Sum It Up Sunday The Central Coast

Sum It Up Sunday: 13 July, 2014 – 23 July, 2014

Sunday, August 17, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

There’s an old Chinese proverb that reads, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”  I believe that’s true.  So, rather than write a blog in a vain attempt to “sum” up everything we’ve been doing over this past week or so, I decided to let a few of the hundreds of photos we took do the talking for me.  They don’t compare to our actual experience, so I’ll do what I can to help them along.  But I have to warn you in advance, there truly are no words grand enough to describe where we’ve been and what we’ve seen . . . none that I know of at least.  

Looking out to Princess Royal Channel from Khutze Inlet.

After spending one night anchored behind the sandbar in Khutze Inlet, we left Sunday morning and made our way north to Bishop Bay, ducking into Butedale for a look on the way.  Not much has changed since our first visit last year, but we heard somebody bought the property and has plans to make improvements in the future, including new docks.  After taking a few pictures, we continued up Fraser Reach and Ursula Channel to Bishop Bay where we spent three days enjoying hot baths and sunshine.

Butedale and Butedale Falls.
The bath house at Bishop Bay Hot Springs.

Not all great weeks start on Sunday or Monday.  For us, Wednesday is where it all really began.  We left Bishop Bay around 9:30 am with the last of the tide and made our way up Ursula Channel to Verney Passage where we got our first glimpse of Gardner Canal, a 46-mile fjord located in Northern British Columbia, and its milky green glacial water. 

Our first glimpse into Gardner Canal was breathtaking.

 Our first stop was Europa Bay for the night to visit Shearwater Hot Springs. 





The next day, Thursday, we dropped our mooring lines around 12:30 pm and made our way up-inlet.  If Princess Louisa Inlet is the gem of BC cruising, then Gardner Canal is the crown jewel:  At every turn the view is more amazing than the last and just when you think it can’t possibly get more beautiful, it does.

Salubrious is dwarfed by the mountain range in Gardner Canal.

The view goes on and on and on . . . 

After spending the day in a constant state of amazement, we anchored in Chief Mathews Bay for the night, by far and away the most beautiful anchorage we’ve stayed in during our 13 years of cruising.

Approaching Chief Mathews Bay in Gardner Canal.

It rained most of the day on Friday, but David, Sylvia and I couldn’t be deterred and managed to get out for a paddle in the kayaks during a break – we returned home an hour or so later cold and soaked to the bone . . . but it was worth it!

David trying to take in his surroundings.

Cambria at anchor in Chief Mathews Bay.

Salubrious anchored next to the snow in Chief Mathews Bay.

The bay was alive with waterfalls after the rain, so Sylvia and I went out for a long paddle in the kayaks Saturday afternoon.  We ended up several miles away from the boats (but still in the bay) and Bill came out in the dinghy to give us a tow back.  It was getting late and we were cold, so we were grateful for the help.

Sylvia kayaking near one of the many waterfalls in Chief Mathews Bay.

Salubrious and Cambria anchored at the head of Chief Mathews Bay.

The glaciers may not be at sea level, but they're still beautiful!

It was foggy Sunday morning, showing us more of the many moods of Gardner Canal.

A foggy start to the day in Chief Mathews Bay.

The fog cleared by mid-morning so, not getting enough the day before, Sylvia and I went on another three-hour kayak tour of the bay after lunch. 

Me enjoying an afternoon kayak around the bay.

One of the many waterfalls in Chief Mathews Bay.

It rained most of the day on Monday and, except for Bill and Sylvia taking Skookum to shore, we all spent most of it inside trying to keep warm and dry. Every now and again, David and I would poke our heads outside to watch the ever-changing view.

A glacier peaking out during the course of the day.

A granite peak in Chief Mathews Bay.

More glaciers in Chief Mathews Bay.

We reluctantly upped anchor Tuesday morning, leaving Chief Mathews Bay behind, and made our way to the head of Gardner Canal.  We didn’t linger and, after taking a few pictures, continued up-inlet to Owyacumish Bay (Brim River) for the night. 

Leaving Chief Mathews Bay.

Salubrious approaching the head of Gardner Canal. 

If Chief Matthews Bay is the most beautiful anchorage we’ve stayed in, then Brim River is a close second and probably my all-time favourite:  Everywhere you look, there’s an amazing vista to enjoy and the experience is akin to anchoring in the middle of a national park. 

Cambria anchored in Owyacumish Bay.

Salubrious and Cambria at anchor in Owyacumish Bay.

On Wednesday, our final day in Gardner Canal, David and I set out in the kayaks in the afternoon to explore our new anchorage and had a new wilderness experience – an eagle foraging along the shore that allowed us to watch him . . . at a very close distance. 

The view out to Gardner Canal and Cornwall Point.

The waterfall in Owyacumish Bay.

Kayaking Brim River.

An eagle foraging along the shore.

And that ends one of the greatest weeks at anchor we've had in 13 years on the water . . . we can hardly wait to go back!

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