S/V Hello World's Travel Log

kwatsi bay

On our way out of Cracroft, we started seeing what looked like hundreds of dolphins screwing around in the Inlet - literally, some of them were jumping out of the water and doing corkscrews as they bellyflopped back in. They turned out to be Pacific white-sided dolphins and a bunch of them played in our bow wave and around the boat for 30 minutes or so, all while we were motoring along (I thought they'd only do this if we were sailing - glad to be proven wrong!). They'd make eye contact with us as they were playing in the bow wave - turning on their side and just looking at us - as if they were as amazed at us as we were at them. What fun!! Even after they took off, we had an amazing motor up to Kwatsi Bay - this whole area has steep, rocky, evergreen covered slopes, with twists and turns in the inlets and low fog that makes it seem out of this world. There are no houses or buildings on shore. Once in a while we'll see a floating fish farm tucked into a corner somewhere and the only other boats we see tend to be fishing boats. I have no idea who owns all this land - presumably logging companies or the Canadian government. There are a few clear cut patches that we see, but more often than not, we see areas of regrowth. Extraordinary scenery to be sure.

Kwatsi Bay is much of the same, but with waterfalls. It reminded us a lot of Princess Louisa Inlet, but less crowded. We spent about 3 hours trying to anchor, eating lunch and then trying to anchor again, but continually dragging on what sounded like solid rock. So after 3 or 4 attempts, we called it quits and hit the little marina at the end of the bay. There were a few other boats there and we had a great happy hour. One of the boats, s/v Tantalus, had caught a 50lb halibut that day and couldn't eat it all, so they doled out giant fillets to the other boats on the dock - yum!! The owner of the marina, Max, was fabulous - great storyteller and has lived in the area for 20-or-so years, so he gave us lots of good suggestions for anchoring (both in Kwatsi, which we did the next night, and for the rest of the Broughtons). The following day, we were rowing around in the dinghy to go see the waterfall and Jason looks over to the dock and swears he recognizes the Westsail that's docked there. Sure enough, it was our old neighbors from Shilshole who circumnavigated Vancouver Island going the opposite way of us - what are the chances? Had a great time catching up with Jay and Tony on s/v Snowgoose and got more great advice on the west coast.

That brings us to our change of plans. We've been having such a great time exploring British Columbia, that our original plans of heading to Alaska were modified to trying to make it to the Queen Charlotte Islands. Now we've modified it again to just circumnavigating Vancouver Island. (just!) But this area is just so amazing and we know that north of here is even more so, that we're already talking about when we'll come back.

This guy kept turning sideways to look at me. "What are you doing up there? All the fun is down here, man."

On a couple exhales, I actually got wet. Mmmmm... dolphin spit.

Lots more photos and videos of the dolphins here.

On our way up to Kwatsi Bay.

The docks at Kwatsi Bay. We love this place.

This is the whole "marina" at Kwatsi Bay.

Christy shaking our bear rattle. "Here bear, c'mon here bear!" I don't think she understands the purpose behind the bear rattle.

Picking up our stern line.

Leaving Kwatsi Bay.

50°52.069'N 126°15.048'W


Nicola O. said...

great post -- and that last photo is just wonderful

aileen said...

the dolphins are beautiful. how fun to see them close!