Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day 11 - Roscoe Bay to Toba Inlet

Sunday,  July 24, 2011.
Pendrell Sound from Waddington Channel
Woke to a gorgeous clear day with light winds.  We pulled anchor at 1045 and motored up Waddington Channel unsure of where we would stop for the night.  I thought about Allies Island, Doctor Bay, and Walsh Cove - all places I've motored by but never anchored at.  I even thought about Attwood Bay in Homfray Channel.  After some discussion we decided on Toba Wildernest Resort in Toba Inlet just behind Double Island.  Once again, a spot that I've heard of but never have been to.  I radioed them on VHF 66A and asked if they had available moorage.  They said they did and I told them to reserve us a spot.  We continued slowly motoring up Waddington Channel drinking in the beautiful mountain scenery.  The seas were very calm not even a breath of wind.  There were a few boats anchored at Allies Island but I was glad we chose not to anchor there.  Doctor Bay didn't look too interesting - again, glad we chose not to anchor there.  Walsh Cove looked scenic and there were about 4-5 boats already anchored there, but I was happy where we were headed.  We motored through the narrow gap by Dean Pt where West and East Redonda Islands are just separated by less than 100 yards.  We crossed Pryce Channel over to the Toba Wildernest Resort admiring all the mountains around Toba Inlet, Homfray Channel and Pryce Channel.  We certainly picked the right day to see all these majestic mountains since there wasn't hardly a cloud in the sky.  We got to Toba Wildernest Resort at 1300 after again slowly motoring at just 1700 rpm.  It’s a small resort marina with guest cabins, a small dock that will fit maybe 6-8 boats.  There's just moorage and water - no electricity and no store.  Moorage is $1.25 per foot.  The friendly staff helped welcomed us at the dock, helped me tie up the boat and explained all the features of Toba Wildernest Resort.  The marina gets it's power from the raging creek that flows through the resort.  It's actual quite an ingenious power system that the owner has developed and he is very proud of it.  Oh and one other feature of this marina, they've got hot showers.  Just after arriving we took the dogs for a quick hike – it’s hot out.  To cool off we decided to do a Zipper ride up to Brem Bay in Toba Inlet about 11 nautical miles away.   

Several years ago I assisted a boater with a MayDay call in Brem Bay.  They had backed down on their dinghy painter getting it caught up in their prop and shaft.  The owner thought they could simply dive it wearing only a swim suit and ended up with hypothermia.  I used my scuba gear and dry suit to dive the boat and untangle the line while the Coast Guard assisted the hypothermic boater.  While diving I remember the water temperature was about 40F - that's cold water.  Fortunately all turned out okay.  I remembered how beautiful Brem Bay was and decided to return under more favorable circumstances.

We enjoyed light winds all the way up to Brem Bay in the Zipper.  We took lots of pictures and ehecked out the logging camp float where we could’ve tied up to a small dock for free.  Unfortunately the horseflies were vicious and numerous.  Fortunately the horseflies preferred to bother the dogs versus us.  The poor dogs spent the whole time constantly turning and snapping at these pesky things as they tried to land on them.  Meanwhile, I checked out the bottom of Brem Bay using the Zipper's depth sounder for maybe a future anchoring spot.  As is typical with most of these fjords, the bottom goes from well over a 100' to 10' in less than 10'.  There's no possibility for a shore tie since shore was about 100' away.  So forget anchoring here.  And, because of the horseflies I think the crew was happy to not anchor or stay here.

To get away from the many horseflies we moved and went a bit up the Brem River looking for fish.  We saw no fish but did see a lot of seals who were enjoying a fresh salmon meal. I don't think the seals were too happy with us invading their space.  They were peering intently at us and then would violently slap the water with their flippers creating huge splashes in the water. Add to that there was a lot of very thick brush on either side of the river which would very easily hide a grizzly if one was near by.  We were only 10-20' from the river's edge and would hate to be suddenly charged by an angry bear thinking we were interfering with their supper.  I took a couple of sips from the absolutely clear river water - the taste was deliciously sweet and cold.  And, the air coming down with the river made it oh so refreshingly cool on a hot day.  We didn't want to leave but then decided to move on.  We went farther out into Brem Bay and had a nice lunch snack while enjoying the dramatic mountain scenery all around us.  For me this was the highlight of the trip. 

We then slowly made our way back down the N side of Toba Inlet towards Toba Wildernest exploring various nooks an crannies that were along this great and beautiful fjord.  We would motor the Zipper about 10-20' inside of these little nooks and crannies only to discover a wonderful little micro climate that probably doesn't see much sun.  Moss and ferns hung from the steep rock walls. Trees and plants grew out of almost every little crack in the rocks. And the temperature was about 10F cooler than just 20' farther out into the fjord.  The water had the color of mint chocolate chip ice cream without the chocolate bits.  Some places the rock walls were so steep that they were vertical, and they went up for hundreds if not thousands of feet.  As we slowly motored down the inlet not only did we see peaks and snowfields, but numerous waterfalls high up and a few right along the fjord shore.  We stopped at a couple of these waterfalls that pour right into the fjord – very nice and very scenic.  We traveled about 19.8 miles in the Zipper  

Toba Wildernest has done a great job in making a bunch of trails that take off from the resort.  One of them is to a waterfall, which we wanted to go see.  Unfortunately the trails are all poorly marked and there are no maps.  I ended up going on a wrong trail that lead us steeply up the mountainside.  Not only was the trail terribly steep, it was full of mosquitoes - and they were hordes of the vicious little blood hungry beasts.  I think the only enjoyment of this trail was by the dogs who romped up and down the trail so happy to be on terra firma. We finally turned around when the trail got even steeper.  As we came down the mountain I found the right trail to the falls but it was getting late and we never made it to the falls.  Instead, I sat on a wooden bridge over the creek just below the falls and enjoyed the cool breeze and mists coming from the raging creek.  We were all exhausted and this was oh so refreshing.  The breezes and mists besides cooling you off had the added effect of keeping any mosquitoes away - it was heaven. When we got back to the boat, I grilled Bavarian Smokies and made home-fried potatoes for supper.  I then enjoyed a long hot shower.  It was our first stay at a dock since starting the trip.

Stats: Ending engine hours: 6141.4, elapsed engine hours: 2.5, 11.8 nm, average speed 5.3 kts., 2:14 hrs. motoring

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