British Columbia Fitz Hugh Sound

Sea Otter Inlet, Hunter Island

Saturday, July 21, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Kayaking into Fitz Hugh Sound.

Eager to reach the inlets of the Central Coast, we left Fly Basin around 7:30 yesterday morning and made our way out back into Fitz Hugh Sound.  The marine layer was clinging to the mainland and the sky was grey, threatening rain, but visibility was good and just as we were turning north, we saw a humpback whale blowing the distance before taking one last breath and diving deep, waving goodbye with its tale as it went – not a bad way to start a long day.

We had 43 nautical miles to travel but before we knew it, we were anchored in the south arm of Sea Otter Inlet on Hunter Island, a long and narrow bay with enough swing room for only one boat … Cambria.  The sea otters are long gone, most likely hunted for their pelts, but it’s a beautiful spot on its own merit.  There’s no “eye candy” in the form of snow-capped mountains here.  In fact, the landscape is fairly benign – old growth cedar trees lining a rocky shore.  What makes it so special is the complete silence and isolation.  There’s not a sound to be heard except for the birds.  No wind.  No people.  Nothing.  It’s absolutely amazing. 

Shortly after we arrived, it started to rain – the first we’d seen in two weeks – so we kept to the boat for the rest of the afternoon.  But with such a beautiful anchorage all to ourselves, we decided to spend an extra night so that we could explore by kayak today.  There are two breaks in the shore near the head of the bay.  To the west, there’s a shallow rock-filled passage that you can transit at high tide and connects to the adjoining anchorage, Target Bay.  And to the east there’s a shallow channel that leads out to Fitz Hugh Sound.  Saving the best for last, we paddled along the shore and into Target Bay before crossing the anchorage and entering the sound where a view of the mainland unfolds before your eyes and appears to go on forever, making you realize how completely insignificant you really are.   

Unfortunately, the rain started again, so we reluctantly made our way back to the boat to make plans for tomorrow’s passage.  It’s more than 50 nm to our next destination, an eight to ten hour trip, so we’ll shorten the day by stopping in Codville Lagoon, just inside Fisher Channel, for the night. 

The mainland along Fitz Hugh Sound.

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