M/V DESERT VENTURE
Places We Go – The Broughton Archipelago
August 4, 2008
The Broughton Archipelago is a group of islands, including part of the mainland coast just to the east of the northern tip of Vancouver Island, BC. A good hop off spot on Vancouver Island is Port McNeill. We spent eleven days in Port McNeill, attending to oil/oil filter changes for main engines (the generator was done a couple weeks ago), provisioning, laundry, and mostly waiting for the return of our auto pilot. It needed a small repair, and so we decided it was a good time to send both units and the controller in to the company for repair and full hardware/software upgrades. Now all is back in place, and working wonderfully and we are off into one of our favorite places to cruise – The Broughton Archipelago.
The weather scene has changed significantly from our “idyllic summer” in Desolation Sound. As I mentioned in the last blog, we are experiencing a lot of marine layer, much less sun, and lower temperatures. The sun, if it comes out is in the later morning or afternoon. We watched a huge fog bank roll in yesterday afternoon, while in Simoon Sound. It looked quite ominous, as if it was coming to get us…something out of the black lagoon. The fog never settled on the water, though.
Since departing Port McNeill on July 30, we have visited four different locations. We anchored in Jennis Bay, O’Brien Bay in Simoon Sound, and now Waddington Bay. We spent two nights at Shawl Bay Marina. Each time we moved it was a flat voyage of about 18 miles, with an average of three hours per trip. Whew…such long and grueling trips…one can hardly wait to get “there”. J For us, this is not true, though. The scenery is par none in our opinion. We are busy watching for water hazards, of course, but we are also just enjoying the absolute beauty. Some people see only trees and water after a few days. And I can see how one might feel that way, but I see wonderful driftwood, beautiful rock walls, and courageous islets that insist on being, in spite of the harsh climate. Please note the “antebellum” lichen hanging from the trees. I think of this kind of lichen as being what you would see in the bayous of Louisiana and think of it as “antebellum”.
I see beautiful water lines that words can’t express. There is so much color – dozens of shades of green, and the rock walls are full of color. A change in light can change a view completely. It is a marvel when the walls present themselves with evergreen trees clinging all around. If you look close one might think that the trees are growing on rock! I would be hard pressed to believe otherwise in some cases. If the trees that live right at the waterline, aren’t in rock, how does the ground where the roots are, filter out the salt, that would otherwise kill them? In many places it is quite obvious where the high tide line is, as that is where the bottom of the limbs are as they hang over the water.
The changing of the tide changes the view, too. What you see at high tide and at low tide are quite different and can be quite intriguing. I have dozens of low tide shore side pictures. If the water is absolutely calm, you get beautiful reflections in the water, mimicking the ground/rock/trees above. Though we have heard different names, we call these reflections “Water Totems”. Using your imagination, the reflection creates a new “whole” view. I have rotated the pictures so you are looking at the vertical view. What do YOU see when you look at this water totem?? I often see some kind of “space being”. If this was an inkspot what would the “doctor” say? J I think this guy is saying – Smile! This serious fellow has his “eye on you”.
I think there are bugs and butterflies in this one – what do you see? I loved the all the shades of green and gray.
And here are a couple good “Water Totems” from our 2006 trip.
We get alot of pleasure looking at all the sights. It really is overwhelming when you think of how long these mountains have been here and how long the trees have looked down on these same waterways. Boats have come and gone, but in reality only a small hand full have come to this wilderness. It remains wild and independent of us few. It is pristine in its beauty of pure natural design. Nature at its best.