Bull Harbour

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 31 May 2015 22:16
Position: 50 55.00 N 127 56.24 W
At anchor Bull Harbour, Hope Island
Wind: North West, F1 light air
Weather: overcast, mild
Day's run: 43 nm (1400 – 2245)

Late yesterday afternoon it became apparent that we were not going to be able to get to Blunden Harbour before the tide turned. I looked for other options. The first was to stay at sea and flop around in the short swell with no wind, as we had done the night before. This I was not at all keen on. Having another look at the charts, the nearest viable anchorage was Bull Harbour on the south side of Hope Island, some fifteen miles away. It meant a bit of a detour, entering Queen Charlotte Strait via Goletas Channel, something I had not previously considered. I altered course to the south, and trimmed the sheets accordingly. By 21.00 the wind had dropped to almost nothing, so with only about six miles to go, I started the engine and we motored the rest of the way. As we entered the channel and crossed Nahwitti Bar at its mouth the GPS indicated that we were doing eight knots across the ground, but interestingly once we had crossed the bar our speed dropped off to about four and a half knots. Clearly the shallows of the bar causes the tidal flow to accelerate significantly.

While it was well after sunset by the time we were entering the harbour, there was still a reasonable amount of twilight to see by, which was just as well as the harbour is only small and its entrance quite narrow. Indeed, the dark steep sided bluffs that passed close by on either side as we motored slowly into the harbour were an impressive sight. Once past these mythic looking sentinels a flashing white light became visible marking the end of a small public dock, which we turned towards to guide us into the start of the narrow winding channel. On our left lay a small island, Norman Island, which we circled around until we were on its northern side, then turned to the north into a small basin where we glided to a halt and anchored at the top of the tide in nine and a half meters of water, at 22.45. I was very glad to be able to look forward to a peaceful night.

I slept until about seven this morning, and after breakfast studied the charts and the tide tables to see whether it was feasible to move on, but soon came to the conclusion, with the tide ebbing for the afternoon that we may as well stay put and press on tomorrow morning when the tide woudl be favourable. Consequently, I have spent most of today thus far doing some boat chores, namely greasing the stern tube and propeller shaft bearings and the rudder post bearing. A messy job, but having done a fair bit of motoring recently, and very likely with quite a bit more to come, with the myriad channels that lie ahead of us, and probable light winds, I thought it might be a good idea to give this part of Sylph's anatomy a bit of attention.

Now that that job is completed, and the grease that I managed to get in my hair shampooed out, the question is, shall I put the dinghy in the water and go for a stroll ashore.

All is well.