Day 10: Shelter Bay to Millbrook Cove, Smith Sound

Day 10: Shelter Bay to Millbrook Cove, Smith Sound

Sunday, June 23

We left Shelter Bay at six this morning to catch the ebb tide. The sky was clear and sunny and the strait was calm with just a slight ocean swell. Perfect conditions to round Cape Caution! Noticed a large installation of wind turbines at the top of Vancouver Island (way off in the distance). Ron stopped the boat and put a line in the water in a shallow spot just past Cape Caution and hooked into a rocky right away — just like the old days down south. The ferry out of Port Hardy passed by heading north and a power boat overtook us, then turned up into Smith Inlet. Other than one other small sport fishing boat that buzzed by, we were alone on the water all the way to Smith Sound.
Our destination was Millbrook Cove, an anchorage in which we had sought refuge when we were in this area 21 years ago. We were travelling with Mum and Dad in their boat and the three boys were aboard with us. We were heading south but some of us were feeling seasick in heavy swells. We decided to abandon our day plan and head for calm water. Unfortunately the nearest anchorage was inside a number of rocks and small islands and dense fog rolled in making it impossible to see anything. Fortunately we had installed radar for that trip and it saved the day. Dad tucked in close behind us and Ron navigated the channel into the anchorage by radar alone. We were all amazed when the fog lifted and we were in a seemingly land locked bay. No fog hampered our entry this year! Two other sailboats arrived after us.
We paddled the perimeter of the bay and ventured outside for a short distance. Didn’t see much in the way of sealife in the water — maybe the tide was too high and it would have been more interesting at low tide. There were numerous eagles perched at the entrance to the cove and later we saw a group of gulls diving on a herring ball; I guess that’s why the eagles were congregated. Sitting in the cockpit for happy hour, we watched an osprey wheeling around, dive and catch a fish. Beautiful sunset!

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