Sunday, May 30, 2010

The upper coast of BC. Yah gotta be here.

We sit in a rolly Prince Rupert Royal Yacht Club docks, tied to the world for a while. A repair again. Gotta love the sailing life. But we're also enjoying the city life again. Cars are a real novelty, as are french fries.

It's been a while. In the last month, we've been watching out for the cruising kitty, so haven't stayed in any marinas since Dawson's Landing. So we're a little unsocialized.

We covered hundreds of miles through Fiordland Provincial Rec Area, soaked in a couple of hot springs, and learned a few cooking skills. We just watched our engine turn over to 4000 hours, so we're definately motoring much more than sailing in these inside passages. On the flip side, we've been better at going with the tidal currrents to get a push and save diesel.

During the last new moon, the tides were big, and we did a lot of poking around at low tides. We've found some remarkable creatures. Here, let us introduce some of them.

This nudibranch was our first we'd ever seen. We had no idea they were so big. About the size and texture of those big orange-slice gummy candies. But a whole lot more charismatic...

 Some others were the hairy chiton (yes that's seaweed growing on it) and the bat star. The latter smells like sulphur and was in the shrimp trap.
Another visitor included this young dishevelled Brewer's black bird in a foggy rain storm.


On to the hot springs. Life is good soaking in the rain or sun in hot water on a rocky shore. It's really crazy how apey humans get over finding water slightly warmer than body temperature and sitting in it. But why fight it. Our first stop was Bishop's Bay where you can tie to another boat at the dock. This was great.

We rafted to a very reluctant Bayliner from Terrace, BC who admitted they we're worried about it. We decided we were probably their worst rafting nightmare. A sailboat even, and of course, did we say we have a dog?

The boat owner got out his wash broom right after we walked across his back deck the first time. We noticed he gave up after a few more shore trips by us. They also admitted that they usually don't come to this hot springs because they are sooo busy. There were a TOTAL of 5 boats. And they pointed out that three were American. American! Can you believe it?! I soothed his troubled mind by explaining that we weren't here to just take all the fish, but we Americans were also making plans to turn the hot springs into money-making resort ventures. Oh, and to steal all the women.
Boats and boaters have been stopping and writing their names on the walls and leaving carvings in the rafters. We decorated a japanese float we'd found and hung it on the ceiling.

Somebody had set a campfire on the boardwalk or other such stupid thing, so there was a section burned to a crisp and cobbled together. We hope it is rebuilt soon.
After this we motored up to Europa Bay Hot Springs. More remote and mooring bouys to tie up to, we shared this wonderful place with two fishing boats. One boat had his son fly out in his float plane so he could get the newspaper and sports scores.
We thoroughly enjoyed the soaks. Though once again the view was marred by old clearcuts. You'd think the Canadian government would have set aside some land around the hot springs from logging. But I'm sure they have little control over them from the conversations we've had with their contrymen. I can imagine the loggers were just as excited as us to soak off the grime and probably kept them a secret if they could.

Our first real Japanese culinary masterpiece was shrimp sushi here. We made it with 21 of the biggest spot prawns we've caught so far. The processing was a lot of fun. Skewer, boil, cool, unskewer, peel, butterfly cut, make a nigiri (vinegered rice bottom layer) and press it together. Artfully arrange (we need more work on this part, but by this time, we were really hungry), and enjoy with wasabi, pickled ginger, and soy sauce.

If you aren't hungry yet, maybe the tofu paneer cheese and veggie shish kabobs will get you.

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