Monday, July 25, 2011

Day 12 - Toba Inlet to Squirrel Cove

Monday, July 25, 2011.
Our visit to Toba Inlet was the zenith of our 2011 trip.  For the first time in so many years, I believe 19 years, we will not be going through the Yuculta's to points farther north.  I blame work schedules and fuel prices as the main culprits.  The urge to go farther is strong, but it will not happen this year.  Now it is time to start thinking about heading back.  Yesterday's Zipper trip up to Brem Bay left an indelible mark on me that will remain for a long time.  I love the mountains, the sights of snow on high, waterfalls, steep cliffs, and green seas.   

We untied and left Toba Wildernest Resort at 0830 to go back to Squirrel Cove for a couple of days.  Again we thought about many other options but the thought of weather, tides and currents, and how were we going to tackle the monster (Georgia Strait) going south.  We have to be back in Nanaimo for a crew change on Sunday, July 31.  That meant we had to be in Nanaimo on Saturday, July 30.  That leaves us only five days and two of them were reserved for tackling the monster so that left us three more days here in paradise.  One option is the Octopus Islands but since they are between two sets of rapids (Lower Rapids & Surge Narrows) the timing presents a problem.  The currents didn't favor us, that is  slack is not until later in the day and going in the wrong direction.  Another option was Prideaux Haven and Laura Cove but I really not in the mood to deal with crowds and it puts us too far away to get a good start on Thursday morning to go down Georgia Strait.  We are somewhat low on meats, fresh vegetables, bread and liquor and we know we can get that in Squirrel Cove.  We also want to continue with our plans of taking more walks.  So on to our old friend Squirrel Cove.

Weather is mostly cloudy but it is clearing.  We motored at 1700 rpm down Pryce Channel into Deer Passage and then down Lewis Channel and into Squirrel Cove.  For most of the way we took advantage of a nice flood current that pushed us nicely along.  In Deer Passage and Lewis Channel we were making good speed of over 7 knots while only at 1700 rpm.  I could tell slack at the Yuculta's was coming as we met so many boats going north.  I wished I could turn and join them.  The winds were light about 10 knots from the NW which also helped as a following sea pushing us along.  The skies are clearing and it looks to be warm today.  

After yesterday's dramatic scenery the cruise down Deer Passage and Lewis Channel was definitely anti-climatic.  The last big mountains and glimpses of high waterfalls were seen in Pryce Channel but quickly faded to rolling low hills.  Raza Island rises like a big pyramid but the northwest portion of West Redonda island is comprised of low rolling hills.  We passed Redonda Bay to our port where you could still see that a logging operation is taking place.  It didn't look too inviting as a possible anchorage and most cruising guides don't mention it at all.  

We came around Junction Pt. at the end of Lewis Channel, made a turn to starboard towards Squirrel Cove.  We could see that many boats were leaving Squirrel Cove.  We avoided the rocks just off of Boulder Pt. and turned to go into Squirrel Cove.  We motored to our usual anchoring spot in the far NW corner of the inside bay and dropped the hook in 20’ of water at ½ tide rising at 1200. 

Squirrel Cove gov't dock and store
We took the Zipper into the town of Squirrel Cove to get some additional provisions – meats, whiskey, ice.  I wanted ice so I could make some Caesars.  And, we dropped off the garbage that we had been accumulating from being out so long.  We walked to the store from the main government dock and found the store busy with people.  I noticed that the store and most of the town of Squirrel Cove was for sale.  We got an ice cream to go and headed back to the MV Independence.  

The afternoon had definitely turned nice and so I made some Caesars and we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon.  We enjoyed a delicious Pho for dinner.  We used the left over pork I had BBQ’d earlier with some beef broth and carrots.  A solitary passing cloud sprinkled some rain on us but it was only for a few minutes. It turned out to be another nice Squirrel Cove evening.

Stats: Ending engine hours: 6145.0, elspaed engine hours: 4.6, 20.0 nm, average speed 5.7 kts., 3:30 minutes motoring.
Independence Boat Pho
  • 1/4 C yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 T Bicks Red Pepper Relish, or a few canned pimentos
  • 1/4 C sake
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 1/2 t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t Cajun seasoning, or Cayenne pepper, or white pepper
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 2 C water
  • 1 package Soba noodles or a package of Top Ramen (don't use seasoning packet)
  • 2 grilled pork chops, cut in to pieces or strips
  • 1 T fresh basil leaves, tear leaves into pieces
Over medium high heat saute onions with oil until they just start to brown on the edges about 5-6 minutes, then add the  julienned carrot and cook until almost tender.  Next, add the red pepper relish, sake, fish sauce, and spices and cook for about 1 minute.  Add the beef broth, water, soba noodles and left over grilled pork and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Finally, add 1 T of fresh basil and serve.  Enjoy.

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