A short passage this morning from Coal Harbour over to Winter Harbour along the inside. Easy calm cruising. At Coal Harbour, the fleet pulls in at the fuel dock one by one, and captain Brian and mate Rowan help the fleet to fuel up, make sure that everyone has an opportunity to top off water tanks and attend to any other minor tasks to ensure the boats are prepared for tomorrow’s crossing. From Winter Harbour we are better positioned to get an early start on the passage across Queen Charlotte Sound tomorrow.
Once the necessities of fuel and water are attended to, we discover that Winter Harbour provides a surprisingly excellent opportunity for wildlife viewing. There is a short walking trail just behind the general store that provides folks a chance to enjoy a small taste of the old-growth forest just on the edge of town. It’s a short trail, but provides a chance to admire a couple impressively large spruce, and gives us our first sign of bear – some scat a few days old and some tracks perhaps a little bit more recent. There is also a lovely board walk down through the front of ‘town’, across a few docks and driveways providing a view of the Harbour.
On the docks, a fishing boat comes in from fishing halibut and salmon. Melissa aboard Navigator talks with the fisherman for a bit and at the end of the conversation, they generously offer her a good piece of salmon. Hunter aboard Ajax scores a piece of Halibut in exchange for a few beers in the cooler. The fishermen are clean their catch at the tables dockside, which bring in several bald eagles. We have a spectacular time photographing the three or more adults as well as a couple juveniles as they dive and fight for fish heads and other chum.
After the spectacle, we gather aboard Deception for cocktails and to toast the crew aboard Irish Mist. Pat has some business to attend to, and so will be turning inside and docking at a spot near Port Hardy for a few days instead of continuing with the fleet across the Sound. We’re not sure we’ll see him again on this trip, so we take the opportunity to toast him and his company for the past two weeks.
After cocktails, we make it an early night, since tomorrow’s departure time is 0500.