosquitoes. It was gray and gloomy outside, not raining, but with low hanging clouds obscuring all but the lowermost slopes of the surrounding mountains. Sandy remarked about how glad she was that we had gone on our dinghy explore yesterday, when it was sunny and clear. My first chore was to motor out in the dinghy to pull the crab trap. Based on experience thus far, my expectations were low. The trap was sitting in around 90 feet of water, and it felt rather heavy as I hauled my new leaded crab trap line in. As it broke the surface, I was delighted to see that, instead of a pile of sunstars, I had several promising dungeness scurrying about inside. I ran back to the boat and had Sandy pass me the caliper. I had 6 crabs in the trap, and one was clearly well above the minimum size. I carefully removed the second largest crab, verified that it was a male, and measured the width of his carapace. It was legal, just barely but nonetheless legal. The rest were too small, and got tossed back, however, we had a pair of dungeness for our dinner. That’s what I call a perfect start to the day.
I raised the anchor at 9am, having no trouble retrieving both anchor and trip line. Since our day’s destination was less than 10 miles away, I decided to sail out of Bond Sound, into the teeth of a ferocious 8 knot wind. I got a couple of tacks in before the wind died, so I fired up the engine and began motoring out of the Sound. About 200 yards ahead I saw numerous dolphins jumping, and as we neared them, 5 or 6 charged over in our direction. Soon they were playing under our bow, keeping pace with the boat and then suddenly criss-crossing back and forth. We took turns standing in the bow pulpit to watch the show. Sometimes they seemed to be swimming on their sides, just so they could look up at us. They played with us for around 20 minutes, before we moved beyond their preferred area. By this time we were entering Tribune Channel, and the wind there was blowing about 10 to 12 knots. It was again on our nose, but was fairly steady, and the channel was wide enough for us to tack our way up. We tacked back and forth three times before gaining enough headway to clear the point and enter Kwatsi Bay. Unfortunately, the wind quickly died inside the Bay, however, with the sky brightening and the scenery beginning to be revealed to us, we didn’t mind. We passed a small waterfall on our starboard side, and gazed up at several cascades which tumbled down from the high granite crags which surround Kwatsi Bay. Near the head of the bay we spotted Kwatsi Bay Marina, a small, rustic place in a magnificent setting. We decided to forego the social setting of the marina, opting instead to anchor out in the inner bay. Just like Bond Sound, the water here is quite deep, rising to anchorable depth rather quickly and fairly close to shore. I picked a spot about 30 feet deep and dropped the anchor and trip line, hoping that we were far enough from shore so that our scope wouldn’t allow us to drift in too close. As it turned out, we managed to hook in just the right place.
The day’s one hiccup occurred shortly after lunch, when Sandy turned the stove on to brew up a cup of coffee. She reported that the stove was smoking. I knew right away what the problem was. While sailing we had briefly heeled 25 degrees on the starboard tack. From past experience I realized that healing in that range runs the risk of splashing water into the stove’s through hull exhaust opening. When that happens, water collects in the trap in the exhaust tube, and the stove makes smoke. The fix is simple; disconnect the tube from the stove, drain out the water, and reconnect the tube. The last part is the trick, and I fought it for 20 minutes before succeeding.
With the stove once again happy, we dinghied over to the marina, and visited with Anca, the owner. We purchased a couple of items from her attractive gift shop, and got directions to a nearby trail which leads through the forest to a lovely waterfall. By this time the sky was cloudless and the deepest blue, the sun warm but moderated by the gentlest breeze. It was time for cocktails in the cockpit, while we contemplated tomorrow’s destination. Our dinner was a fitting cap to this wonderful day. I set up the barbque, got a couple of inches of water boiling in our pot, and commenced to steam our crab. Accompanied by a chilled bottle of Reisling, some deli potato salad, and our new CD music, and sitting in one of the most scenic anchorages we’ve ever visited, this dinner was simply exquisite. Cracking crab, tossing the shells over the side and back where they’d come from, it doesn’t get any better.
Miles cruised for the day: 11nm Total miles cruised on the trip: 298nm