The brief motor trip from O’Brien Bay in Simoom Sound on Sunday morning to the Echo Bay Marina was a pleasant one made under mostly cloudy skies. The resort/marina was purchased by the local First Nation in 2020 (visit https://kwaxwalawadi.com/ for information) and has been a popular destination for boaters for many years. Our tying up at the dock was assisted by Jackson from the marina and his young dog, Coco, and by Jim from the Nordic Tug, Sea Spirit–we had encountered him and his crew twice before, at Port Neville and at Lagoon Cove.
It wasn’t long before Walt and I were in our dinghy, Coracle, and trying to coax the Honda outboard motor into agreeing to power us around the nearby point of land to the other side of a small peninsula to the cove above which Billy Proctor’s famous museum is located (I had hiked over to the museum from Echo Bay when we visited the area in 2017, but Walt’s deteriorating knees made the walk too uncomfortable for him to undertake). At last, the Honda cooperated and we were soon rounding the point into unexpectedly energetic winds, currents, and small waves, and I, in Coracle’s bow, began to have my face splashed with VERY cold water repeatedly–AAARGH! I yelped and hung on to the dinghy’s starboard bow grip during the dowsing, and it wasn’t long before we were tying up–in sunshine!– at the dock in Billy’s Cove below a little cluster of buildings (home, gift shop, workshop, museum, replicated school room, replicated logger’s cabin, etc.).
Both Walt and I were rather damp and cold, but we had a delightful time being shown around Billy’s fascinating Museum and some of the other buildings by the legendary, 88-year-old Billy Proctor himself. He could be considered the “Elder” (in the First Nations’ sense) of the settler community in the Echo Bay area, being a native son, a fisherman and logger, a beachcomber/collector of a mind-boggling array of found and donated items old and new, a storyteller, a writer, and a marvelous character to whom to listen as he tells you about his treasures (you can find more information about Billy and his Museum, with MANY photos, here: https://trailertrawlerlife.com/visiting-billy-proctor/).
Walt purchased a book about Haida Gwaii in the well-stocked souvenir store before we climbed back into Coracle for the return ride to the marina. About half the way back, the Honda outboard motor gave up and Walt had to begin to row–fortunately, wind, current, and wavelets were helping us this time! Walt had rowed most of the way when we encountered Jim in his dinghy–he offered to tow us the short distance back to Braesail, and we accepted. Soon Walt was disassembling the motor to see what the problem had been–he thinks he knows and has solved it–we’ll see when next we launch the dinghy and try to start the Honda! During the rest of the afternoon, Walt and Jim had a great time sharing knowledge and experiences while I tried to catch up on email and blog-writing.
After supper, I noticed that a spectacular sunset was beginning to light the sky, and as I was climbing onto the dock with my smartphone in hand, Sandy, a very nice lady from a nearby boat, passed by and asked if I’d like to join her on a “sunset hunt,” and I said YES! We climbed up to a good vantage point, took photos, and shared stories, and had a wonderful time experiencing together the breathtaking beauty before us. WOW!