July 11, 2017: A cove to ourselves

Walt and I enjoyed wonderful hot showers in the Toba Wildernest restroom facility after an excellent night at the dock (Joy had taken hers on Monday night); Walt filled Braesail’s water tanks and disposed of the ship’s garbage; and we were motoring away westward toward Teakerne Arm by about 10 am on a splendidly sunny morning. As usual, there was very little wind, but the scenery was superb: cerulean water upon which sunbeams skipped and twirled, numerous islands in all shapes, heavily forested hills, tall granite cliffs that look as if someone had spilled white paint down a black rock face or black paint over a white one, and soaring mountain peaks sprinkled with powdered sugar snow. I spent a little time standing in the bow as Braesail sliced through the wavelets–I love feeling the fresh wind in my face, drinking in the scent of the sea, and experiencing the sensation of being VERY WELL and thankful for God’s multitude of blessings!

The wind increased a little as we approached our destination, an extremely deep, steep-sided anchorage at one side of which a feathery 90-ft. waterfall trips over a cliff edge, tumbles down several large rock “stairs,” and falls foaming into the sea.

Teakerne Arm waterfall
Cassel Lake Falls at Teakerne Arm

We decided, however, that we didn’t have enough anchor chain and rope to anchor safely, especially since secure stern-tying points seemed scarce. So on we motored to nearby tree-and-rock-lined Talbot Cove, where we found ourselves to be the only vessel present (a nice surprise!); we dropped our anchor at a bit after 2 pm into about 40 ft. of cool (around 67 degrees) jade-green water and ate sandwiches for lunch.

Walt crawled into the aft cabin for a nap and Joy and I sat in the cockpit and read and wrote, since we had minimal connectivity and could send email. Suddenly, the wake-up and anchor-movement alarms on Walt’s smartphone sounded! Joy and I had just  noticed that Braesail had swung around so that her bow was pointing back toward the shore, but then we were distracted by the sight of a large, white lace jelly swimming near the boat and our change in position didn’t quite penetrate our consciousnesses. It appeared that our anchor had slipped, so Walt used the bow thruster to turn the boat around so that her stern faced the shore, and he decided that he would have to stern-tie after all. After determining that the anchor was now well set, he rowed Coracle to the beach, clambered over the myriad small rocks and broken shells, looped the yellow stern-tying line around a tree trunk a good distance away from the water’s edge, and found that he didn’t have enough line to reach Braesail’s stern. He tried pulling the boat toward the shore while I put the engine into reverse, but there still wasn’t sufficient line. Back to the boat he rowed, took two pieces of heavy black line from one of the lazarettes in the stern and tied them to each other and to the end of the yellow line, and then attached the lengthened line to a stern cleat. The resulting two lines became tangled, however, so he had to row ashore again to free them, and got a bit wet in the process (a not unpleasant experience!), but now the boat was secure for the night!

With the boat secured at last, a tired skipper took a shower and then did some reading while Joy and I prepared a a tuna/pasta supper. Joy did the dishes while Walt and I considered the places we might visit and the routes we might take between now and Joy’s departure for California next Tuesday. She and I played two games of Farkle after I again spent some time sitting on the bathing platform, kicking and splashing my feet in the pleasantly warm water, listening to an avian serenade, and watching small, puffy clouds gather to see what the lone sailboat was up to in their quiet, verdant cove! We finished our day with tea and chocolate biscotti, and looked forward to visiting Refuge and Squirrel coves on the following day.

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