Logbook: Blind Channel Resort, Cormorant Islands Marine Park, Port McNeill, Blunden

Decision: When we left Octopus Islands we decided we were bound for the Haida Gwaii if we could sail (mostly) there. We wanted to go to Port McNeill, top up on fuel and food, buy parts to finish our watermaker install, and from there cross Queen Charlotte Strait and wait for a weather window to cross Queen Charlotte Sound and Hecate Strait – preferable in a single passage. The reason we wanted a passage (you don’t need one, Hecate can be crossed from the mainland in a single 40nm run) was to test out some our gear again and for practice.

This meant that we were on a mission to book it North. We beat in medium winds from Octopus Islands to Blind Channel Resort to spend a single night. It was a blue sky day and the scenery around the resort was quite nice. We didn’t do the hikes. Had a chance to see MV Far Out again whom we met in Barkley Sound last year.

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It was our bad timing to find out that the restaurant was not yet open (no burger/beer) and that they were out of ice cream at their tiny store. Another shocker was that they wanted $5.25 for a shower. No thank you – we can shower aboard for $10.50. At least they had laundry at a normal price.

From there we had a light wind forecast in Johnstone and we agreed to motor to Port McNeill. Apparently a light and variable wind forecast means SE winds up to 20 knots and, to our delight, we sailed fast downwind instead. This meant we overnighted slightly short of Port McNeill at Cormorant Channel Marine Park which was really lovely and a bummer that we left again the next morning without paddling around. It is definitely worth exploration.

We enjoyed Port McNeill a lot more than Port Hardy last year. With the RONA hardware store we were able to buy almost everything we needed for our watermaker install and a few other items (the local marine store didn’t have much and employs at least one jerkstore unfortunately – we were wondering if it was just us but friends of ours got pushed past their limit and told the dude off). The IGA grocery now gets fresh produce only twice a week but we lucked out and it was loaded with nice looking stuff and we had ice cream and lattes a few times.

The info center was extremely helpful, letting us print a document, giving us advice on a few issues we were having and they have an internet kiosk inside as well. The public library (also with internet kiosks but I think you might need to be a library member – I am) is just around the corner.

We hung out with SV Baraka again and met the Australian flagged vessel SV Baidarka as well. Fun times.

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We did *nothing* in Blunden except boatwork, relaxing and hanging out with SV Baraka. Last year we  explored the area including the lagoon but this year the NW winds were strong (which is why we stayed a few days) so we let ourselves remain boat bound.

2 comments:

  1. Wonderful!
    So glad to hear you enjoyed our little hometown Port McNeill! The people are fantastic there, it is truly a provisioning paradise with everything in walking distance.

    Sorry to hear your marine store experience wasn't the best. Too know him is to love him, even through the grumpiness!

    You also found one of our spots we fondly refer to as "little gem" Miles Inlet! Such a beautiful place & fun to explore. Perhaps you will see it again one day!

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  2. I'm glad to hear you've found his soft interior!

    We loved Miles. Just gorgeous. It will be quite sometime before we will see it again someday unfortunately for us but it will be a delight to return to.

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