2024 Inside Passage Flotilla North – Day 6 Octopus Islands to Port Neville | NW Explorations


2024 Inside Passage Flotilla North – Day 6 Octopus Islands to Port Neville

We left Octopus Islands this morning and headed for Port Neville rather than our original destination, Forward Harbor, to avoid some rapids and cut a little time off our trip.

While underway we saw an observant bald eagle on the shore, taking in its surroundings. We also passed a couple of green floating fish farms to the left and right of us, which in Canada are most known for their production of salmon, trout, and arctic char.

The waters became choppier as we sailed through Race Passage, putting us right in the splash zone. The sunshine glistened off the water as it crashed against the sides of the boat, creating rainbows in the mist.

As we got to Helmcken Island we spotted a few burly sea lions lazily lounging on the rocks. The first of our trip! Helmcken Island was named after John Sebastian Helmcken who was a medical officer in service of the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1850-1886. Helmcken relates the following anecdote which captures the similarities between our experiences sailing through Race Passage. He writes, “-the tide rapidly increased in strength, owing to the island in the way, ‘till the Beaver had extremely hard work to make any headway, the vessel sheering about in the swirling current. I asked the Captain the name of the island near which we were struggling along. Captain Dodd replied, ‘It has no name, but I will call it after you, doctor, for it is like you, always in opposition.’”

Passing by Hardwicke Island we experienced another first of the trip, humpbacks! It was impeccable timing as it occurred minutes after I put on my lucky humpback shirt. Though they were a little far in the distance, we were able to spot the spray initially and then their flukes! Another cetacean to check off the list. Patos even spotted some Dalls porpoises swimming along their bow for a brief moment.

We had a spectacular view of the Pacific Ranges behind us as we came into Port Neville to anchor.

As everyone settled in for the evening, Tim and Landon were kind enough (and brave enough!) to go out into the wind and clean the dried saltwater off all of the boat windows. They are definitely the new favorite crew members after that.

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