British Columbia Central Coast

Rounding Cape Caution

Monday, October 31, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

As the week ended, we left Shearwater and motored down to Sea Otter Inlet, an all-weather anchorage, off Fitz Hugh Sound to wait out more gale-force winds. By Friday morning, Environment Canada had bumped that up to storm-force but if anything moved through our area (it did), we didn’t notice. We swung a bit at anchor and could hear the wind howling above us, but never saw more than a light ripple on the water. We had the place to ourselves and something tells me we were some of the most fortunate cruisers on the coast that day.

It came through quickly and on Saturday we were able to move down to Fury Cove to set ourselves up for a Cape Caution rounding. Despite the fact that we were down to five days before our insurance rider expired, we weren’t in a rush. There was a three metre westerly swell off the cape and we needed that to die down to one metre or less before could go. It’s no accident we chose Fury Cove to wait. There are anchorages closer to Cape Caution, but none of them have beautiful white sand beaches to enjoy. 



Sunday came . . . and went. West Sea Otter reported a 2.3 metre westerly swell. On Monday, it was still at 1.9 metres, so we weren’t going anywhere except the beach where we lounged around like lizards on logs. We left too soon, though. After getting back to the boat, there were at least eight humpback whales in Fitz Hugh sound fishing and putting on a show. We could see some of the action through binoculars but, by that time, were too far away. I managed to catch sight of an osprey though (my first), so that’s something.



Tuesday was our day. The sea state had settled enough that we were able to up anchor in the morning and make the passage. Things were good to start, but as soon as we approached Egg Island we were in fog with less than 100 feet of visibility. Needless to say, it was a very long day. Our first sight of land didn’t come until three o’clock as we were approaching Miles Inlet, our anchorage for the night. I did see three or four sea otters, though (which I had mistaken for logs so I wasn’t able to take any pictures). They came as a surprise. The entire population in British Columbia was wiped out decades ago by the fur trade. There was an effort to reintroduce sea otters to the coast during the 70s. The program was successful and the population has increased by as much as 19% a year, but this is the first time we’ve seen them this far north (with the exception of SE Alaska) and beyond the west coast of Vancouver Island – so that’s good news.

We’re south of Cape Caution now with two days to spare. But we’re in no mood to slow our pace. The fall storms are beginning to roll over the Pacific High and the farther south we can get, the better off we’ll be weather-wise. So, despite the fact that Miles Inlet is a new anchorage for us and looks like an interesting place to kayak and explore, there’s no time for that. In fact, we didn’t even have the time to take pictures. No sooner had we dropped the anchor than the marine layer rolled in, drowning us in fog.

Note: This blog was written Tuesday, 13 September 2016

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6 comments

  1. Racing the north pacific weather. ugh. Those photos sure are glorious, though. I've been spending a lot of time looking at summer photos of beautiful places lately.

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    1. I was talking to my mom on the phone the other day and she told me it was 80 degrees in Kansas. I told her I don't remember it even being summer. I know that it was, but it really does seem like six months ago.

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  2. "Fury Cove" and "Cape Caution" don't sound inviting... but that beach looks wonderful! I don't think I would enjoy navigating in fog at all- sounds terribly exhausting!

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    1. Lol. I know. I'm not sure why it's called Fury Cove, but there have been some ships lost near Cape Caution (it gets pretty shallow). And, yes, the fog is terribly exhausting. We were in the worst conditions ever yesterday and couldn't see beyond the bow while transiting a passage -- thank goodness for radar!

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  3. Fury Cove looks very pretty! It's good you ended the journey south with some beautiful weather and another nice location. And, a whale sighting! But, I can see why you had to get out of that area, with all the "winter storms" approaching. What's next??

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  4. Sea otters are so darn cute. Too bad you didn't get any pictures of them :-(

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