Days 18 to 20 – Round the north end and Winter Harbour

We were due to get up at 5, however I managed to set my alarm for FOUR AM, meaning we were up a full hour earlier than necessary. Mega-barf. At 6 we left, and hit Nahwitti Bar at slack – it was very flat, added by the slack tide and light winds.

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Fog rolled in and we saw very little of the top of the island – made me glad me had a foghorn and radar.

The next few hours basically looked like this

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And sounded like this:

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK

Cape Scott had confused seas but virtually no swells and only light chop so we scudded around.

A highlight was seeing Sea Otters for the first time! So much cuter than the usual River Otters we see down south.

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They float on their backs and waggle their little feet and tails about and it’s SO CUTE.

Eventually the excitement got too much for me (apparently Emma takes photos of me when I fall asleep. That’s not creepy at all?!)

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Note the multiple layers of clothing and scarf – it was COLD up there!

Eventually we got to Winter Harbour, tried a little bit of trolling, failed and then went into the bay

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The next day, the fog lifted but the wind increased, and we spent an uncomfortable morning bobbing around in the bay outside Winter Harbour in the swells and wind while I did some work (it was the only place we could get cell signal!) Eventually we had to call it a day, and went and got fuel before returning back to the anchorage (First Harbour).

That evening I was causally jigging off the boat and hooked a coho! Which was as much as a surprise to me as to him. He got away, however.

The next day we went out again in less wind so I could finish my work for the week, and then we did some trolling and SUCCESS!

Emma caught a 10lb and a 8lb while I FINALLY managed to get a salmon (a 7lb). All cohos.

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We also dropped a prawn trap and picked it up that evening, a task that was made tricky by nasty swells and 25 knot winds. We kept at it, in the knowledge that we’d be pulling up some lovely prawns…. not quite.

Instead we pulled up a bunch of hagfish.

YUK. GROSS GROSS GROSSSSSSSSSSS

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Last seen in the ‘bottom fish’ section of Blue Planet, apparently the hagfish can ‘secrete the microfibrous slime, which expands into up to 20 litres (5¼ gallons) of sticky, gelatinous material when combined with water’

Which is why the prawn net was COVERED in horrible slimy goop. AAAAAAAAA. ‘Biomaterial of the future‘ it maybe, but it sure is unpleasant.

Oh well, at least we had tasty fish to eat!

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That night we stayed up to watch the meteor shower, saw one each and then passed out. SO ADVENTUROUS!

Next morning, the wind looked better and we were off!

 

Matt

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