Left Dixie Cove at 0800 to ‘poke our noses out’ and see what conditions might be around Brooks Peninsula. We had determined that if it looked like we had a good window to make it around the peninsula we would go for it and spend an extra day exploring Klashkish cove and Coal Harbor. Otherwise, we’d stick to the itinerary and head into Bunsby Cove.
Out past Union Island things looked quite manageable. Captain Brian and mate Rowan tuned in to the listen one last time to the forecast for Solander Island, and agreed that we would take the potential 15-20 knot winds predicted for the day rather than gamble on the conditions tomorrow.
So it was batten down the hatches again and a good rowdy go for it! Our fleet and all crews aboard have proven themselves a sea worthy bunch at this point. We are working our way up for that crossing at Queen Charlotte Sound.
Solander Point is an ecological reserve for a variety of seabird colonies and for the Stellar sea lion rookeries. It’s an incredibly remote part of the coast. In fact, since leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca, we haven’t crossed paths with more than a couple other recreational boats. The only boats it seems that explore this rugged coastline are the fishing trollers, and indeed those were the only boats we encountered upon passing Solander Island.
As we approached the island, we were treated to some close views of the bull sea lions and their harems hauled out on the rocks. The trollers and the seabird colonies on the Island afforded us the rare treat of storm petrel and shearwater sightings – birds only rarely seen in waters so close to land.
The naturalist aboard deception did her best to point them out, but the swell had those at the helm well focused on the conditions.
Coming into Klashkish Cove we encountered a raft of sea otters in the kelp beds – at least 2 dozen. Klashkish estuary also provides us a potential chance at a rare sighting of Roosevelt elk, and – given the Salmon that call this river home – our first good chance for bear sightings. Deception will be dropping their dinghy and to catch the flood tide at 7pm up river to look for bears. Dave and Hunter aboard Ajax and Pat and Rick aboard Eldean have already radioed in to say they’re in.