The summer in Port Alberni is hot. Shockingly hot. Which is all the more reason to take the boat out to the Pacific and spend some time anchored out. So far we have taken two trips out the Alberni Inlet and to the Pacific Rim National Park (Broken Group Islands). I do not exaggerate when I say this is some of the most rugged and awe inspiring landscape I have ever seen.
On the first trip we motored the four hour trip out the inlet and anchored in a small bay on Tzartus island. The anchorage was less than comfortable but we were rewarded the next day with enjoying one of the most beautiful beaches I've been on in the Stud Islets. We passed some time catching crabs and rummaging around at low tide for seafood. Finding and shucking an oyster straight from the ocean is quite a different experience than sitting in an oyster bar. We then motored across the Imperial Eagle Channel which is about an hour trip and anchored in the bay at Nettle Island. The Broken Group islands are part of an archipelago that boarders several large inlets and the Pacific Ocean. The islands are a protected park and a place you can truly enjoy nature in its pure form. The weather was pleasant and even sunny at times and the boat performed beautifully. Though it is quite agonizing to not be able to sail.
The second trip was a little less lucky concerning the weather. It rained the entire time. My long time best friend Brian came out for the trip and I dare say he got quite the sea going adventure. The route emulated the first trip with a slight change in that we went further out to Effingham Island in the Broken Group. Within half an hour of anchoring in the bay at Effingham a lone wolf went walking along the shore not a hundred yards from the boat. Between downpours we took all the advantage we could. We knew there were several trails on the island so despite the wolves and rain we took a hike straight across. Up, down, over and between all sorts of obstacles we trekked through a prodigious rain forest. To our surprise we ended up (dirty wet and somewhat exhausted) on the most amazing beach on the far side of the island. I hate to say I didn't end up with many pictures given the permeating wet. This beach was the epitome of my vision of the Pacific Northwest. White sand, huge logs everywhere, seaweed and the most beautiful smell of the sea with swells crashing on the rock. We left Effingham to spend one additional night on Turret Island prior to heading back home. We ate our fill of oysters on Turret and the next day we started the eight hour trip back to Port Alberni. A trip that was not very pleasant given the nonstop heavy rain and three meter cross swells in the Imperial Eagle Channel. Brian left and I began the process of airing out the boat which smelled quite foul. I can only hope he enjoyed his trip, gained a new respect for the sea and an appreciation for the landscape in the PNW. I know I sure enjoyed the company.
Side Note: My blog posts have been few and far between lately due to the internet situation or lack thereof in the marina. I am hastily writing this in the small diner next door. I do have very good news to share however, I have found a place to take the boat in Tacoma, Wa. I hope to begin the trip around Vancouver Island and back into the states in the coming three weeks. It will be a long trip and broken up into stages. If anyone is interested in coming to act as crew for any leg of the trip we would be very happy to have you!