We bid farewell to Ocean Falls this morning with our fleet off the dock just a few minutes ahead of our 0800 departure time. We are getting pretty good at this drill. On our way down Fisher Channel we are greeted by a pod of white-sided porpoises that swim in from all directions to play in our bow wake. Banging on the hull draws their attention and off Deceptions bow, two dolphins turn into three, then four, then five! All weaving and diving along our bow at a happy 9 knots. They slip and glide past each other, turning on their sides to look up at us. After about 10 or 15 minutes they drop off and pick up their play off the bow of the other boats in the fleet that follow Deception. Aquila reports that they slowed and the dolphins left their bow, only reappearing once they had picked up their speed.
We make our way through Gunboat Passage and Deception radios into the marina at Shearwater to see whether they have room at their docks for our fleet to stop for lunch. We will be passing by on our way up to Seaforth Channel. At Shearwater we pick up a few minor provisions – Navigator needs lemons, Deception needs bread – and get lunch at the restaurant. Menu prices rival New York City, but the fare is standard burgers and fries. The real treat is the view – from our tables we watch the bald eagle perched in the small tree overlooking the Marina. He just sits perched, giving us that fierce and disdainful eagle look.
At 1pm we get back underway. We have a few more hours to go before we arrive at Rescue Bay. As we turn up Douglas Channel we encounter a fair amount of traffic crossing from old Bella Bella. Charter fishing boats, and a couple crab fishing boats, distinguished by the pile of buoys cast over their rails. Once we’re up Reid Passage though the traffic disappears. However, even with the flat calm waters we have to keep a sharp eye out – there’s a good amount of wood in the water – large logs, some of which could do good damage to a propeller, seem to be everywhere. Despite our effort to keep a sharp eye out, Deception misses a piece that hits one with a couple loud bangs to the hull and prop. Luckily no damage.
Along our way through Reid Passage, there is a potential bear sighting – both Aquila and Navigator swear they saw a head in the water, although it wasn’t confirmed, even as we slowed to peruse the coast with our binoculars. Bears are strong swimmers, so it’s a possibility although Aquila’s not sure – could it have been a beaver? A log?
The fog has settled in a bit, and by afternoon we’re getting a bit of misty precipitation. Which quite remarkably is the first afternoon of precipitation! We’ve managed to string along sunshine for our afternoon anchorages all the way from Bellingham, but it looks like the Rain Coast has finally rolled out some damp weather.
We approach Rescue Bay around 1700 and the water off the point is roiling with seals – a few dozen seem to be feeding just off the rocks exposed with the tide. Since there are a couple boats at the Cove, we raft up to conserve on the anchorages. Eldean and Telita raft alongside Deception and Aquila and Navigator raft off Ajax.
Lots of traffic, primarily fishing charter boats…