MV Dirona


Up the West Coast of Vancouver Island:

Varney Bay, Quatsino Sound to Sea Otter Cove, Cape Scott


Day 17: Sea Otter Cove, Cape Scott
We left early to hit Quatsino Narrows at slack.  There's a low pressure system approaching, with SE winds 15-20 rising to 30-40 this morning and easing SE 20-30 this evening.  We were hoping to slip into Sea Otter Cove before the big stuff hits.  But we needed fuel first.  We arrived at Winter Harbour at 8:30, but it wasn't open until 10.  Bummer.  So we spent some time walking around the town as a heavy rain started falling.  Like so many of these coastal communities the major industries are waning, tourism is building up, but not enough to sustain previous prosperity. 

The seas were very calm for most of the run, but the wind starting to pick up as we approached Sea Otter Cove.  It was getting foggy too -- we could just barely make out the Scott Islands in the gloom.   The entrance to Sea Otter Cove is shallow and tricky, but we had almost 9' of water, so that helped.  We expected to find a boat or two in here as this is the only safe harbor between Winter Cove and the other side, but it was empty.  It is also equipped with big storm buoys, so we took one.

We put on our exposure suits to go out and explore in the dinghy.  There was all kinds of stuff blown up on shore here, as it really takes a pounding from the winter storms being right out on the coast. It was kind of amazing to actually be there -- one more big day to go and we'd be all the way along.
This is looking west across the rugged outer shore of the anchorage.
The wind was really starting to pick up, so we worked our way outside the cove to check out the wave action.  It would have been challenging to bring Dirona through at this point, as big swells were rushing into the entrance channel.
This is a wave breaking just off the entrance channel.  It was really exciting to watch the waves pounding into shore -- we spent ages out there.  The winds continued to rise later in the afternoon.  Solander Island recorded 51 knots from the SE and we saw a good 35.  We were glad not to be out in that.




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Copyright 2012 Jennifer and James Hamilton