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Our Journey on Scolamanzi II
Our Journey on Scolamanzi II

The Beautiful Fiordlands of British Columbia

Fullscreen capture 5052016 90052 PM

 

The Fiordlands of BC via Shearwater.

30th April – 3 May 2016:

The following morning, we departed for Shearwater via Gunboat passage.

We were lucky to see three killer wales / orcas right at the entrance to Shearwater. One of them was the tiniest baby I have ever seen –  it almost looked like a small dolphin!  We docked and then went to the hotel to book into the marina. This early in the season the marina office was still closed. Then off to the fishing store for 200’ of sinking line for the prawn traps and a few items at the well-stocked store.

It was great to see Kama Hele Kai (KHK) pulling in behind us on our return.  Roger and Arlene took us out for dinner that night. Just as I thought: I can get use to this situation of the two boats cruising together – I have noticed the that the handshake/hug between the men does not look as it that is going to happen any longer! Sadly, we had to say goodbye with the faint hope that maybe we will meet again on our way north! Little did we know…

 

We were just warming up the engines early the next morning when KHK was silently leaving the dock. A big “last” wave … and then we have left for what will be the ultimate highlight of our Northern BC cruise – the Fiordland National Park.

The Fiordland is a vast and largely uninhabited National Parkland of British Columbia. The many inlets and fjords has been formed by glacier action that carved these narrow, finger-like inlets, lined with high cliffs (almost perpendicular to the water) and mountains that looks like giant boulders rising 2000’ above us with beautiful snow-capped peaks.

Every valley has a lake which after the winter snowmelt or rains overflow into hundreds of waterfalls flowing into the waterways. Some plunging hundreds of feet vertically into the sea. The contrast on a clear, sunny day between the blue sky, the dark water, the lush green forested mountains capped by white snow peaks makes this a photographer’s dream.

 

Just as we entered the Fiordland  area, we came across KHK. They were having a problem with a leaking dripless seal on their one prop shaft. After much investigation and a few phone calls on the sat phone the decision was made to return to Shearwater where they could haul the boat and change the seals. We decided to accompany them back to Shearwater to ensure they arrive safely. The 75Nm journey went off without any further problems and they docked at Shearwater just on dark. As Johann will later experienced himself too … Yachting really is about fixing boats in exotic places! 🙂

We anchored in a small bay nearby for the night to get an early start the next morning back to see the fiords. We had our first dungeness crabs that night! What a feast!

 

As Johann said – This is Karma at its best! We ended up with a fabulous sunshine, almost windless day with beautiful crisp and clear blue skies! So much so that we spend most of the time up on the fly bridge for a better view. The fiords were beautiful and breathtaking. The photographs are great but do not convey the scale and vastness of the surroundings. So many times after a shot wished that there was just a boat or a house somewhere to give perspective of the scale of everything. Once we saw a fishing boat and I managed to get it into a picture. I had difficulty finding the boat afterwards … it was so dwarfed by the massive mountains around it.

Kynoch fiord (where we turned around to accompany KNK back) is beautiful and has a massive waterfall – basically an overflow of a big lake just to the back of it. We went to the very end of the Kynoch inlet and attempted to anchor. Unfortunately, the flow out of the lake kept pushing the boat towards the shallows and we had to leave.

It was very unfortunate. There was some excitement in the air – one could almost feel it. Wildlife is waiting for the salmon to return to their natal rivers to spawn. The river was flowing strongly, lots of seagulls and crows sitting on the river banks, on a broken tree trunk was a big bald eagle waiting and watching and out in the bay about 6 seals were hanging about. The air was thick with expectancy. We tried to do the same but could not control the boat for much long with safety and a pair of binoculars can become pretty heavy after 30 min!

We left with the thought to rather see as much as we can and anchor for the night in nearby Windy Bay which was lovely and calm. We made use of every last bit of daylight to end the day at Mussel Inlet – stunning end to a stunningly beautiful day. This is supposed to be the bear hangout of the Fiordland – well we must have arrived smack bang in the middle of bear-nap-time as not a single one showed up. Some places you come across during your travels will always stay with you. The Fiordland of BC, Canada is clearly one of them.

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Mussel Inlet

 

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