Days 16 to 17 – The North East

Before we left Claydon Bay we pulled the crab trap – attention was immediately drawn to whatever the hell this thing was sitting on top

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Once we’d tipped it gingerly back over the side, we found we had 3 keepers in the crab trap! We figured we didn’t need that much crab meat and put one back and kept two, which emma killed, shelled and cooked while we got underway

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After days and days of NW wind, we were looking forward to being able to sail finally, but there was no wind so we just motored (again)

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Finally we arrived in Hardy and tied up at the government dock. We got SHOWERS as well! And did some laundry!

The CCGS Bartlett came into dock after we got there

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The next day we started out for Bull Harbour, in the far North East of the island.

On the way there we saw some people trolling and decided to give it a crack ourselves. I caught a tiny spring which went back and then hooked into a good fish which was lost after the hook parted from the lure (unfortunately I only noticed the hook had gone after we finished fishing, meaning that I then dragged around a hookless lure for most of the time).

Emma however managed to score a 12lb Coho! Hooray, fish for days! (Also pictured – Crab cakes from the crab we caught)

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After that excitement we carried on up the coast. Suddenly there was a large BANG and the engine revs dropped 500RPM. I throttled down and put into neutral, and then tried to throttle up again – the reponse was very slow so I stuck it back into neutral. I wondered if the prop had got caught on something, so I stuck it into reverse for a bit, and then back into forward and that seemed to clear it and on we went, keeping a cautious eye on things.

After a brief flirtation with following some fishing boats over the Nahwitti Bar we decided caution was a good idea and pulled into Bull Harbour (which was full of gulls) and dropped anchor.

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Nahwitti Bar is not in fact a high class drinking establishment but a place where the depth goes from hundreds of feet to 30 or so very very quickly, and is right at the North East of Vancouver Island, between the mainland and the island meaning all the big swells from the pacific race through there. At the wrong time it is a very unpleasant place to be full of big breaking waves,  strong currents and huge swells so we made sure we were going to hit it at slack.

Added to the fun was that at the extreme North West of the island is Cape Scott, another place where things get very nasty with the wrong wind/tide combo. Another thing to plan around.

The next morning we woke up at 4am (what the shiz) to catch the new forecast and decided not to go with the slack tide that morning and went back to bed. That afternoon we saw the other boat in the anchorage heading out to catch the afternoon slack and decided to go as well – except the engine died as we headed out of the bay.

Fortunately we were still in the bay so no harm done, just did a U turn and headed back and anchored. I figured it was air in the lines so bled the engine, which soon started and kept on running. I guess draining the bottom of the fuel filter (which I had done yesterday as a precaution) had introduced air into the system!

After two days in Bull Harbour/Gull Bay/Dull Bay we were anxious to leave, and the weather forecast looked good so off around the North End we went!

Matt

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