Leaving Codville Lagoon, we work our way up Lama Passage. While transiting Seaforth Passage, a Raven decides to hitch a ride on our bow rail. We are perplexed as to why he hangs around for so long. Reaching our anchorage in Wigham Cove, we find out why. He had been busily shredding the plastic bags we keep our bait in up on the top deck. It is amazing that he could spot this small stash of food as it was buried deep amongst our other fishing gear.
We are up and on our way to Bottleneck anchorage by 6 am. There are gale warnings for this afternoon and evening and our route today takes us into Milbank Sound which has an exposed open water passage of about 12 miles. We want to get through there before the winds pick up.
As we round Ivory Lighthouse, the Nat Geo Quest shows up on our AIS just a few miles ahead. We crossed paths with this small cruise ship several times last year in Alaska. We find Milbank Sound calm with only a low westerly swell. It is a grey cold day with the clouds suspended just just below the mountain peaks as we work our way up Finlayson Channel. Other than several white sided Pacific dolphins we are all alone.
Bottleneck Inlet on Roderick Island is our home for the evening. It gets its name from the narrow entrance into the anchorage. We spent two nights here last year riding out a storm. We will be very protected from the 30 knot winds forecast this evening. Our two crab traps are soon out with high hopes as we caught several crabs here last year. Later in the evening we haul out two traps and collect two nice size Dungeness males. Not as many as we had hoped for, but we are thankful to have these two.
It is a beautiful morning as cautiously exit Bottleneck. We are at low tide and there is a five foot shoal at the entrance. Our timing works perfect for reaching Hawkish Narrows at slack tide.
Our travel along Graham Reach is quite picturesque with the many foaming white waterfalls cascading through the dark green forested mountains. We are constantly scanning the shores of Princess Royal Island in search of the elusive “Spirit Bear”. Officially known as the Kermode Bear, this is British Columbia’s official animal. This cream colored bear is a subspecies of the Black Bear. The highest concentration of bears containing this double-recessive gene is found on Princess Royal and Gribbell Islands. Very few people see one of these bears in their lifetime. National Geographic just released an IMAX film about these bears. We saw this excellent program in Victoria earlier this year.
After anchoring in Coghlin Bay, we venture out in our dinghy, Time Out, to explore the small native village of Hartley Bay two miles to the north. Only about 200 people live in this small settlement . We find several homes, a little church, and a newly constructed Long House all connected by a series of wide and sturdy wooden planked boardwalks. We see lots of ATV’s which is the villages mode of transportation parked at the fuel dock office. There are no stores. Arriving back to our anchorage, we find the Canadian Coast Guard/Fisheries cutter “ Captain Godard” anchored near by. We feel safe and secure this evening knowing they are nearby.