MV Dirona


Up the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

Nasparti Inlet, Checleset Bay to Klaskish Basin, Brooks Bay


Day 15: 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, including auklets, cormorants and all kinds of gulls.  And puffins.  We really like puffins - they're great-looking birds bright orange striped beaks.  But we had never seen them in the wild before. 
The swell 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 took one. 
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.




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Copyright 2012 Jennifer and James Hamilton