Sum It Up Sunday: August 10 - 16

Sunday, October 12, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria motoring towards Seaforth Channel, The Central Coast.

One of the things we’re trying to accomplish while we’re based in the Pacific Northwest is to see as much of the area as we can.  So, when the opportunity to visit a new anchorage comes up, we jump at the chance.  Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose.  This week was a mix of both. 

First up, we have Oliver Cove Marine Park which, sadly, falls into the latter category.  The protection and holding are good; but the anchorage itself is open to Reid Passage, a popular route to Seaforth Channel, and can be busy.  I think the nicest thing I can say about Oliver Cove is that you can hear the surf breaking outside in Milbanke Sound, which is novel, but the landscape is fairly uninspiring – so much so that I don’t even have any pictures to share.

From there, we moved down to Shearwater to regroup.  The laundry and showers were closed until Tuesday because three or four large motor yachts had nearly paralyzed the resort by completely empting the well (approximately 5,000 gallons of water) before sneaking off the next morning.  So, a Tuesday departure quickly became Wednesday and Wednesday turned into Thursday.  But we finally finished everything we came for and were on our way again. 

At this stage, we still had a couple of weeks left before we needed to be south of Cape Caution, so Sylvia and I decided we should make a run up Spiller Channel – a first for David and me.  We’d always avoided it in the past because it’s been heavily logged and scarred with clear-cutting, but what the hell?  Besides, after striking out in Oliver Cove, we were due for a winner.  And that’s what we got.

We didn’t leave Shearwater until the afternoon, so we stopped short of the head of Spiller Channel and spent the night in Neekas Cove.  It was a quiet spot but no place we’d want to spend any significant time in – we were off to a shaky start.  But things got better.

The next day we surrounded ourselves with cruising guides and tide tables to figure out when we could safely enter Ellerslie Lagoon, Spiller Channel’s main attraction.   The problem is that the entrance to the lagoon is uncharted, shallow, rocky and about six feet higher than sea level so, apart from a few minutes of slack water four times each day, rapids block your access.  David (being David) made it more complicated than (I thought) it needed to be and, in the end, we decided there was only one solution – go see for ourselves.  And sure enough, we got the answer we’d been looking for (more on that in the next blog).    

So what’s so special about Ellerslie Lagoon?

The answer to that is simple: Ellerslie Falls

We definitely finished the week off on a high note.  Not only is Ellerslie Anchorage East at the end of Spiller Channel a pretty spot to spend a night or two, but the lagoon and waterfall were really worth seeing.  I can’t say that we’ll make a return visit.  In fact, the chances of that are pretty slim.  But we’re glad we finally took the time to make at least one.

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