Hello from Ucluelet ,BC

July 19, 2013

 Thurs.,July11 & Friday ,July12

After a night in Zeballos,we travelled southward in Tahsis Inlet and arrived in Nootka Sound- the 3rd Sound on our route. On the way we watched a raft of sea otters, about 70 or so, floating about together on their backs and eating.

On arrival into the Nootka Sound we tucked into  quiet, protected  Santa Gertrudis Cove,and found a trail through the woods which led to a freshwater lake.

Later that evening Carl went fishing with a man we met on a boat in the cove with us. They came back with two salmon- one five lbs and the other 3lbs. We all had supper together on our boat. Carl learnt alot on that little fishing expedition. I think we will be getting fishing gear soon!

Around the point from Santa Gertrudis is the village of Yuquot also known as Fiendly Cove. It is also located beneath the Nootka Lighthouse which is manned 24/7 . The lighthouse was built in 1911 to service Nootka Sound.

Yuquot was the site of the first contact between Europeans and  First Nations People in BC. Captain Cook landed at the cove in 1778 and claimed the land for England.

We hiked up to the lighthouse and met and chatted with the husband and wife who work there- for 8 years. Then we walked a trail that took us to the pebble beach and the freshwater lake where Buddy and Carl went for a swim.

The Williams family lives right at the head of Friendly Cove. The older son, Sanford Williams carves masks, paddles and pictures from yellow cedar. We saw two pieces that we liked and had a nice chat with him.

Sat., July13 & Sun., July 14

Departed Friendly Cove and set sail to head south to West Clayoquot Sound and get safely around Estevan Point on the Hesquiat Penninsula. The wind was very light and the swells and waves were a little confused as the shoreline along this stretch is less deep. It was better when we went offshore a little further. We had 25 miles to travel to Hot Springs Cove Marine Park.

We sailed into a fog bank for awhile and heard a Norwegian Cruise ship blow it's fog horn. Soon we saw it come out of the fog a mile off our right side! We also enjoyed seeing Humpback Whales spouting and swimming not too far from us.

Hot Springs Cove was truly amazing. The 50C water comes out of a rock fracture 5 miles below the earth and comes running down the rocks and collects in natural pools near the shore at the level of the ocean. BC Parks has supplied a well maintained 2 km boardwalk which took us to the Springs. This location is very popular with tourists who come over from Tofino, about 25 mi south, in sea planes and boats to sit in the Hot Springs. Truly a busy place. There were 5 other sailboats there with us, all circumnavigating the Island. We enjoyed the walk and the soak. Buddy enjoyed the walking.

Mon July 15, Tues July 16, Wed July 17

Several Inlets branch inland from Hot Springs Cove and north of Tofino. It is an option for travel to Tofino if you don't want to go offshore to get there. Its not the easiest way as the inlets can be a challenge for navigation with the many rocks and sand bars around but it lets you see all the beaches and shoreline. Fishing boats leave crab pots all over the inlets which also pose a challenge.

We eventually arrived in Tofino on Tues July 16. We have been to Tofino a few times with a car and wanted to see it from the water. We actually weren't impressed. The harbour was very crowded and the docks designated for visitors was full of neglected boats and no space for us to dock. We eventually rafted alongside a pleasure trawler owned by a doctor who lived in Tofino. It was good to walk through town, we got groceries at the CO OP and fresh fish for our supper.

Thurs., July 18

Departed the Tofino area this morning in grey overcast skies and had a gentle downwind sail to Ucluelet. The Ucluelet Harbour is so much better and nicer. It is full of visiting boats and lots of fishing boats but it is managed very well.

As soon as we docked, the sun came out, we walked to a 2.5 km Wild Pacific Trail that took us to the Lighthouse we sailed around earlier and went out for supper on the way back. The evening is cooler and nice and clear.

Tomorrow we venture into Barclay Sound which is full of islands, The Broken Group, popular with kayakers and sailors. Plan to spend 3-4 days exploring there before we head to Victoria via Juan de Fuca Strait.






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