The rain falls in Ocean Falls

It rained much of Thursday night and was still raining heavily by about 9 am Friday morning (May 27), so we thought about spending another day in Kisameet Cove. By about 10 am, however, things were looking a bit drier and brighter, and we decided to motor up Fisher Channel to Cousins Inlet to Ocean Falls as planned.

A “window” into Fisher Channel from Kisameet Cove
Another island “window” on the other side of the cove

As we were preparing to depart, I noticed that the same mysterious white foamy substance that we’d seen in Oyster Bay was flowing out of the rapids here near the boat and drifting around the cove! IT’S BACK AGAIN! Is it something that washes off the local flora during heavy rains and is then swept downstream, through the rapids, and into a body of water? (See the comment by Martin Knowles about “sea foam” or spume; I think that I was on the right track in my musings about this bubbly white stuff!)

From Kisameet Cove in Kisameet Bay (bottom left) to Ocean Falls (top right)

There was almost no wind but there were plenty of showers as we traveled, and as clouds drifted about the mountain tops, lowering and lifting and lowering again in an ongoing game of “hide-and-peak.” We were treated to marvelous views of snow-draped summits and sweeping ice fields as more and more of them appeared off our starboard side and far ahead of us around every bend in the waterway. Small rapids poured into the sea here and there along the shores, and long slender cataracts threaded their way down the mountains’ dark granite slopes as we passed the little village of Martin Valley (to which some residents of Ocean Falls moved when the Crown Zellerbach mill closed around 1980) and then docked in (well named!) Ocean Falls, just as an energetic downpour arrived to greet us! Two fellow boaters came down the dock to help us tie our lines, and I was very grateful.

Heavy showers and wind gusts have continued well into this evening, and we are happy to be secured to the dock with six fenders (large, inflated sausage-shaped plastic “pillows” that hang over a boat’s side to protect it) between it and Braesail’s hull! I had hoped to do laundry, put our recyclable items into the onshore bins, and take some walks around the village (I haven’t been off the boat since we were in Port McNeill eight days ago, but I exercise onboard every day), but I’ve chosen to read and write here in Braesail’s “saloon” instead. Ocean Falls was a pulp and paper mill town that was abandoned when the mill closed, but the dam (that generates electricity for several towns) with its spillway and the large waterfall below, a large salmon hatchery (which should be closing soon because the Atlantic salmon smolt it produces are a danger to the local salmon), a small guest house, a largely unused municipal building that houses a post office, a boat repair facility, and a tiny gift shop and an ice cream shop are all that remain active throughout the year. Perhaps I will simply brave the rain and at least get the recycling taken care of later tonight (it’s still light at nearly 10 pm here). If we stay here on Saturday, I will go out for a stroll around the village no matter what!

One thought on “The rain falls in Ocean Falls

  1. It’s the remains of Mother Nature’s morning protein shake. 🙂

    No, seriously: according to one of my friends who used to work at the Vancouver Aquarium, the foam you’re seeing is likely sea foam–basically, protein buildup that gets churned up (mostly from algae blooms, animals spawning, decomposed plant matter–all the usual stuff) and floats out to sea. You’re probably seeing lots of this since it’s spring and the water’s warming up–and there’s lots of runoff due to how cold and damp it’s been. Since you’ve been dropping hook in estuary areas, it’s apparently more common there as well.


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