May 16th, 2016 | By: Gregory Smart | Leg 1: Inside Passage
The low wave-battered islands around Hurricane Anchorage slowly gave way to a less punished coastline as we made our way into the meandering network of deep channels which serve as gateway to the deep forest-cloaked fjords of the central British Columbia coast.
The North Pacific spared us its fury again as Goose Island and the ragged Gosling Rocks disappeared to the east and we rounded exposed Superstition Point to enter Cultus Sound and Rait Narrows beyond. Tree branches hung over the starboard deck as Deception picked a careful passage through the rocks and reefs which litter the waterways. The Ivory Island light stands sentinel on the black stone of Robb Point, ushering sailors seeking shelter from the rough outside seas into the funnel of Seaforth Channel and calmer waters beyond. The mists have run down out of the mountains, and although no rain falls, the lighthouse’s white beam flashes across the vapors.
Other boats are rare in these remote waters, and what few we do see are almost invariably the sturdy wooden trollers so beloved by local fisherman or the occasional aluminum water taxi racing up a quiet back channel. It seems we are well ahead of the rush and see no one the whole afternoon excepting the Dall’s Porpoises which race in frenetic lines across our bows as we approach Rescue Bay. The chunky black and white animals always seem to have had one cup too much of strong coffee and rooster tails of foaming water leap off their fins as they carom gleefully through the sea. Although our sturdy trawler hulls can cover great distances, it isn’t a pace that can hold the interest of such a fast moving creature for long and they soon depart.
A fleet of four of our dinghies sets out soon after the fleet is anchored to explore Jackson Narrows, a narrow pass full of marine life. The low tide gives us a look at the bottom of the ocean, and many colors of starfish were on display, and small shrimp and crabs were to be found under stones and clinging to kelp fronds. Groups of harbor seals watched us silently from the near shore, while their compatriots across the bay frolicked noisily in search of food.
Koa Lanai had the crew of Deception over for a lovely home cooked meal while the crew of Hele Mai tried their hand at a little salmon fishing, but as they say, it’s called fishing, not catching. Another great day on the Inside Passage!