Hello from Pruth Bay! We've heard about this place from a number of cruisers, plus read about it in the Waggoner Guide, so we had high hopes coming in. Let's say those expectations were met, but let me backtrack just a little. The last time I posted anything, we were in Prince Rupert still and had gone to see the Northern Pacific Cannery. We've covered a bit of ground since then.
We left Prince Rupert in the fog and wound our way south, past Grenville Channel (no taking “The Ditch” this time) and through Ogden Passage. The first stop was Captain Cove, followed by Princess Diana Cove in Patterson Inlet. Both were lovely stops! The inlet is entered first through a narrow passage, maybe 100 feet wide or so. Then it opens up for a while before splitting into two coves. The south cove is pretty deep, apparently—we didn't go in—but Princess Diana Cove, as it is called, was beautiful!
The next day, we briefly parted company from Pacific Wonder. They anchored in Hawk Bay, but we continued on to the village of Hartley Bay. Despite having to anchor up during dinner because the harbor was blocked by a barge resupplying the fuel tanks, we were able to find a spot at the dock later and wander around. We stopped in the village when we brought Kyrie north three years ago, but we didn't arrive until 9:30 and only walked around for about five minutes. This time, we unleashed our beastly little crew to run around on the boardwalks. There are no roads in Hartley Bay—everything is on boardwalks—and no vehicles except for carts and ATVs.
We found our way out to the fish hatchery and came across a number of kids playing in the river. Our kids watched them jumping off the bridge into the water with obviously mixed feelings—it looked like fun, but they knew the water was cold! Levi ended up playing tag with some of the boys until late and came home exhausted but happy to finally have some other boys to play with!
The next morning, we reconnected with PW. The original plan was anchor in Khutze Inlet, but the report came back that it was deep, rocky, and really buggy! After bouncing back and forth over the radio, the consensus was made to press on to the village of Klemtu. There was a dock there, but there were also some nice harbors to anchor in if the dock wasn't what we wanted. When we finally arrived in Klemtu, the dock was not what we wanted, so the harbor it was! There were five boats in there total, but it was lovely and quiet, until, of course, the kids started clapping and hooting to hear the echoes... :D
The next stop was another place we had been before—the marina and resort at Shearwater, near the town of Bella Bella. The best part of that journey was, by far, the group of orcas we came across in Seaforth Channel. There were probably nine of them, including two or three babies. Joe put the engine in idle and we just drifted along, letting the orcas swim around us as they chose. At one point, they got rather close, and the younger ones jumped around and played just off our port side. I never get tired of seeing creatures like that so close to our boat!
When we brought Kyrie north, we stopped for a brief time in Shearwater to do laundry and a little grocery shopping, as well as take showers. We were in and out in just a few hours and since we were the only boat there, the harbormaster let us tie up for free. Not a chance this time! The dock was packed and boats were being shifted around to make room for more arrivals. There were also quite a few boats anchored out in the harbor. We joined the anchorage club. Just as we got settled though, and were talking about taking the dinghy ashore, the skies opened up again—it had been raining on and off all day, but not like this—and we found ourselves in the middle of what looked like a tropical downpour. No way were we going out in that! However, Rachael collected enough water to wash her hair while the rain continued. She thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of that situation.
We ended up staying two nights in Shearwater. The boat wakes got old quickly, so after laundry, showers, and a ride on the Seabus over to Bella Bella for a trip to the grocery store, it was time for Kyrie to move on. We talked to the gals on Pacific Wonder and although they planned on staying one more night, they said they would meet us in Codville Lagoon on Saturday. That funny-named place had a huge draw—a lake just a short hike away with a sand beach!
The trip to Codville took us about four hours and we gleefully anchored near two other sailboats. Over the course of the afternoon and evening, there would end up being six sailboats in that anchorage! We decided against going to the lake that afternoon, and instead took the dinghy ashore to restock our little aquarium with crabs. With the help of the whole family looking under rocks, Rachael managed to find enough crabs to have all the main characters from the movie Moana. We had Moana, Maui, Tomatoa, Teka, and Tafiti—please forgive my butchering of the spelling of their names!
Saturday, it was time to go check out the lake. We packed swimsuits and towels, and then one of us had the genius idea of digging our wetsuits out and bringing those along. It was about a ¾-mile scramble up over the ridge to get to the lake. So pretty! The beach was golden sand and we stood staring at it for a little while. Then it was girls to one side and boys to the other while we changed into swimsuits and then wetsuits. Those wetsuits made such a difference! The water was cold, but the suits allowed us to stay in for a lot longer than if we hadn't brought them along. Even Megan, whose suit was too big and didn't trap the water right, totally enjoyed herself. It was actually difficult to get her and Rachael out of the water an hour and a half later when we decided it was time to go! Most certainly a worth-it stop.
Sunday morning—today. After waking up and realizing I had set the alarm clock for 6:30 pm, instead of 6:30 am, Joe and I dashed around getting ready for our 7:00 anchors up goal. We had to say goodbye to our friends on Pacific Wonder today. They are staying in Fury Cove tonight and rounding Cape Caution tomorrow to enter Johnstone Strait, taking the inside route down Vancouver Island to Port Townsend. We, on the other hand, are planning to get some much needed offshore experience by taking the outside route down Vancouver Island. Therefore, we have stopped, along with a whole bunch of other boats—nearly all sailboats—here in Pruth Bay for a few days until the wind is right for us to continue.
I don't think I'll mind waiting here until Wednesday. We already went ashore to check out the much-vaunted beach. Oh my goodness! Everyone was right. We walked out to West Beach and found ourselves on a white sand beach. The waves were gentle, the sand was hot on our bare feet and there were shells everywhere! The most incredible ones were ones I had never seen before. We brought a few back to the boat and managed to find them in our shell book. Purple dwarf olives.
Tomorrow, we'll pack better and plan to spend a bunch of time at the beach. There was evidence of several beach campfires, so we'll bring hot dogs and marshmallows and everything else we need for a picnic at the beach. There are eight other beaches that can be reached via trails from West Beach. We'll see if we check any of them out in the next couple days, or we're content to play on the closest one.
The plan is to leave on Wednesday, exit the Hakai Passage, and take the outside of Calvert Island, avoiding Cape Caution altogether and heading straight past Cape Scott, which is the north-westernmost point of Vancouver Island. Hopefully the wind will cooperate and we can sail all the way there and down to Quatsino Sound. While Vancouver Island has about a bazillion nooks and crannies we could spend weeks exploring, it's the middle of July and it's time for us to think about getting to Port Townsend so we can get the rigging checked out. I want plenty of time for us to get that done and work our way down the Pacific Coast.