Thursday, August 16, 2007

Circumnagivating Quadra Island - Days 2 & 3

During the night, Wayne and I got up to watch the Perseid meteor shower. Even though it was the day after peak, we saw about a dozen streak across the dark sky in less than 20 minutes.

The next morning we had a leisurely start. We were waiting to make the first of several passages through small narrows squeezing tidal water between the numerous islands. That is common here in the Discovery Islands north of the Strait of Georgia. At 11:00 we left our anchorage in Village Bay for the northeast side of Quadra Island. Our destination was Beezley Passage (aptly named Surge Narrows) between Quadra and Maurelle Island. It is a narrow strip of water than runs with rapids between tidal changes, but at slack water it is calm and easy to navigate. We got in a line of waiting boats and followed them through. We continued along Okisollo Channel around the north end of Quadra. Upper and Lower Rapids had swirling water, but the engine of our Bayliner was able to push through with ease. We didn't dawdle until after the last of the rapids. Then, we took some time to troll for salmon, but no luck.

We continued on around the northwest corner of Quadra and stopped in a beautiful spot for the night. Small Inlet Marine Park is a well protected all weather anchorage. It is strategically located to allow you to wait on the tides for safe passage through the area's narrows and channels. It is called small, but inside it opens to a large bay that can accommodate many boats. When we arrived, there were only five boats, three of which were rafted together on the far side. Eight more boats arrived, but it still had the feel of privacy because we were all spread out. Right at the peak of high tide, small fish (probably herring) boiled on the surface of the water right by our boat. Salmon can't be too far behind with a tasty meal like this.

We had to get up early the next morning to make slack water at Seymour Narrows north of Campbell River. This is a wide channel, but really rips. Even cruise ships time their passage to make it safely through. We didn't see any cruise ships, but a huge tug with an enormous barge led the way. The narrows were calm, but the area just south was starting to develop huge eddies, whirpools and upwellings. They weren't dangerous yet, but exciting.

As a treat, we stopped for breakfast at the April Point Resort. The marina had space for us to dock and we walked the short road down to the main lodge. Wayne and I stayed here about fifteen years ago and it hasn't changed much. It is a bit of luxury that caters to salmon fishermen and people wanting a relaxed getaway. It isn't far from the BC Ferries terminal from Campbell River. A short time after we left April Point we rounded Cape Mudge with its prominant lighthouse at the southwest end of the island. With that, we completed our circumnavigation trip. We stopped at Lund for gas and were back in Powell River by mid-day. It was a quick and fun trip for us on the chuck. Perfect weather didn't hurt!!

Now it is time to enjoy our cabin up the lake. We will be gone until early next week, so watch then for new posts. Want to read more about the area? Wayne's Coastal BC Stories books are available for purchase online at www.PowellRiverBooks.com. Bye for now -- Margy

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