British Columbia the Inside Passage

Pruth Bay to Forward Harbour

Wednesday, August 22, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Johnstone Strait and the damage she's incurred from logging.

The past few days have been a blur of activity.  We left our anchorage in Pruth Bay on Monday for Blunden Harbour which then turned into Beaver Harbour which quickly became Port McNeill, travelling more than 85 nautical miles in 11.5 hours.  The conditions were ideal.  There wasn’t enough wind to sail but the seas were flat with a low westerly swell (less than 0.4 metres) with a nice push from the southerly current.  You don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, even it it’s not the one you’d hoped for, so we kept going and going and going.

The adjustment is difficult – like going from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Port McNeill is a very useful stop along the way.  It’s a great place to do laundry (I managed to do ten loads in under two hours) and convenient for re-provisioning (if you hit the market before the vegetables have gone soft).  But it’s dirty, smelly, noisy and we wanted to leave as soon as possible.  So after a very busy day yesterday, we upped anchor this morning and went to the fuel dock to top up the tanks, unload the rest of the rubbish and walk Sally before moving on. 

I have to admit that I was really looking forward to our passage down Johnstone Strait.  The forecast was for winds from the northwest around 15 knots and building in the afternoon – perfect for a leisurely downwind sail.  But the strait was flat calm most of the day to the point that I even sat on the deck to take in the scenery as it passed by – an absolute first!  But the landscape, though dramatic in its own right  with the mountains of Vancouver Island to starboard and the coastal mountains in the distance to port, has been severely damaged by logging and pales in comparison to the untouched beauty of the Central Coast.

It was a long day and we had to deal with a slight head current most of the way, but with the settled conditions we made it to Forward Harbour (55 nm later) where we promptly had dinner, took Sally to shore and climbed into bed.  The fact that we’d just managed to accomplish in three days what it took us 12 to do on the way north wasn’t lost on us.  But we’re not finished yet.  Tomorrow will be another early morning to time our passage through Whirlpool and Green Point Rapids before we’re finally ready to stop a few days in Shoal Bay to rest up. 

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