Blog Readers, Blog Readers, Blog Readers come in this is Domino. The boating is good and the weather is fine!
8:00: PORT HARVEY—- Up early to pull crab traps and I have had fabulous luck here in Port Harvey. Funny thing is that for all the thought I put into the placement of the traps I actually caught the most just right off the end of the dock.
Today’s wildlife lesson was on how to determine the length and sex of the crabs. (see photos for crab anatomy)
I have posted a couple of photos of the underside of the crabs. Notice that neither of the crabs has the same shape underneath. On the female crab, the center of the undercarriage is a rounded shape with a triangle at the top. On the underside of the male crab we see that the entire center piece is shaped like a thinner triangle. When I get internet again I will look up what that part is called on the crabs.
9:33: Ropes off and Andrew begins the day at the Helm. It is a sunny day with partially cloudy and a breeze from the south.
Today will be a longer day with about 40.25 NM to travel. Today will be the first time that we are using range markers. We will travel through Chatham Channel and South of Bowers Island. Range markers are two beacons located some distances from each at slightly different heights so that they can be seen at the same time. They generally look like a red signs on a two different poles one behind the other at different heights. You enter the channel and then exam either in front of you to set your course or behind you. The idea is to position the boat with the two channel markers perfectly aligned. You keep your course through the channel by maintain this alignment. If one of the signs were to walk to the port or to starboard it would mean that you are moving out of the safe water. What is the safe water? These areas are generally shallow and often times the channel is the deepest path through that body of water. If you were to travel outside that channel you would more than likely end up aground on rocks or sand bars. So this the local area posting traffic signs to keep the boaters safe through their channels. Safe boaters are happy boaters and obviously a safety measure that ensures safe fishing, safe boating. It is a very old mariner’s low tech solution that is still accepted worldwide, continues to be reliable and does require satellites, radio beacons or any new fangled widgetry.
4:00- Arrived at Pierre’s Echo Bay Resort. We all got into our slips and then walked up the hill and through the wood to Bill Proctor’s house. Billy is a legend in that area of what is called the Rain Coast. This area is also referred to as the Broughtons Archipelago which is full of nice spots for boaters and vacationers from VanCouver Island and BC. Billy has been in and around the area for more than 60 years. He has approximately 80 years under his belt and is considered an expert in the local knowledge of the region. Billy has done everything from trapping, fishing, forestry and logging. He is also a collector and he maintains several small building, one of which is a museum jammed packed full of relics washed ashore or found in the woods which he has been collecting throughout his entire life. It is amazing! The walk through the woods to Billy’s house is a wonderful walk through wildflowers, woods and fields and at the end of the path you see Billy’s chickens and barns and his home. The walk leads you down his substantial private dock and into the coolest little museum that I have seen in a long time. I could have spent hours in there with him. I must have said about a hundred times, “Billy, what is this thing?” He is an extremely humble man and soft spoken. He lights up when he gets to tell stories or talk about the thousands of items in his personal museaum. If you like history and artifacts and stories and chatting and you are boating in this area and you miss visiting with Billy then you have made a massive colossal mistake!
Andrew and I took our time and the group faded back to the boat and we spent another half hour talking with Billy. He bought several books at his little gift shop of local hand crafts. The books we purchased are; “Heart of the Raincoast” by Alexandra Morton and Billy Proctor and “Full Moon Flood Tide, Billy Proctor’s Rain Coast” by Bill Proctor and Yvonne Maximchuk. Yvonne Maximchuk is a local woman who transplanted herself to the area after spending time with Billy on fishing boats as a hand. “Full Moon Flood Tide” was written by Billy and is full of colorful stories about characters in the region. “Heart of the Raincoast a life story”, written by Alexandra Morton is story about Billy’s life. I am reading the books as fast as I can so that when we return on the way back home we can stop by and say hello again and perhaps have a beer and discuss some of the stories in his book.
Cocktail hour on the dock and then everyone up to the new salt water, wood heated hot tub that Pierre had built last year. He had it filled with spring water this time and the water is a little tinted as there is tannin in the ground water from the pine trees. Pierre looks like a serious lumber jack type but once you get him laughing you see how jolly he is! It only took a couple of jokes about serving pancakes to truck drivers in my youth at the Howard Johnson’s and how if you can please a truck driver than you can please anyone so you can imagine where that conversation degraded into!
Pierre is looking for summer help! Gets me thinking about leaving the boat at the slip and flipping pancakes for Pierre for a season. I am sure I could fit fishing, shrimping and crabbing in there somewhere. Oh, to be 24 again!
Domino…….Over……. and standing by on VHF channel 68.
- Left Dock/Weighed anchor: Off the dock at 9:33
- Cruise Log: 40.25 Nautical Miles
- Weather Conditions: Sunny and breezy and clear and wonderful!
- Navigational Obsticals: Using range and channel markers .
- Wildlife Sighting: Eagles everywhere, crabs and shrimp!
- Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Docked at 4:00
- Slip for the night $60 slip, $20 power, $5 a load for laundry and $5 for dryer load ($20) (Propane is expensive to get to Pierre’s)
- Time today Helm for TEA: 2 hrs
- Time today Helm for ACA: 4.5 hrs
- Lessons learned: Channel markers are not that hard as long as you take your time, get your situated and then watch the markers carefully and follow the local knowledge suggestions.