June 24, 2008 Oleo’s to Cutter Cove

The morning was still except for the soft sounds of rain tapping on the cabin top.  I awoke feeling completely stuffed from last night’s dinner, and we still had leftover bread and cake for lunch.  As usual this week, we needed to get an early start to ride the tides.  Currents run strong through Greene Point rapids, Whirlpool rapids and all the narrow channels in between.  In the morning I had a strange assuring feeling that we’d see a bear soon, which later on turned out to be true.   Paul and his mom left their dock early as well.  They were off to Campbell River to re-supply with food for their next guests.  His mom had done up her hair in anticipation for the “big day in town.”  Like true North coasters, they sped off in the rain in an open boat, with no windshield or rain gear of any kind.  Colleen and I departed soon afterwards, but not before taking on Oleo’s famous spring water fresh from the snowfields above.  We reluctantly departed and sped off through the Greene Point rapids at 10+ knots.  Colleen and I traded off at the helm and it gradually stopped raining.  In the afternoon I was down below monitoring the weather and studying charts when I suddenly thought about the bear again.  I shot up, looked out the port-light, and immediately spotted a bear on the far shore.  We nosed right up to him on the beach, with our depth sounder on.  The bear was flipping rocks and boulders over and eating the crabs that hide beneath, at low tide.  He didn’t seem to care about us one way or another.  I positioned the boat downwind so he couldn’t smell us.  But as soon as the boat came upwind, he looked up and stopped eating.  Right around the next bend we came across a second bear on the beach, doing the same by flipping the boulders around and foraging for crab in the low tide.  Very cool.  We’re lucky to see our first bears so early in the trip!  Soon we entered out into the dreaded Johnstone Strait.  The winds blew fresh from the SW, filling the sails nicely as we flew down the Strait.  Last time I was out there several years ago I had a hair-raising sail in a southeast gale.  Johnstone Straight acts like a wind tunnel, funneling the winds between Vancouver Island and the mainland.  We got really lucky today.  All too soon we swung NE into the Havannah channel, and finally bucked a nasty tide through the Chatham channel.  We’d been so lucky with winds and tides up tp that point, so now it was time to pay the price for a good day’s run.  Finally we clawed our way into Cutter Cove and anchored up for the night.  A strong west wind poured into the anchorage, but we tucked in behind a log raft and held secure there with lots of scope out.

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