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Home Port of Seward, Alaska


From Bishop Hot Springs to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island

As you know, we loved Bishop Hot Springs! It was such a lovely location, and then there were the hot springs. A friend told us that he thought that there must be a lot of lithium in the water since he could offer no other explanation for the peace of mind that everyone seems to enjoy while soaking there.

We were fortunate to enjoy some lovely weather, off and on, on our trip through these waters. We've made rapid progress south and now (as we sit tied up in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island) are at the end of our Inside Passage voyage. The last potentially rough crossing, of Queen Charlotte Sound and around Cape Caution, turned out to be a fun, rollicking sail at 7 knots! From here on, we'll be part of the rest of the seafaring people finding anchorages and moorages where we can. On to Campbell River, Vancouver and Victoria!

More "beautiful British Columbia" that lives up to its name! Capt. Vancouver was touching all his bases when naming features: this peak is in Princess Royal Passage. Princess Royal was a narrow, spectacular passage with heavily wooded shores climbing up to snow-covered peaks. Seeing it in the sun is a real gift.

A typical Canadian lighthouse. All have extensive grounds, and lovely white houses with red roofs.

Butedale. A legendary location to boaters for many years, sits along Princess Royal Passage. As hard as it is to believe, British Columbia's coast is more sparsely populated now than it was 80 years ago. At that time, there were tiny lumber camps, canneries, stores, and other tiny settlements all along the various waterways. With the advent of freezing facilities aboard ship and mechanized timber cutting, these tiny oases fell into ruin. Imagine chugging along the Princess Royal Passage at night, with only your own navigation lights to keep you company, and suddenly coming upon an illuminated miniature city driving away the darkness. This is Butedale Falls, source of the hydroelectric system that lit the town and cannery.

The ruins of Butedale: Constructed in 1911 by John Wallace, and owned by the Canadian Fishing Company in 1923, the Butedale cannery is historically significant as part of the system of northern cannery construction and company settlements, representative of British Columbia’s ocean resource-based economy since the 1880s. It is also important as one of the northern, multi-purpose fish plants that achieved, through diversification, year-round operating status. These functions included the cannery, reduction plant (fish drying, especially herring), cold storage and ice manufacture. Butedale is significant for its success in spite of its early and continued isolation. Originally, all of the northern canneries were lonely waypoints served only by steamships, tugboats and fishing boats.

The remains of once-lively Butedale. It's privately owned now, we hear, so we did not stop.

My sweetie enjoying the sun.

Khutze Inlet, afternoon. Stunningly beautiful and totally isolated. It also boasts BIG tidal currents!

Khutze (pronounced "Coots") showing the tidal ripples. We had to reset the anchor several times, a very uncommon situation.

Shearwater Resort near Bella Bella. As our first civilization in several days, it was novel experience. We were able to shower, wash clothes, and eat a fine meal in the lovely restaurant. Unfortunately for us, it was Victoria Day and everything was going to be closed from Friday afternoon to Tuesday.

When supplies arrive by barge, smart people plan ahead. For the rest of us, we get the remains.

Conni's jellyfish in Kwakume Inlet. Huge (more than a foot wide) with tentacles streaming deeply into the water.

This barge is a "log ship" and is used for stacking and carrying enormous numbers of raw logs. It's being pulled by a huge ocean-going tug. This is the justly-feared Queen Charlotte Sound, so I'm sure that the skipper was very pleased with conditions.

God's Pocket Resort. We just had to visit, but protruding steel bolts on the dock just ahead gouged our hull as we tried to moor. We left in a hurry. What kind of idiot resort owner would leave exposed steel bolts on a mooring dock?

Canadian Light House as we enter Port Hardy. Port Hardy is as far north as you can drive on Vancouver Island. Port Hardy was named after Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, former captain of H.M.S. Victory (Hardy was Victory's captain when Admiral Nelson was killed at Trafalgar). With a population exceeding 5000, this turn-of-the-century townsite is now the largest community in the region and the bustling terminal for B.C. Ferries' service to Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) via the Inside Passage and Discovery Coast Passage sailing routes.



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