Johnstone Strait The Broughtons

Port Harvey

Thursday, July 08, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria at anchor in Port Harvey.

When I took Sally to a beach this morning I saw a black bear lumbering along the shore foraging for oysters as we approached. We've read a lot about how to avoid encounters with bears and one piece of advice stands out above all the others: be noisy. So I was. And he went back into the woods, but I still wasn't convinced that what we had read was true, so I landed the dinghy and let Sally out on her leash while I stood close-by with my back to the water speaking loudly so nothing would surprise me with its approach. In hindsight, I'm sure we were perfectly safe and I could have allowed her more time to leisurely stroll the beach to take care of her business, but I let my nerves get the best of me and our stay was short.

After I got back to the boat, we got everything ready and upped anchor making way for Port Harvey. In order to get there, we had to travel into Johnstone Strait, a consistently difficult body of water. Northwesterlies can funnel down the strait daily, which lies in a northwest-southeast direction, and, with a north-flowing ebb, a steep chop is common. To avoid this, we left during the morning flood when the wind and current would be flowing in the same direction, keeping the seas to a minimum. Overall, we had a good run and only had to bash the last thirty minutes after the current changed direction and the wind increased to 20 knots – all on the nose (the story of our lives).

We arrived in Port Harvey to discover another family-owned and operated marina at the head of the bay that had just opened last year. Preferring to anchor, we dropped our hook outside their water-lease before piling into the dinghy and motoring over to the marina store to see what they had on their shelves.

We weren't disappointed. The shelves were lined with most everything a person could need, including freshly baked bread (a nice surprise for a couple who had just eaten their last slice) and a licensed restaurant above the store that serves fish and chips. Heat affects our appetite and weren't very hungry, but the food was still exceptional and good value for money. And we can't say enough about the family who owns and operates the facility – everyone has been so friendly and welcoming that we'll make a special point to stop back by on our way south when the temperature will be cooler and our appetites heartier.

By the time we got back to the boat, it was close to 9 o'clock. We had originally planned to move tomorrow going through Chatham Channel in the morning, but we're tired from several days of motoring and decided to take a day off.

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