Day 9: Port McNeill to Shelter Bay

Day 9: Port McNeill to Shelter Bay

Saturday, June 22

We crossed a calm and misty Queen Charlotte Strait today, leaving McNeill just after 9 am and arriving at Shelter Bay on the mainland just after 3 pm. Somewhere out in the middle there was a huge raft of birds — a mix of rhinoceros auklets and gulls and maybe lots of others that we didn’t identify. We skirted the Millar Group of islands, then raised the main to take advantage of a northwest wind as we angled across the strait to our anchorage.

Shelter Bay is a beautiful place with a lovely sandy beach. We’ve been here twice before and have found the perfect spot to anchor Snug where it’s deep enough (the sandy beach shelves out) and where the rocks are avoided (there are charted rocks in this little nook). We launched the kayaks and paddled up the coast about 1 1/2 nautical miles. There were no waves hitting the shore, but the kayaks rose and fell with the swells giving us a west coast kind of experience. Huge mussels, gooseneck barnacles and robust seaweeds cling to the rocks here and the trees on the islets are swept back by the prevailing winds.

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