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Monday, 8 September 2014

Sailing South

Mary Anne and Sea Star
Sea Pen
Since leaving Prince Rupert behind, we managed to fit in 3 SCUBA dives.  One was in an area new to us: Hurricane Island in the Hakai recreation area; the other two at the Walker Group of islands at the north end of Queen Charlotte Strait.

The Hurricane Island dive featured a wide variety of rockfish; the Walker Group featured a wild profusion of colourful invertebrates.  There were sponges, tunicates, different sorts of crabs, nudibranchs and sea stars a meter and a half across and the ever-present beautiful plumose anemone.  It brought back fond memories of our dives many years ago in nearby God's Pocket and Nakwatko Rapids.

As we headed south from our dives toward a rendezvous with Richie Penner and his wife Lillian in their power-boat PRAIRIE OTTER, we were passed by a nearby pod of Orca Whales.

Lillian, Richie and PRAIRIE OTTER
But back to PRAIRIE OTTER:   Richie along with his two sisters Anita and Leona are the children of Mary Anne's father's best friend from his boyhood in Russia.  Mary Anne used to play at their farm when she was a child and hadn't seen Richie for some
50 years!  Of course a shared anchorage and dinner together was arranged!

A bit south of that rendezvous, some careful calculations were required with departure times to avoid fighting massive currents along Jonstone Strait.  Further along, the timing is even more critical at the Dent, Gillard and Yuculta Rapids where the wrong timing makes the channels either impassable or quite dangerous with eddies and overfalls.

Approaching the Rapids
We managed to scurry through the last of the tidal rapids at the right time, and thus unscathed, and headed to Walsh Cove in the Desolation Sound area.  There we tied alongside Bob and Anita's MOONDANCE. Anita, mentioned before, is Richie's sister and a childhood friend of Mary Anne.  Just to complete this family rendezvous, Leona and her husband Lee were also aboard MOONDANCE as guests.

Anita, Mary Anne and Leona
We spent three nights tied together at Walsh Cove and at Isabel Bay in Okeover Inlet.  There were shared meals, hikes in the forest and swims in the sea.  Altogether a very good time amid beautiful scenery.

We are now on our way again with plans to head up Jervis Inlet to revisit Princess Louisa Inlet - a beautiful mountain circled pool that we have not seen since the early 1990's.

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