July 21, 2005

Campbell River

Hi All,

We hope you are all fine and enjoying the summer.

We've just posted our most recent set of pictures on the website at http://raptordance.com, including some from the adventures, below.

Presently we are in Campbell River and preparing to move tomorrow morning.

When we last wrote we were enjoying ourselves at anchor in Melanie Cove, Prideaux Haven. There are several paths on land, so we did some hiking through the dense forest. This brought us to Laura Cove, another fine anchorage but smaller.

After a few days we were ready to move on. Teakerne Arm had been recommended to us because of the lovely waterfall, but not for anchoring. There are a few rings imbedded in the rock wall to use as a stern tie. Too bad the anchoring wasn't better. There are some good hikes nearby. So we just did a "drive by" and then headed to Squirrel Cove for the night.

Squirrel Cove was great...lots of lobes for anchoring. So while there were many boats, it didn't feel crowded. The store at the pier was very well stocked. There was also a gift shop with creative offerings and a restaurant. We chose to eat at Marilyn's, whose speciality is cedar plank smoked salmon. Yum.

That was where we saw our first eagle.

One of the other interesting aspects to enjoy at Squirrel Cove is the (sometimes) connecting lake. In fact getting there is half the fun. There is a small stream that will allow a dingy to pass through at high tide. No motor is needed. In fact, it is still too shallow and there are too many rocks to have your motor in the down position. So you just position yourself in the mouth of the stream and sort of guide yourself with your oars as the "rapids" push you through. These are called the reversing rapids.

OK, so now you've (we've) explored the lake, watched the little fish and big star fish and are ready to return. If you've planned well, slack has passed and the rapids have now reversed. This doesn't happen quickly though, since the cove water is still higher at slack than the lake. We are getting mellow by now. So we pulled into a shady spot, relaxed and chatted with other boaters. Some folks had had enough of the lake and were ready to get back to their boats and have happy hour and/or dinner. It was wonderful. They made it through but not without a lot of fuss. The men were up to their hips in the stream trying to pull the dinghies through.

Meanwhile the others were trying to push from behind, row, or push off the rocks with oars. They felt they had accomplished something and we had marvelous entertainment.

We never did wait for the rapids to reverse. When the water level was high enough, we were able to motor through with the motor in the mid position.

After a few days at Squirrel and no internet access for over a week, it was necessary to move. So we headed south to Cortes Bay which supposedly has wireless thru the entire bay. That turned out to be true. BUT with the high winds and the boat swinging around, it was difficult to keep the directional antenna in the correct position. That, plus the thought of an uncomfortable night at anchor (the winds were already over 25kph) made us decide to up anchor.

Campbell River was our next destination. We had already arranged for our mail to be sent there. We had a rollicking good time crossing to Campbell. The winds were 30 to 35, but the swells were not bad, 3-4 feet. So, "No Worries Mate". Except that we still had our dingy in the water, towing it as most folks do in these parts. We were a little nervous about that, not wanting it to flip with the motor on. As we watched it though we could see it was doing quite well. And we were so happy to have our hard dodger protecting us from the ocasional aggressive waves.

So here we are in Campbell River. Many other boats joined us for a protected dock. We are back in civilization...a real town, with shops, movies restaurants, and our mail, the works.

Bill has spent quite a bit of time with boat chores and updating the software on our computers. We are fully stocked and ready to roll tomorrow, not expecting to find much in the way of provisioning for weeks.

Yahoo! We are ready to finally catch some fish and crabs...none as yet. Wish us luck.

Bye for now.
Mary and Bill

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