May 15th, 2016 | By: Gregory Smart | Leg 1: Inside Passage

After a restful night in the secure anchorage at Fury Cove we got underway at 0800 for a leisurely day of exploration and sightseeing, a practice known as “gunkholing” in the local parlance. Our first stop was Fish Egg Inlet, a network of narrow inlets and bays that runs back into the mountainous peninsula north of Rivers Inlet. Eagles sat motionless in snags over the still waters and Northern Shovelers and Red-throated Loons dove for breakfast from the surface.

Deception lead the way through narrow spots where it seemed the great trees hung out over our decks as we squeezed through with one eye on the depth sounder and one out in front. Rewarded with views idyllic little islands and of streams babbling down out of the mountains we wound our way back westward before emerging back into the broad reach of Fitz Hugh Sound by way of Fairmile Passage and the Corvette Islands.

The sun peaked through the clouds as we skirted the southern and western coasts of Hecate Island. The forests grow more tangled and stunted as we approach the open coast, and the shoreline more battered and worn. Great tree trunks lie shattered and broken at crazy angles on the barnacle encrusted granite. The charts here are littered with reefs and rocks, and we take great care to leave them plenty of leeway off our beam and plenty of water under the keel.

By two in the afternoon we pulled into the anchorage at Hurricane Island, one of the numerous islands of the Spider Archipelago named for British World War II warplanes. We shared the anchorage with only one other boat, the S/V Larissa, a 50-foot sloop out of New Zealand whose skipper has been cruising the globe singlehanded for nine years!

To save space in the anchorage and facilitate the evening’s plan for a potluck we rafted all six of our boats together, tying three stern lines to shore and putting out three anchors, locking the raft into place. With the boats secure, we walked from one to another all toured each other’s boats, comparing helms, galleys, finishes and layouts before all sitting down to a scrumptious potluck dinner on board Deception.

As darkness settled, the trip’s first real rain showers passed over, and for the space of a few minutes’ rain thrummed comfortingly on the overheads; a sonorous reminder that this is a part of the world defined by the rain. The far off roar of breakers on the outside of Spider Island completed the scene and made for deep sleep.

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