July 6, 2008 Ocean Falls to Boat Inlet

At 4am the current and winds shifted, pinning the boat to the dock. The fenders kept popping out, and I made several trips out in my underwear in the rain, to re-adjust the lines etc. I received an ugly forecast on the VHF and eventually fell back to sleep until 11am. No end in sight on the rain for another four days at least. We were getting a bit stir-crazy at the dock, and the prospect of spending a fourth night in Ocean Falls was not appealing. As soon as the winds eased up a bit we made our move, and it turned out to be a good choice. It wasn’t so bad out there, and the rain even tapered off. Our 100 mile, week-long circumnavigation of King Island was completed when we turned the boat into the Gunboat passage. King Island and Bella Coola were well worth the side trip. It was some of the most spectacular coastline in all of BC, a challenge to navigate and world-class sailing. Best of all we used almost no fuel because we tacked all the way from Bella Coola. At Shearwater the fuel dock was conveniently open on a Sunday, so we topped up our tanks. We may as well not have even bothered to do it. The fuel attendant was very impressed with Silent Partner’s economy. Our plan was to spend the night in Shearwater, and I called in to the harbor master on the VHF for a slip assignment. “A buck a foot for the night, and we can’t get you any power” they said. No thanks! Way too steep a price, even for Puget Sound. Colleen and I weren’t about to pay thirty bucks to sit at a cold dock. A big gale is supposed to blow through tomorrow so we used our weather window to motor down the calm Seaforth channel. Near Ivory Island lighthouse a large groundswell had already picked up, creating impressive breakers around the shoreline. I like how all the islands disappear when the boat dips into the troughs of the swell. Far out in the ocean to the southeast, a low pressure system was stirring up the water. These large swells are just like ripples in a pond, radiating out from the storm’s center. We tucked in behind Ivory Island and threaded the needle through Reid passage, where we sit at anchor tonight, in tiny Boat Inlet. It is a very peaceful spot and a bombproof anchorage. We’ve got a pot of rice cooking on the wood stove, and we’re dry and warm after a rainy day’s sail. I already feel like I’m in Alaska now, listening to the quiet crackle of the fire in a calm secluded bay. There’s just nothing quite like it.

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