Up the West Coast of Vancouver Island:
Nasparti Inlet, Checleset Bay
to Klaskish Basin, Brooks Bay
Klaskish Basin, Brooks Bay
Today we round the fearsome Brooks Peninsula. Due to the way it juts
out, winds flow over and around it, joining on the other side with increased
force of 15 knots higher than farther offshore. The region in general
sees evil winter storms. In the fiercest storms, sustained winds of
70-80 knots are possible, with gusts to 95 knots. I didn't sleep well
last night in anticipation. We left very early
that morning to get around before the afternoon winds picked up. In
Columbia Cove to our south, the Pacific Grace rode quietly at anchor
in the dawn light
An old coast guard vessel that was purchased for a private enterprise blew
ashore years ago in Columbia Cove, and is slowly disintegrating there.
||There it is -- Cape Cook at the head of Brooks
Peninsula. It was pretty wild to be actually rounding it in our own
boat. Conditions were very calm so far. But the forecast calls for a
1000mb low to move south to sit just north of Vancouver Island tonight, so we
didn't want to dally.
||That's Solander Island, off Cape Cook, in the
distance. It's among the the bleakest on the coast -- the weather
there is just plain evil. Atop the island is what has to be the
stubbiest weather station base,
accompanied with a pole held in place with very thick wires. It was really exciting to see it in
person. We saw only one other vessel underway, a
powerboat running fast south, keeping well
off the island. There's nothing on its starboard side until Japan.
||Because conditions were so calm, we were able to
get quite close to Solander Island. Even still,
the swell was crashing into
the island with great force and spraying well up the sides. Several
sea lions that were perched on the rock were washed off at one point.
Boy, that generated a lot of complaints. The island is also home to a
wide variety of seabirds. There was a constant stream coming and going,
auklets, cormorants and all kinds of gulls. And puffins. We really like puffins -
they're great-looking birds
striped beaks. But we had never seen them in the wild before.
increased as ran down north side of peninsula. My biscuits were loose,
but they remained in place. Woo-hoo! I don't usually get
seasick, so these occurrences were a disappointment, especially
since I typically use these longer runs to make dough for bread or danishes.
We continued up the other sided of Brooks
Peninsula and through the narrow entrance to Klaskish Basin at the head of
Klaskish Inlet. The entrance is tight, but easily managed as there are
no rapids. It is another storm hideaway with those big buoys, so we
||It is very protected inside, with tree-lined
shores all around and mountain views. This is looking south towards
the entrance and the peaks on Brooks Peninsula. We really liked it here. It
was completely deserted when we arrived, although another cruising powerboat
did show up a little later.
||Once settled we worked our way into nearby East
Creek by dinghy. It felt like we'd stepped back into Burroughs' The
Land That Time Forgot. Huge stumps, the remains of felled trees, had
blown in here in storms and become lodged, some upside down, with their
gnarled roots exposed. They look like petrified wood. We've never seen
anything like it. There was also evidence of a large number (or large size)
animals sleeping in the grass and trails through it. It was a very unusual
and wild looking place.