Hard to believe that it is already day six of our adventure. We awoke to overcast skies with high clouds which is not all that unusual for the Pacific Northwest. It is this weather pattern that has given us one of the most beautiful and sheltered cruising grounds anywhere in the world. As we look across the inlet we can see a rock quarry on the far shore bank. One of our guests is from Australia. He owned a gravel company with multiple locations. The name of his old boat was Jaw Crusher which seems appropriate if you own a gravel company.
As one looks up the steep forested mountain sloops you can see where some areas have been recently logged. This is a good example of two of the extraction industries in British Columbia; logging and mining. The British Columbia and Canadian economy has a significant dependence on the extraction industries: oil, mining, fishing, logging etc.
While at Princess Louisa the long time Park Ranger, Ming, was telling us that she recently saw a humpback and some Orca whales right around where we are cruising today. The majority of the humpbacks migrate this time of year to the warm waters of Hawaii. This is where the males and females get reacquainted and frolic in the warm waters and a little bit later the females have baby whales. Then in the spring everyone gets really hungry so they swim back to the Alaskan and Pacific Northwest waters to eat and feast on the incredible abundance of krill and small bait fish. So what is a humpback still doing in the Pacific Northwest waters at this time of the year?? Well, just like humans when you get too old to be relevant in the breeding process you hang out with the old guys and go cruising in the local waters. No sense swimming 2,000 miles over and 2,000 miles back just to watch the other whales. All that said, we remain on high alert looking for our old humpback still plying our waters.
About an hour out of Egmont we slowly worked our way alongside Western Rocks which is a traditional Steller Sea Lion haul out. The Steller Sea Lions have been on the endangered species list for some time. Their population along the west coast of the US and British Columbia seems to have stabilized in recent years, while the Alaska population has not bounced back as well. Worldwide there is an estimated population of about 130,000 with over 30,000 living in Alaska. The sea lions and the commercial fisheries are both hunting the same prey, walleye pollock, halibut and salmon. These sea lions become sexually mature at 3-7 years. The males will defend a territory for up to 60 days with a harem of 12 to 15 females. The males can weigh in at about 1,500 lbs. and the females around 600 lbs. Their behavior is very gregarious. They don’t bark but they have quite a vocabulary of grumbles, growls and roars. If the wind is blowing just right you can also fill your sense of smell with their very unique aroma. Their gestation period is about 11.5 months and they tend to live up to 30 years. The young are left to be on their own at about three months.
We passed a tug pulling thee barges full of wood chips heading for the pulp mill in Powell River which is typical of our northwest marine traffic. One of our repeat guests is retired from Weyerhaeuser Timber Company and provided all of us with a very interesting explanation of how some of the modern mills process the logs to make dimensional wood products.
Well, sometimes what appears to be a detractor turns out to be a facilitator to new and better experiences. We had made reservations at the Lund Public Marina but when we showed up there was some confusion about our reservations. I think all of us had been looking forward to visiting the bakery and general store in Lund so there was general disappointment that we needed to move on. So, we moved about four miles north to Bliss Landing. Bliss is a private development and private marina. This is the first time we had stayed at this location. Wonderful reception from Dave and Fern the caretakers at this facility. We were the only guests. Great docks and surrounded by lovely homes. We summoned a water taxi that was able to take 12 to Lund and everyone else dinghy backed to Lund to visit the bakery and general store. So not only did we get visit Lund but found a great new place with wonderful new friends running the facility.