British Columbia The Central Coast

Klemtu to Shearwater

Tuesday, August 14, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA


The Big House in Klemtu

We’re here, but we’re not there.  We left Fifer Cove yesterday morning in light rain and managed to get through Meyers Passage before we were hit with 28 knot winds from the southeast. The rain and wind persisted and visibility was poor, which can be quite tiring, so we tucked into Jorgensen Harbour for the night and were given a first-hand lesson on how the area manages to receive 174 inches of rain a year. It wasn’t heavy.  It wasn’t thick.  But it was soaking wet and lasted all … day … long.  Neither one of us had seen anything like it before. 

The rain ended sometime overnight and we left Jorgenson Harbour in light fog this morning.  At this stage, we’re out of fresh food and running low on propane, fuel and water so we stopped in Klemtu, a First Nations village of about 500.  But the band store wasn’t stocked very well and they were out of propane, so we had to bite the bullet and make our way to Shearwater, a large marina and fishing resort, on Denny Island.  But not before taking a tour of the Big House from local guide, George.

The Big House and all of its contents are constructed from cedar and the workmanship, from the carvings to the structure of the building itself, is impressive.  It was built about six years ago in effort to protect and maintain the First Nations’ culture.  Many residents, George included, were raised without knowing their own language because of strict efforts by the Europeans to “convert” natives and are now finding their way back through songs and dance.  Unfortunately, we didn’t learn much more than that, but it was still worth the detour. 

There are only so many hours in the day and we still had 40 nautical miles to go, so we said our good-byes, dropped our lines and continued down Finlayson Channel.  Along the way, we had a really nice downwind sail – wing on wing, one of my favourites – and were treated to another hot and sunny day.  Maybe summer isn’t over, after all!

Before we knew it or were ready to end the afternoon, we were in Shearwater.  We hadn’t seen so many people or boats in weeks, and the change came as a huge shock to our systems and quickly dampened our moods.  But they have what we need, food and propane, so here we are.  Besides,it’s only for one night so we bit the bullet, set the anchor and went into shore for dinner at the pub.

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