After dropping off our daughter Kim and her friend Daria in Campbell River, we had a few days to put Iron Lady back together before our friends Ron and Diane arrived. Iron Lady got a well deserved exterior water blast, windows cleaned and stainless polished. We vacuumed and dusted and wiped down all the wood work and hit the local stores for some new shelf liner for all the galley lockers and drawers, spares we needed and a round of provisioning for our next leg. Iron Lady never looked better and it was good to have her standing tall early in the day the Lanes arrived.
After a 14 hour slog, Ron and Diane arrived at 1700 on time which is about the best you can hope for in air travel today. We hated to rush them but we had reservations at the Angler’s restaurant at Dolphin Lodge at 1845. Just time enough to throw the luggage aboard and have a quick cocktail before leaving for Anglers which has superb food and the surrounding grounds are beautiful – I will try to do a future post on it.
Back aboard Iron Lady it was off to bed as Steve and I had to toss the lines at 0700 to catch the last of the outgoing tide (current running north with us) thru Seymour Narrows. We saw an added 5 knots from that and decided that at its max flow of 17 knots, eddies and whirlpools, Seymour would be no place to be.
That meant that most of the rest of our trip to Lagoon Cove in the Broughtons would be against the incoming tide. In various places like Chatham point and Ripple Shoals, we had an opposing current of up to 5 knots.
Our route took us thru Seymour and up the Discovery Channel to Johnstone Strait and thence to Havannah Channel and around to Lagoon thru the Blow Hole.
Along the way, we told the Lanes that we had a good chance of seeing lots of the major wildlife attractions up here. In Johnstone Straight we had routinely seen Orca and Humpbacks – the big two of the watery world. Once in Havannah Channel there could be seals, otters, and eagles along with several varieties of porpoises. Along some of the narrower channels, there was also the possibility of black and grizzly bears flopping rocks for shellfish on the beach. The other two major critters up here that live higher in the food chain then us are cougars and wolves. Wolves are a rare sight and you do not want anything to do with cougars as they actually stalk humans.
As fate would have it, the lines went on at Lagoon at 1500 – very good time from Campbell River considering but none of the above made their appearance – so much for us gushing about all the things they would see.
Once the lines were on, we were quick to throw Beer Can (our dink) in the water and Deb, Ron and Diane and I motored across the channel to put out our prawn trap in 300 feet of water. It would stay there until the next morning when we would retrieve it – hopefully with a load of prawns and no crabs, fish or prawn eating starfish.
Then it was back to Lagoon Cove for the Potluck at 1700. We were tied up at the Honeymoon Dock (their name) which is just across from the marina and is a short walk thru old growth cedar forest.
We had a nice chat with Jean, the owner of Lagoon Cove and our new friends Rick and Jan aboard Roam’n – a Westcoast 46.
Steve stayed behind and by the time we got back around 1900, had prepared a marvellous lemon risotto with baked filet of salmon that we had caught in Sullivan Bay. The salmon was topped with a delicious sauce.
After dinner, Ron and I enjoyed a glass of scotch and Deb and Diane decided to go smell the roses – literally. Jean’s house overlooks the marina and has a beautiful flower and vegetable garden.
They took along a couple of flashlights as a precaution. As they were exiting the woods on to the boardwalk to Jean’s house, Deb heard something in the woods. Pushing onward towards the garden, Diane heard something too and when she turned around, there was an adolescent grizzly bear chomping on apples under an apple tree close by. Fortunately neither Deb or Diane panniced and ran but they did set off at a brisk pace toward Jean’s house with the bear following them up the path.
Once they were inside the house, the bear proceeded to come up on the porch. Not a great shot as it was getting dark and Deb was shooting thru the window but you can tell how close the bear is.
Jean tried to call for help on her cell but the cell service was out. They tried raising us on the VHF but we didn’t have it on. They finally raised Bob who works at Lagoon and he grabbed a chain saw and headed up the hill to the house.
The purpose of the chain saw was not to hack up the bear – apparently bears are scared of the noise and this one was no exception.
Bob was kind enough to bring the girls back to the boat in his dink so they did not have to walk thru the woods.
So Diane did get to see a bear after all – unfortunately it was a close encounter of the wrong sort.
Next morning – our friend the bear was back – this time flopping rocks just off the Honeymoon Dock – more pictures on this next time. Ron had intended to get some shots of the old growth cedar along the path – but we decided that the bear could have the path and we would pass.