Today is the anniversary of Marty’s graduation from South Torrance High School, after which he went to Disneyland for grad night! Fast foward 40 years, and here we are sitting on Happy Dance in Shawl Bay, BC, enjoying some chocolate pudding and a glorious sunset. The E-ticket rides continue!! 🙂
After we left Sullivan Bay last week we motored north through Grappler Sound to Claydon Bay. There are a number of rocks guarding the entrance to Claydon Bay, but once through the entrance it was just a matter of avoiding all the crab pot floats and finding a good spot to anchor. We settled for an area in about 40′ of water near the entrance that was protected by a little islet, and dropped the hook. After making sure the anchor was well set we rigged our crab pot and rowed it out to a likely spot. We didn’t have any luck in the first spot we tried, but after that we pulled up crabs nearly every time! It helped too that we had the fish heads for bait, left from our fishing sucess at Sullivan Bay. In three days we caught 9 big Dungeness, so we had quite the crab feast while there…YUM!
While in Claydon we went on a few kayak paddles to explore the surrounding shores. At one point we got caught in a downpour, and since it was low tide we were able to hide out under the trees overhanging the shoreline. I found a really dry spot, but Marty had been a ways ahead of me when the skies opened up so he was getting pretty wet. After about 20 minutes or so I see Marty paddling furiously, headed for Happy Dance! I stayed put until it lightened up. While I was sitting in my kayak enjoying the sound of the rain, a mink wandered by right behind me, very unconcerned about my visit.
Another event took place in Claydon Bay, that I’m a little embarassed to tell about! 🙂 I fell off the boat! Now just hold on…there is a perfectly good explanation…ha! After dinner one night, it had finally stopped raining for awhile and the sun was putting on a good show peeking through the clouds. Marty was doing the dishes (what a good hubby!), and I was out in the cockpit. Since the panels were all zipped down because of the recent rain storm, I decided that I would set my chair (think bench pad that folds up) on the swim step and enjoy the view. Then I decided it would be fun to put my comfy folding seat in the dinghy and float around enjoying the show. Well, when I went to re-tie the dinghy while sitting on the cushion which was slightly overhanging the edge of the swim step, I leaned a bit too far over, and SPLASH! As it so happens we have the ladder rigged so that someone in the water can pull on a line and pull the ladder down, which I did, so I was already out of the water by the time Marty realized the splash must have been me. He popped out of the companionway saying..”what the h*ll?”, while I was standing there dripping and laughing hysterically! All was well, but I have been reminded by a rather irate MartyMan, that falling overboard is NOT allowed! I will definitely try to do better at following the rules. 🙂
We left Claydon on a flood tide so that we’d zip right up Grappler Sound to Turnbull Cove. The scenery was awesome as we made turns into smaller and smaller channels. When we pulled into the bay just outside Turnbull Cove, we could see the mist coming off Roaringhole Rapids at the far end of the bay. It’s amazing how these serene little passages can change into major rapids with each tide change! We’ve decided this one would require a G-ticket at Disneyland…ha!
Our two nights in Turnbull Cove were very peaceful, just enjoying the view and watching the clouds roll by. The bay just outside Turnbull Cove is about 250′ deep and we’d heard it was a good place to catch prawns. We rigged up our new prawn trap, put on 200′ of sinking line, and off we went in the dinghy out to the bay. We dropped the trap on the east side of the bay against some steep rock walls where there were some commercial traps. When we came back a few hours later, the trap had drifted with the outgoing tide to the center of the bay. We tried pulling it up, but it had floated over the one shallow spot (180′) in the bay and gotten stuck on the bottom…there was NO way we could pull it up in the dinghy. We decided to let it soak and come back in the morning with Happy Dance, so that we could try hauling it with a winch. When we got back the next morning on the outgoing tide, our trap was way off in the distance against the other wall of the bay! We motored over and collected it easily since it was once again floating in over 250′ of water. We had a grand total of two prawns after all that, which we let go. Lessons learned for our next prawning attempt… use a heavier weight on the trap, and make sure there are no “shallow” spots in the vicinity! 🙂 We were just happy to have been able to save the trap!
Next stop – Shawl Bay. We tied up to the dock for a night at Shawl Bay, and enjoyed some of the social activities that the Broughtons are so famous for. Every night at 5pm in all the marinas, it’s happy hour and potluck hors d’oeuvres! We enjoyed meeting the other boaters and sharing some stories, then in the morning there was a pancake breakfast provided by Loren who owns the marina. He grew up here, and has lots of interesting stories to tell about his grandfather who started this place and who logged the nearby hills.
After Shawl we headed to Echo Bay for a night. Echo Bay was once the site of a large village of aboriginal people, going back as much as 10,000 years. There are ancient paintings on the 200′ rock cliff at the entrance to the bay (we couldn’t see them, but took the locals word for it). There is also a white clamshell beach that is indicative of a native village. In the 1920’s there was a shingle mill here.
We were met by Pierre, the owner, who is famous in the area for the pig roasts and other big shindigs that go on all summer. Since we’re still too early for the official start of the season, we again missed the big doings! We took a hike up over the hill to Bill Proctor’s museum to check out his collection of junk (his word)! Over the hill means straight up using ropes at one section, then wandering though a maze of cedar trees trying to find the right path. We popped out in a meadow full of wild daisies and buttercups with a couple of old buildings in the distance…almost there! Bill Proctor is nearing 80, grew up in these islands, never went to school, never left the province, but oh, the stories he tells! He basically worked at every trade available through the years in order to survive in a tough environment. He fished for many years, and still goes out in his wooden trawler, the Ocean Dawn.
After a beauteous day the day before, we woke to low clouds all around. Oh well – time to move on! We’re headed for Lady Boot Bay on Eden Island. We’ll spend another week in the Broughtons, then head across Queen Charlotte Strait to Port Hardy to reprovision before waiting for a good day to head north. In this case we would like to avoid an E ticket ride!!!
P.S. – You can see all the places we’ve been on this Google Map. (You can move around on the map, expand it, click on each place, and there is also a link to it on the sidebar). Enjoy!