Sunday, May 30, 2010

The troubles with fjords

The Fiordland area has been more or less set aside from logging, and many of the rivers still seem intact. At Culpepper Lagoon, we paddled up the river at high tide and explored a bit.

Most of the anchorages in this area are exceedingly tight tidal bottlenecks and we ripped through one lagoon entrance at 10.1 knots in Oystercatcher).  Notice the relief on Blain's face after navigating these rapids.

Our charts have been less than helpful in places, but the cruising guides have filled in the slack. Thanks goodness for radar and GPS, though. One crossing out of the Grenville Channel was completely fogbound and we couldn't see 100 yards. The reefs and rocks showed up clearly on both gadgets, and we were relieved to have the extra "eyes". Many of theses areas still have not been mapped. Too remote and too little economic possibility, we suppose. And that's good too. It's all good.

Timing is everything and we've had to hover a few times to wait for the current to slack. One called Kent Harbor was a granite boulder-strewn maze. But we were too busy watching the sides and shallow rock ledges underneath the keel to get any photos.

Crabbing has been good, as has the shrimping, but we're out of those tastey little shrimp baits that Chance goes gaga for. Delicious crab omelettes and sushi. And fresh Dungeness crab croquettes - nothing like it. We decided we will be writing up some of our favorite recipes for folks. Or at least for us later.


Laredo Inlet. See it. It's on Princess Royal Island and is still gorgeous and untrammeled.

We listened to a wolf howl through the night and enjoyed the remoteness. We'll work to get it the video uploaded.

Finally, we found a yew. A western yew tree taxus brevifolia. These slow growing beautiful forest denizens are highly prized for their strong flexible wood - think English longbows and other strong bendy things. They have wonderful medicinal properties and a promising anti-cancer drug is found in their bark. However, there is some concern they might be too highly prized for their own good. Anyway, we were glad to find a few happily growing on a slope amongst their old-growth brethern (or sisteren - they are either one or the other -i.e. dioecious).

After Prince Rupert, it's on to Ketchikan and ALASKA!!!

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