June 26, 2008 Sointula to Port Hardy

Rain pattering on the deck made it hard to get out of bed this morning.  However, the winds and tides were cooperating today.  We left the island paradise without delay at 7AM in somewhat of a downpour.  But what a difference a day will make!  With a south wind at our tail and running with the tide we quickly sailed on past our turn-around point making 7 knots.  Modulus got laden down with rainwater and began to put a strain on her tow line.  I hoped she’d be fine and kept glancing back at her.  By this time the wind and waves had picked up so that we were “surfing” so I needed all of my attention at the helm.  I should have stowed Modulus on the deck.  I can’t stress the fact enough to other sailors that it is absolutely necessary to have the ability to stow the dinghy on deck, without compromising sailing performance.  We sailed into Hardy bay in a rain and fog.  There was much confusion as we took moorage in the the harbor, for many things had changed.  The fuel dock was gone.  Apparently all the marine ESSO stations along the BC coast have shut down due to environmental liability issues.  What a headache that will be for so many fishermen!  Then we went to the wrong “E” dock (the other one was unmarked) where we rafted to a fishing boat.  We finally moved to the right dock after an hour of jockeying around the harbor and took a nap, only to be woken up to move again because we’d been assigned to a charter boat slip.   To ice the cake, the marina had shut down their hot tub and turned it into an exercise gym because they were shut down by the health department.  Oh well, you can’t come back to the same place twice.  The harbor was still teeming with bald eagles as it was years before, and we even spotted our first Humpback whale spouting out in Hardy Bay!  I didn’t expect to see our first whale of the voyage from land.  We spent the remainder of the day walking around town and laying in supplies.  I always chuckle at the name of Port Hardy’s grocery store, the “Overwaitea.”  Seems like something you could only get away with in Canada.  I also bought a great pair of gumboots which will keep my feet warm in Alaska.  So far, everything on the voyage has gone smoothly and I found myself in port with nothing to do!  It is a nice feeling to have everything working so well.  Usually town is so hectic!

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