British Columbia The Broughtons

Port Harvey

Monday, July 09, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

"Oily George" leaving Port Harvey.

Our time in Shoal Bay was short, but sweet.  And after another wonderful evening onshore having dinner with Mark, Cynthia and the rest of the“regulars”, we upped anchor early Sunday morning and have been on the move since. 

After transiting the final two sets of rapids Sunday afternoon, we headed for Johnstone Strait.  Knowing what we do about the area (and Johnstone in particular), we should have taken a right after transiting Whirlpool Rapids and spent the night in Forward Harbour, but we continued down Sunderland Channel where we were met with white caps and 14 knots on the nose.  The conditions were still good at that stage but deteriorated over the next two hours.  By the end of the afternoon, we were battling 25 knots of wind from the northwest and one metre seas.  Cambria was hobby-horsing up and down the short waves, something she can do all day but quickly wears on our nerves (especially mine).  But more importantly, the debris in the water was very difficult to see in the mess of whitecaps and the last thing we wanted, or needed, to do was hit a log.

We’d hoped to get as far as Port Harvey, but it wasn’t going to happen in those conditions, so we pulled into Port Neville for the night – what David has aptly named “any port in a storm”.  It’s not a great anchorage.  But it’s not bad either.  The current runs fairly strong throughout the bay and you see a lot of the wind off Johnstone Strait, but it’s relatively flat and the holding is good. 

After a windy night in Neville Bay, it was flat calm the next morning so we left at nine and motored 17 nm to Port Harvey.  It was tempting to go further, but after the beating we took the day before, neither one of us was interested in pushing our luck.  As it turned out, the wind started to fill in shortly after we dropped our anchor just outside the marina.  

We prefer to anchor for several reasons, none more so than privacy, but we do enjoy some of the amenities marinas offer, like a safe place to walk Sally, showers and restaurants.  We were here two years ago (to the day) and ate some of the best fish and chips we’ve had outside of England and New Zealand, so we booked a meal at the marina pub and went in for dinner.  A group of seven, most of whom we already knew from Shoal Bay, we’re already seated and asked us to join them.  We sat there for hours talking, eating and drinking.  It was a great evening – you couldn’t have planned anything better – but it was clear that, even though we’re all like-minded people, we weren’t going to solve the world’s problems in one night.  So with most of us leaving early in the morning, we said our goodnights and goodbyes and went back to the boat. 

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