Sunshine greeted us on Monday morning after we enjoyed a serene sleep, and by about 9 am Walt was pulling in the stern line that he’d wrapped around a small tree on shore on Friday afternoon, I was at the helm, and Joy was watching from the cockpit. As usual, raising the anchor from the rocky bottom took some time and maneuvering, but it wasn’t long before we were motoring away from our anchorage at the very end of Pendrell Sound as the solemn peaks stood sentinel and gravely observed our passage under increasingly cloud-dappled skies.
We traveled back south down the Sound, then north up narrow, shear-cliff-lined, forested-canyon-like Waddington Channel, and then east along Toba Inlet where new ivory-topped towers and turrets reveal themselves along the fjord at every passing of another island, and the rocky castles’ resident cataract maidens, dressed in snowy satin, leap from crag to crag from the mountains’ heights and dive directly into the sea–breathtaking!
We motored for about 10 miles with the wind at our stern, and at Brem Bay, about half way along the 20-mile inlet, we savored the amazing view up the rest of the waterway and decided to turn back before we had to fight significant headwinds and currents during our return to a little marina at “Toba Wildernest,” not far from the junction of Waddington Channel and Toba Inlet, where we had reserved some dock space for the night. We arrived at our destination on the northern shore of the inlet at about 2 pm and Walt skillfully backed Braesail into its space along the nice new dock from which we had a grand view of the nearby islands and the distant mountains. When we were tied securely, Joy and I climbed the steep ramp from the dock to the handsome shelter on the shore overlooking a rock-strewn beach that contained round tables, comfortable chairs and end tables, and pillow-puffed sofas surrounding a portable gas “fire pit.” We found the small building that contained washrooms with showers and a larger room containing an ice dispenser, a freezer, and snorkeling gear, badminton rackets, crayons, and an assortment of books, magazines, and DVDs. While Walt took his normal afternoon nap, Joy and I walked along the mossy foxgolve-lined road/trail that led first over a romping stream that somersaulted down a hill and over many rocks and landed splashingly on the beach, and then climbed past a wide grassy space containing picnic tables, a fire pit, and a large hammock.
The trail then led up a relatively steep slope through thick, fragrant woods to a sign providing information about various other paths in the area. We decided to return to the docks at that point so that Joy’s knees wouldn’t suffer too much stress and to escape the annoying insects that kept us company, and made our way back down the hill, eating a few ripe salmon berries and thimble berries as we went and noting that a good crop of blackberries would be arriving soon. We passed the tiny storybook cabin in the clearing near the bridge over the stream that we had noted on the way up the trail, and remarked on its suitability as a lovers’ retreat.
We returned to Braesail’s comfortable cockpit at around 3:30; Joy remained there to read and Walt and I took our smartphones and laptops up to the shore-top shelter to use the marina’s free wi-fi for catching up on correspondence.How delightful to sit comfortably in the flower-festooned shade, to watch and listen to the liquid laughter of the waves teasing and tickling the rocks on the beach, to hear the chattering and rushing of the nearby stream and the murmuring and hushing of the breeze in the cedars, firs, and hemlocks, all accompanied by a chorus of birds backing some outstanding soloists! After finding that our connectivity wasn’t sufficient for several of our tasks, Joy and I walked along the trail leading in the direction opposite from the one we took earlier in the day. It wandered just above the beach past giant hemlocks arrayed in robes of heavy green moss, over furry rocks and fractured roots, and past tall, stately sword ferns. When our way was blocked by a fallen tree lying across a dry stream bed, we returned to the shelter and discussed supper plans with Walt, who was still there talking with the owner/manager of the marina.
Joy and I walked back to the boat and made salad to go with Walt’s salmon alfredo, and later in the evening we took photos of the warm creamy glow on the peaks across the inlet–a marvelous view indeed! We all managed to catch up on most of the tasks that required connectivity–whew!–so much junk mail to delete! Off to bed we went, giving thanks for a glorious day!