Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Day 14 - Squirrel Cove to Von Donop Inlet

Wednesday, July 27, 2011.
Woke to clear skies but then some morning clouds came in.  We pulled up anchor around 0930 to go to Von Donop Inlet.  The anchor and rode were very muddy and it took some time to clean them from that awfully sticky, stinky Squirrel Cove mud.

As we motored out of Squirrel Cove we had received an e-mail yesterday from a friend which told that the local Klahoose tribe wants to put in a marina in the western side of Squirrel Cove that would serve over 380 boats.  The marina would have a store, shops, bakery, restaurant, and other marine services.  The tribe has petitioned the Canadian government for the necessary permits.  The eastern, or inner portion, of Squirrel Cove would have mooring buoys placed around the bay.  Oh my!  This would absolutely ruin this gem of an anchorage.  I seriously doubt that considering the current economy that such a large marina could be financially feasible.  I know that I would not patronize this marina if it were built, preferring to anchor somewhere else.  I hope it never comes to be.  It amazes me how greed destroys so many special places.

Looking N up Lewis Channel
We motored out around Boulder Pt, then around Junction Pt, up Lewis Channel, rounding Bullock Bluff and then down into Sutil Channel.  All this time cruising at about 1700 rpm.  We had a good NW breeze blowing against us in Lewis Channel which completely subsided when we rounded Bullock Bluff and went into Sutil Channel.  We came down into Von Donop Inlet being careful to avoid the mid-channel rock (you want to hug the western shore).  We motored under slow bell and noticed that the inlet was not too crowded with anchored boats - at least not like years past - we only saw about a dozen boats or less.  We dropped the hook in the far south “hook” of Von Donop Inlet in 18’ of water on a rising tide at 1233.  There’s one other boat anchored here with a shore tie just N of us.  We had a quick snack and then went on a hike. 

We walked 2.0 km towards Squirrel Cove and then returned on the same trail.  The trail was not like other trails we had recently hiked but a gentle path with no steep climbs.  You could tell this trail was well used.  At the start of the trail there was even a menu of the restaurant (The Cove Restaurant) at Squirrel Cove tacked to a post.  The trail goes through second growth fir forests and older maple glens.  The trail is well marked.  While we were walking this trail I was hoping to meet up with the trail we hiked the other day (Day 7) from Squirrel Cove.  Until I got back to the boat I realized why the trail never met up with the other trail.  The dogs loved the walk.  Rocky ran the whole time up and down the trail and as usual probably covered twice the distance we did.  We didn't walk the whole way to Squirrel Cove, but turned around because the day was getting late.  I was concerned about how the Zipper was tied up to shore because there was a very high tide late this afternoon.  Sure enough when we returned to the Zipper it was a real challenge to get to it because of the high tide.  I had to bush whack through the trees and brush along the shore just to get to the painter.  Once I had the painter, I had to fight my way through some low hanging trees just to get in.  Once again, the dogs loved rumbling through the brush and must have thought this was great fun.  Hank at one point just stopped and stood belly deep in the warm water.  He looked at me as if he seemed to say, "Dad, this is oh so refreshing."  We finally got in to the Zipper a little scratched up.

Sailboats at anchor in Von Donop Inlet
We came back and took a sun shower out on the swim step from the water we had gathered the other day.  It was very refreshing.  I hoist the sun shower bag off of the boom.  Then you stand on the swim step and take your shower.  There's no clean up and it feels great. The only down-side is that shampoo and soap suds get into the bay.

For supper we made a grilled Vindaloo chicken dinner and sat out on the back deck.  Vindaloo is an Indian dish that has some curry spices in it with a lot of onions.  It is sweet and spicy.  The walk, a good supper, and wonderful weather made for a gorgeous evening.  The waters were very still - not even a breath of wind.  I too tried to match the stillness and quiet of the evening gently sipping my evening whiskey ration and thinking about days past and days to come.

Stats: Ending engine hours: 6148.3, elapsed engine hours: 3.3,17.0 nm, average speed 5.0 kts, 3:23 hours.

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