Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 12 – Port McNeill to Fury Cove | NW Explorations
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Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 12 – Port McNeill to Fury Cove

Today was a special day, one to remember. To celebrate Memorial Day, we anchored out in Fury Cove within Schooner retreat. It was a magnificent place with crystal clear waters, hidden anchorages around every corner, and shell middens. The shell middens were so vast, spanning several beaches it was hard to comprehend the time to create such a collection of shells. One would think the white sandy beaches were of no particular significance until further inspection suggests they were in fact camp sites of the First Nations. No one knows for sure, but I would estimate that it would have taken many generations, at least 10,000 years of use to develop these impressive shell beaches. There are many types of shells describing the diet of these natives, and I even found a hand tool used to crush or grind shells and grain.

Captain Brian ignited a bonfire with a safety flare that had expired years prior (just to make sure they worked after all). Within a few minutes the flames reached up high and the warm, radiant heat was welcoming on a calm evening in the bay. Other cruisers were there to help us toast to our fallen family members and friends who gave their lives for the service of our country. An American flag was passed around with words of respect to those we have lost before burning the flag in a traditional manner in the bonfire. Scotch was passed around, and in all, it was a very touching moment.

After an early start of 0430 to make the crossing of Queen Charlotte Strait, a dinghy tour of the protected coves near our anchorage, a short hike along the shell midden beaches to an abandoned log cabin, and a heartfelt ceremony to honor our loved ones, it was time to call it a day and say goodnight. A lot can happy with an early start, and tomorrow will are underway bright and early once again!

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