To Queen Charlotte Sound

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Mon 22 Feb 2021 00:46
Noon Position: 40 47.9 S  174 09.3 E
Course: SE  Speed 4 knots
Wind: NW  F3 Sea: slight  Swell:  negligible
Weather: sunny, warm
Day’s run: 38 nm

Yesterday afternoon, at 1600, we made our way into Port Hardy. Allman Bay proved to be a pretty spot. A couple of runabouts were hauled up on a beach and a small timber fishing boat was dried out, careening on another beach. I motored into the bay watching the echo sounder expecting it to shoal in accordance with the contours on the chart which indicated a depth of four meters inside the bay. But the depth did not decrease. We motored within a couple of boat lengths of the beach and it was still fifteen meters deep and a mere fifty meters out from the shoreline the depth increased to over twenty meters. I had been warned that the sounds in this region are mostly deep up to the shoreline, but I was expecting the chart to be somewhere close to the mark and for the cruising guide to give a better indication of the depths. I decided to seek shelter in another bay a bit further in.

The next bay in was Philante Bay. A Beneteau was secured to a mooring where I had thought to anchor. Again, I motored in towards the shore and again the depth refused to shoal. I could see two other moorings in the southern part of the bay. I knew they would be private but wondered whether it would be okay to use one of them for the night. I swung Sylph around astern of the Beneteau and shouted out “Ahoy”. Its occupant emerged on deck. I asked him about the moorings. He advised me that they would likely belong to one of the local cruising clubs and that he could see no problem with me using one of them for the night. I thanked him, re-engaged the engine, and proceeded to the small cove at the southern end of the bay. It was quite close into the shore and well sheltered from the wind, so I had no difficulty picking it up.
We settled for the evening, had dinner, and watched a movie. It was nice to be able to relax and get good night’s sleep (though the mozzies were a nuisance).

This morning I awoke at seven and decided to get under way immediately so that we could get to Queen Charlotte Sound and find somewhere to anchor before sunset. We dropped the mooring and motored out of the bay. At the entrance to Port Hardy there was still very little wind so I decided to motor through Stephens Passage, a half mile wide channel between Stephens Head and some steep craggy rocks (Saddle Rocks), beyond which lay Stephens Island. There were overfalls and eddies marked on the chart and we were approaching maximum ebb but conditions were calm and peaceful and the shortcut would save about four miles of motoring.

Negotiating the passage proved straightforward and twenty minutes we were through and past its minor turbulence. Beyond the passage, after a little more motoring, we found a light breeze sufficient to set sail. Given the breeze was less than ten knots I decided to break out the drifter which had not had an airing for quite some time. It is pleasing to see Murray Swan’s* flying kangaroo once more flying ahead of Sylph.
This evening we will make for either Ship Cove or Resolution Bay. Hopefully we will be able to find somewhere in one of these bays to anchor or borrow a mooring for the night.

All is well.

*A previous owner of Sylph who passed only a year or so ago.