Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Day 3: Gibson Cove to Leroy Cove, Oak Bay

Early morning stillness and fog over the mountains
Sunday, July 13: Gibson Cove to Leroy Cove, Oak Bay  
I awoke early again for sunrise around 5:40am, and was greeted by about 10,000 mosquitos when I opened the door to the cockpit. It was the craziest thing I've ever seen. I pushed my way through and up onto the bow for sunrise pics before waking Ben up for coffee around 7:30am. We wanted to get an early start on the trip to Oak Bay, where we thought we could hole up against the forecasted strong West winds.

Fog en route to Oak Bay entrance
 Just as we were preparing to leave, a misty fog moved in and we had to decide whether to stay put or to go for it. The wind was building, and not wanting to delay any longer, we untied our lines from shore and started on our way. It was a heavy fog all the way to the entrance to Oak Bay, where it started to lift just a bit. Turning in, we were impressed by the stunning view even in the fog.

A little help anchoring again :-)
As we passed through Oak Bay, we made note of all the harbors on Hotham Island that looked like good anchorages for future visits.  Just before the narrow channel that leads to the east end of Oak Bay, we poked in to "Pixie Cove" but it was too full of weeds to anchor. By now the west winds were howling and we were getting desperate for a safe place to tuck into. Searching for the entrance to Leroy Cove, we thought there was no way the tiny cut in the rocks was really the entrance. Luckily, a man on a fishing boat took notice of our confusion and came by to help.

"Have you been here before" he asked. We said "no," and his response was "I can tell." :-)  Norm directed us to follow him through the narrow entrance to Leroy cove, where we would be protected from the wind. Through the entrance, if you cut it into thirds, a rock shelf extends across the right 2/3, and you need to navigate directly through the center of the farthest left 1/3. Scary in that strong wind!

Once inside, we anchored in the center to swing, and Norm introduced himself as "The Old Man from the blue cottage." (on South Hotham harbor). We chatted for a bit, and also met the guys from "Tuggin'" and "Wings" who were out fishing in their dinghys. Norm invited us to happy hour on their dock, but with the strong winds we didn't feel comfortable leaving the pickle alone.

Reading in lil' pickle
The rest of the day was spent somewhat uncomfortably swinging in the wind, until it died down late in the evening. We spent the day kayaking, fishing, napping, eating and overall just waiting for the wind to calm down! The evening mosquitos were not nearly as bad here, but perhaps that was due to the wind.
Another boat dinner

Looking out Leroy Cove - divide the channel into thirds, and in this pic you'd need to stay in the center of the right 1/3. Look to the left as you go through and you can easily spot the rock shelf 2 feet underwater!
Port Departed: Gibson Cove (NE Fox Island) 9:10am
Port Arrived: Leroy Cove, Oak Bay (north of Hotham Island) 11am (by the time we anchored)

Weather: Foggy morning, then clearing. Warm 70 degrees. Choppy. Strong West wind

What & Where we Ate: Coffee & coffee cake for breakfast; 1/2 Sandwich & Soup for lunch; Chili dogs and salad for dinner.

Money Spent: $0