After a calm and safe anchorage in Forward Harbour, the fleet was excited to get back underway cruising for a 38 nautical mile journey into Lagoon Cove. With anchors up at 8am each crew was able to take in the glow of the rising sun and inspect the shores for any other wildlife paying us a farewell visit.
Along our trek, we were spotting frequent waterfalls tucked in the tree lines, making for a fun game of eye spy. In noticing these slight differences within our environment, we were crossing our fingers that honing this ability would help us spot a whale on way back into Johnston Strait through Sutherland Channel. Johnston Strait is home to the largest pods of resident Orcas in the world, approximately 200 individuals strong. These residents local to B.C. are known as the Northern residents, and they can be identified separately from transient and southern resident Orca pods by their feeding habits and distinct markings. Both northern and southern resident Orcas are known to strictly eat fish, compared to the transient diet of primarily marine mammals. And to much scientific curiosity, both species have been observed preferring chinook salmon over anything else.
As we turn into Chatham channel, the fleet readies for our crossing through the Blow Hole, earning its name by funneling both westerly and easterly winds into powerful gales. This narrow passage is on the southern face of Minstrel Island, making our final stretch into Lagoon Cove an exciting one.
The owners and ground keepers of Lagoon Cove greeted us kindly, assisted in tying us all up, and helped organize our late afternoon happy hour potluck. Lagoon Cove is known for their 5pm happy hour and when they offered to supply our festivities with their deliciously fresh and locally caught prawns, we couldn’t pass that up.
Exploring Lagoon Cove felt incredibly nostalgic, although for most of the Fleet it was our first time visiting! In the facility’s workshop, they have a room draped with burgees from the floor to the ceiling, dating as far back as the mid 1900’s! Burgees are traditionally triangle flags that bear the colors and the emblems of a sailing club, however they have shifted into more into an expression of a vessel’s identity in part of a recreational boating organization. Everyone in the fleet spent some time exploring the colorful timeline, and it was a very fun find to see NW Exploration’s burgee already flying high on the wall!
Once each crew had the chance to explore what the cove had to offer, a small group of us wandered down the Blow Hole trail to explore the shorelines. This trail ends along the coast of where our final stretch cruising had taken place earlier in the day, making for a neat change of perspective. Lagoon Cove consists of 154 timbered acres and 3000 feet of rocky shorelines, and with resident wildlife and remote scenery we were looking forward to our winding adventures back to the docks.
Strewn with cedars, hemlocks, firs, and vibrant brush we made our way back from the trails to our floating homes, washed up and prepared our snacks for the communal happy hour! Around 5pm we were all able to make our way to the top of the dock and share excitement over how beautiful everyone’s additions were. Alongside our own fleet and the Lagoon Cove crew, a family who was visiting the marina during their summer sailing adventures joined us too, enjoying shared stories and favorite memories on the water.
Once our rendezvous wrapped up, we tidied the docks, said our goodbyes and tucked in for an early night cozying into our quarters. Today was an incredible day for adventuring and spending our afternoon all together with new friends and our familial fleet, was a very sweet treat.
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