SAILING!!

From Allison Harbor (bottom right) to Fury Cove (top center)

Safely rounding Cape Caution! A black bear! White-sand beaches! Sunshine! Peace and quiet in Fury Cove!

I could have chosen any of these exclamations as the title of my post, but I selected “Sailing!” because this is the first time in 45 days that we have actually SAILED Braesail, and we did so for about 1.5 hours in Queen Charlotte Sound as we approached Cape Caution on Saturday, May 21st. We’d motored out of serene Allison Harbour in the morning as sunshine bathed the anchorage, and the many islands that decorated our passage continued to fascinate us with the shapes and colors of their rocky shores.

A “layer cake” rock formation featuring “spice cake, white cake, and forest green frosting”

Once out in the “open ocean,” we found that the wind was gradually rising and we decided to raise our sails and see what progress we could make along the gorgeously-mountainous B.C. coast. The wind was blowing over our port side and the swells were rolling under us from the same direction, and we were able to travel at around 4 kts. (our speed is usually between 6 and 7 kts. when we’re running the 70-hp diesel engine). The sea was relatively untroubled as we rounded Cape Caution at a good distance offshore,

The Cape Caution light
One of the B. C. Coastal Range’s almost-perfectly-pyramidal peaks as seen during the rounding of Cape Caution

then passed Egg Island with its lighthouse and complex of small white, red-roofed buildings, and entered Fitz Hugh Sound. The trip around the Cape was not stressful at all, since we had selected a good combination of weather, wind direction, and current state, and the mountain scenery as we traveled was superb–at one point, I was able to count 40 distinct, glittering peaks in the B. C. Coastal Mountains to the east!

By mid-afternoon we were threading our way through the islands of the Penrose Provincial Marine Park on the eastern edge of Fitz Hugh Sound and entering the WOW!!-inducing Fury Cove, whose glistening white beaches (composed of sand and tiny shell fragments that are characteristic of the “midden beaches” formed over the course of thousands of years by the disposal of shellfish debris by the Indigenous occupants of the area) looked as if they’d been transplanted from the Tropics.

Above and below: The white sand-and-crushed-shell beaches in Fury Cove

As we were motoring slowly around the cove in search of a good anchoring spot and I was looking at the islands at it borders, I saw a black bear sauntering along the beach on one of the islands, but I was in Braesail’s bow looking mostly at the water and did not have my smartphone–bummer! The bear waded across the nearly-shoulder-high water separating “his” island from the one very near it, ambled up and around the beach leading to the island’s ocean-facing shore among rocks nearly as black as his fur, and disappeared from our view. What a gift for us!

The black bear ambled across the beach of the large island in the center of the photo, waded across to the island to its left, and then made its way through the rocks to the left of the trees and around to their far side.

We dined in the sun-lit cockpit on its folding table and then worked on the planning of the next week of our journey, reading cruising guides and looking at weather predictions and tide/current tables. The sun slipped away at about 9:30 pm but it was still not completely dark as we prepared for bed about an hour later and noticed some fog creeping into the cove when we looked outside. The night was silent and the water still in not-so-accurately-named Fury Cove!

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