Fury Cove Pruth Bay

Sum It Up Sunday | Motor-Sailing and Rainy Days

Sunday, July 03, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA


The site of a former First Nation village in Blunden Harbour.

The week started off pretty much how it ended – with strong northwesterly winds in Queen Charlotte Strait . . . and everywhere else. But that wasn’t what kept us anchored in Blunden Harbour. Before we could sail above 51° N, we needed to add a rider to our insurance coverage. In the past, it’s always been issued within 24 hours of making the request but this year it took over a week. I’m not sure what the problem was but, whatever the reason, Monday and Tuesday had us waiting at anchor for the answer to arrive, which it finally did: We were good to go.

Wednesday morning, the forecast called for a nice westerly breeze and the West Sea Otter buoy reported a 0.9 metre swell – perfect conditions for rounding Cape Caution. So, we upped anchor and started, what would be, another 50-mile day. Both David and I were excited to get back to the Central Coast. With our trip to Alaska last season, we weren’t able to spend much time there and it’s, by far and away, our favourite cruising grounds along the entire stretch of the Inside Passage (though I’d argue that Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay in Southeast Alaska were the best).

True to the forecast, we had a nice westerly (beam on) breeze once we rounded Cape Caution, but it wasn’t enough to carry us northward so we had to motor-sail. Still, this year has started off to be one of the best we’ve seen for sailing winds and hopefully we’ll have more days like that in our future.

Our first stop in the Central Coast is a popular one, Fury Cove, and there were a dozen or more boats already at anchor when we arrived. One of them hailed from Opua, New Zealand, a former home port for us, and we were looking forward to chatting with the crew but missed the opportunity by waiting until the next morning – they were gone before I even got out of bed.

Thursday was a beautiful day, so we launched the kayaks and paddled around to the outside of Fury Island to spend the afternoon at one of the best beaches along the coast . . . or at least it seemed like it was one of the best when we first discovered it two years ago. The last couple of winters have been hard on the island and there’s been some beach erosion and more driftwood on shore but, worse than that, the rope swing someone had made was gone. Still, we suffered through the day by walking along the beach, sitting on rocks in the warmth of the sun and enjoying the view. It’s a rough life.

Any other plans we had to explore on land were quashed by the weather. The barometer started a steady descent and the southeasterlies built as we spent a couple of days waiting out a dissipating ridge, a cold front and a low. But, if there’s one positive thing you can say about the weather this time of year, it’s that it moves through quickly. Today, the barometer’s back on the rise and there’s nothing but northwesterly winds in the forecast, which means we’re in for some better weather. I hope so. At this point, it’s hard not to feel like we’ve picked up where last season left off – with cold, rain and southeasterly winds. It really is par for the course for this time of year at these latitudes, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating . . . or annoying.

Our week ended with another passage, a shorter one this time – only 20 miles. In an attempt to take advantage of the last of the southerlies for a few days, we left Fury Cove and sailed up to Pruth Bay, Calvert Island. Unfortunately, the wind died out after a few miles and the motor had to stay on but at least the sails had a chance to dry out . . . before it started to rain again.

One of the draws of Pruth Bay is that there’s a research institute on shore and they pipe free wi-fi into the anchorage (which they’ve decided to limit to 300 Mb since the last time we were here). The other draw is a stretch of beautiful white sand beaches on the west side of Calvert Island and a great hiking trail that connects eleven of them, which is where I plan to spend the bulk of my time while we’re here.

We don’t have any set plans for the coming week. I imagine we’ll spend a couple of days here in Pruth Bay before moving on. If the northwesterlies arrive, then a sail across Fitz Hugh Sound may be in the works. We haven’t made a run up Burke Channel to Bella Coola yet and hear it’s really pretty up there, so that’s on the table. After that, a trip to Eucott Bay to soak in the hot springs sounds pretty good. And, of course, no season would be complete without stopping in Ocean Falls to visit our friends, Rob and Corrina, who own the lodge in town. Then again, we made decide to take an entirely different tack . . . we’ll just have to wait and see where the wind carries us.  

Have a great week, everyone!

Note: Don't be fooled by the sunshine in the photos. I can't find the battery charger for my camera and have been recycling photos from previous seasons until I get a new one (with the exception of Bute Inlet). The good news is that we're only days away from that happening. I ordered a new one and it should be waiting for me when we get to Ocean Falls.

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  1. Cool days and hiking..... I think Hastings wants to be shipped off to join you! Maybe I do too!!

    1. I just got back from a short beach hike and thought how nice it would be to have a pup along for the ride so tell Hastings any time he's ready we've got a room for him and all the doggy treats he could ever want (though I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight so the cheese is only dispersed sparingly). :-)

  2. Those are beautiful photos! Hurray for the archives. I hope you get your new battery charger soon. I'd be pretty devastated without being able to use my camera. Happy (motor)sailing. May the weather bring you favorable winds.

    1. Can you believe it? My camera back (which is a backpack) is a little heavy, so when we were camping, I would take out all of the extra weight before I'd go hiking and then put it back later. I must have left the charger in the glove box because I looked everywhere it could possible be on the boat twice and can't find it. Uggh!

    2. By trying to make our life easier and more comfortable, we often do the opposite. This is a very familiar move! I always try to reduce my weight to a minimum, often regretting taking things out before. Now, Mark carries the backpack when we only take one bag hiking, so I can leave more stuff in it! :-)