It was a bit hazy, flat calm with almost no sea swell as we departed Fury Cove with a deep orange sunrise in the east. A humpback quietly swimming along the shore created a serene setting for what would be an unusually calm crossing. Conditions in Queen Charlotte Sound couldn’t have been better, with flat seas and minimal winds, we experienced almost no sea swell during the entire crossing.
About halfway across the Sound as we neared Pine Island, we noticed a bright yellow speed boat following a cruise ship. The small boat came up alongside the ship and a large door in the hull opened as the “pilot” who had been guiding the ship through these waters departed and jumped aboard the yellow speed boat. The pilot boat turned back the way they had come, and the cruise ship continued out into Queen Charlotte Sound.
Inside Goletas Channel we spotted a single Transient male orca. Orcas can be difficult to spot because they can appear and disappear quickly. We never saw that lone orca again. However, far in the distance behind us was a small group of 3-4 orcas, too distant to photograph. Perhaps he slipped away and joined his family group?
Numerous varieties of sea birds were seen throughout the crossing including rhinoceros auklets, shearwaters, cormorants, fulmars, and murres among others. The bird life was especially concentrated once we were tucked in behind God’s Pocket and through Goletas Channel with big rafts of birds of different species. It’s always a challenge to capture a photograph of them before they dive under, fly off or simply paddle away.
At 3:15 p.m. we arrived at North Island Marina at Port McNeil. Once everyone was secure at the dock, groups walked up to the town to stretch legs, locate a preferred restaurant, or purchase groceries, especially produce which was sorely lacking in Shearwater. Deception’s crew decided to have dinner at the Devil’s Bath Brewing Company where the Sea Stock crew was already seated. It had both inside and outside seating overlooking the harbor and the pizza was excellent. After dinner we strolled around some more and noticed a sign that said, “Muster Point.” Some of us were perplexed but Chris explained that it was used as a place to gather if a tsunami was imminent, so we “mustered” around the sign for a photo.
Just as dawn had opened this beautiful day with a red sun, evening closed with the same beautiful red sun but this time, setting in the west. Tomorrow, we continue south to Forward Harbor.