Coming in from the Stud Islets, we anchored at the head of Bamfield Inlet. We loaded up the dingy and headed back to the dock in front of the mercantile. It was quite a hike down to the beach. Not really that far but lots of up and down. We arrived a little early so we had some time to walk the beach and check out the tide pools.
As the sun started to set, the rock formations along the coast became even more dramatic. You might say there was a bit of romance in the air.
The party took awhile to get going but once people started to arrive they just kept coming. Some walked in, others came by 4 wheel ATV and some even arrived by boat through the surf. That latter was entertaining to watch. Most did not make it to the beach dry but the night was warm so no one seemed to mind. Once the band got started it was a lot of fun. Everyone was extremely welcoming and did not seem to mind if you from the area or not. Everyone welcomed us and we were included in the conversations. The band was good and pretty entertaining so dancing came naturally. Everyone had a good time.
We were hoisting anchor at 0800 the next morning and we still had quite a hike plus a dingy ride to get us back to the boat so we had to cut the night short. We left about 2230 and there were still people arriving as we started back up the path. About 1/2 way back one of our new friends caught up in their ATV and gave us a ride the rest of the way back to the dingy. That was a very nice surprise. We made it back to the boat without incident.
Next morning we woke to mostly sunshine and a few scattered clouds but not much wind. We left the anchorage on time and headed out of Barkley Sound. The marine layer was a little further off the coast and the swell was comfortable at about 4′ to 5′ at 10 seconds. We enjoyed the magnificent scenery we had missed due to fog on the way up.
We had planned to check back into the US at Port Angeles but they don’t run 24 hours like the Canadian customs do. We needed to be in PA before 2130 when the close. We seemed to be right on schedule until we had to change course and speed do to a few pods of whales on the East end of the Strait. It seemed there were whales everywhere! These were the larger gray whales heading out the Strait. One even rolled and waved a flipper as if to say “see ya all next year” It was a Texas whale. The current started working against us as well so about 1700 we felt our chance to make PA on time was slim to none. Barret contacted the customs officer for Jefferson County and made arrangements for us to meet him in Port Townsend at 0730 the next morning.
At this point we had a bit of wind from the west so put up the spinnaker and sailed for awhile. Basically just slowed the boat down so we would arrive in Port Townsend close to our appointed time. In hind-site, I would have sailed more at the Eastern end of the Strait if we were not going to make PA anyway and enjoyed that passage under sail a little more. Lesson learned for next time.
The wind soon died so we rolled up the sails, turned on the iron jenny and began our night rotation with longer sleep schedules this time. The night was clear so the tension was much less than it had been going out.
We arrived in Port Townsend about 0600 so we sailed around the bay until it was time to clear customer’s. We cleared into the US without incident then headed to Port Ludlow, where we dropped off Barret and Jill, topped up the fuel tank, and headed for Everett.
Once we got out of Port ludlow, the winds climbed up as high as 20 knts so we rolled out the sails and had an exhilarating ride down to Point No Point. It was fun keeping up with all the trawlers heading back from Labor Day Weekend. You could say Admiralty can get a tad crowded at times….
At Possession Point the wind blew itself out for the moment so we rolled up the sails and motored the rest of the way into Everett.
We could not thank our crew, Barret and Jill, enough for joining us on our weekend of “Firsts”. The experiance and confidence gained from this trip will serve as our jump off point to destinations in the future. Pellucidar as officially shaken her status as a “dock queen”!
Keep your fork……