Coracle runs the rapids

When Walt weighed anchor on Tuesday afternoon, he saw that a good-sized crab was grasping the chain, but it let go and escaped before it could be snatched up to become part of a meal. On Wednesday, September 14, when we left Turner Island Cove (also called "Anne Cove" by the authors of one of our cruising guides to the Broughton Islands), the anchor chain was bare, and the rocks outside the anchorage were free of seals, but the waterways through which we motored back through MacKenzie Sound on the head of Grappler Sound and then to a cove near Broughton Lagoon were teeming with lovely islands.

Wednesday's skies were pouty and gray until early afternoon, but they kept any rain to themselves and meandered away later on. After motoring around the head of Grappler Sound and looking at the roiling tidal rapids near one end, we decided that we'd rather travel on to a group of islands near the entrance(s) to vast, granite-and-forest-lined, very lake-l ike Broughton Lagoon. We found a good anchoring spot not far from an energetic tidal rapids that guarded one of the gates of the lagoon beyond, and didn't need to stern-tie this time.

After doing some reading and enjoying refreshing naps, we climbed into Coracle and headed for the main set of rapids at a distance from Braesail's anchoring location. The tide was high but supposedly nearing slack water, and the rapids were running at a good pace into a stretch of swirling water on the other side, but Walt decided that the currents were not dangerously strong, and --WHEEEE!--down the rapids we splashed and swerved! We visited two other sets of rapids that were also plunging from our anchorage into the lagoon and spreading sea foam, leaves, twigs, and other surface debris across the water. We spent the next two hours touring some of the perimeter of Broughton Lagoon as we waited for slack tide and then the change in direction of the rapids that would propel us back into o ur anchorage, trying one set of rapids and then another, and finding that the currents that were still running against us in all three were simply too strong for Coracle's Honda outboard motor to fight successfully, and we had to let the currents spin and shove us back into the lagoon. The sun was warm when it wasn't playing hide-and-go-seek among the hills near the rapids, but the small breeze ruffling the water was quite cool and I was glad I was wearing my windbreaker over my sweatshirt as we bounced over the wavelets near the rapids. After some half-dozen attempts, brave little Coracle finally struggled through the rapids nearest Braesail, and we happily returned to the "mother ship" after an excellent afternoon with the rapids' currents STILL not completely slack. At last, the tide in our anchorage was low enough to cause the rapids to reverse and pour water from the lagoon into our neighborhood. We fell asleep later on with the rapids' rushing accompanying the rocking of o ur dream-boats.

In these photos, you'll see seals on the rocks near our cozy cove behind Turner Island, and one of the excellent views of Mt. Stephens that we enjoyed along MacKenzie Sound. There will be more photos, including some of the rapids, later on.

Sent from Iridium Mail & Web.

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