The Broughtons. Alert Bay to Echo Bay



Pierre & mate at Echo Bay courtesy of Teri Weronko

Our destination this afternoon/evening is Pierre’s Echo Bay Marina.  We have about 25nm to cover before reaching Pierre’s.


Alert Bay to Pierre’s Echo Bay

1330 hrs June 24, 2015 at Alert Bay N 50º35.456′ W126º56.204′

The crew slowly wandered back to the boat.  Each of us with our own thoughts and images about this place.  A half day visit is simply far to short for this island.  Three days or more would honor the beauty of this place.  But with so many places to visit we needed to have a schedule.  With a full crew we cast of our lines and slipped out of Alert Bay.

Alert Bay Village

Alert Bay Village

We motored SE down the south west side of Cormorant Island and then north east for the Pearse Passage as Gordon’s Bluff slid past our port side. Up into the Cormorant Channel as the west winds picked up with growing seas. 55 degree temp with a dropping barometer and raining. As we approached Malcolm island we changed our heading to the east pointing the bow at Backfish Sound.  Turning north off the tip of Swanson Island we motored to the opening between Midsummer Island, to the south, and Bonwick Island on the north.  Motoring east we entered the Retreat Passage at 1715 hours.  We opted to pass anchoring in Waddington Bay due to the west winds and continued on to Pierre’s Echo Bay.

Pierre's Echo Bay

Pierre’s Echo Bay from the Channel

1830 hours we have Echo Bay off our starboard beam.  We swing to starboard and enter Echo Bay throw Pierre a line and tie up for the night.


Homes & Docks in Echo Bay

Echo Bay is both a community and a marina.  It is famous for Billy Proctor and his museum.  The charm of this place is beyond your dreams.  Unfortunately, as with all lovely things it can get crowded in July and August.  Be certain to do a reservation.


Marina at Echo Bay


A Pederson 45 from Portland in the marina

After an evening of showers, dinner in the saloon we walked the docks in the long summer evening.  With light to 2300 hours there is a lot of socializing, drinking and meeting new friends.  Finally, with welcome darkness I went to bed after creating the nav plan for the next day.  Our new destination will be Kwatsi Bay.











The Dark & Stormy

Dark & Stormy Drink-1

Dark ‘n’ Stormy

“They are so good, and they will so hurt you. Also, they are not sensitive to ingredient ratios. That makes them dangerous, as you can make a perfectly acceptable Dark ‘n’ Stormy while snookered.”

A tradition in the Pacific Northwest is to celebrate the winter soltice.  What better way then an overnight cruise to Kingston for cards and drinks.  The wind howled during the night.  Probably at least 3o kts but we were now tied up, dry & celebrating.  below is the video of the trip from Everett to Kingston on Que Linda a 38′ 1980 Catalina.









A Holiday Treat


Grey Whales in Possession Sound courtesy of Jonathan Hawks while on S/V Duck Soup with skipper Scott Selby

Avoiding Black Friday and being on the boat brings back a much simpler life & pleasures. We were out on our boat in Possession Sound off Everett, Wa on both Friday & Saturday. Not much wind each day, only about 2 hrs of wind >5kts. However, the big treat came on Saturday. We motored south to the bottom tip of Whidbey Island looking for wind.  Around 1300 hrs we turned the boat north to work our way back to the marina.  There was a 5 knot wind from the north so…..yep….pull up the main & pull out the genoa.  It freshened to 9 knots and off we went tacking our way back towards the Mukilteo ferry.   Out of the quiet  there was a blow 5 yards off the starboard. Yow!  A young a grey whale probably about 60% the size of a full adult.  The she/he was right off of Mukilteo!   She/he surfaced twice more by the boat. Such an immense treat. My apologies to an purists about photo documentation.  The above photo is from last late March when Jonathan, Wayne, Scott and I enjoyed a serene day with the whales.

Recovering a Tethered Man Over Board


S/V Thalia off of Beaufort, NC

I am hesitant about blogging/publishing work that is not my own.  However, we all uncover excellent work by others.  The article on this link is from a British magazine “Practical Boat Owner”.  This article is worth multiple reads. Recovering a tethered man overboard.   Several years back I also read an article that suggested attaching and running the jack lines down the middle of the deck instead of the walk ways.  

Port McNeill to Echo Bay

Totems at the waters' edge

Totems at the waters’ edge

0830 hrs June 24, 2015 at Port McNeill N 50º34.164′ W126º16.411′

Our plans for the day are to visit Alert Bay on Cormorant Island and then proceed across Blackfish Sound to the Broughtons.  In this blog post I will just deal with Alert Bay since it was such a rich experience.

Port McNeill to Alert Bay

Port McNeill to Alert Bay

Cormorant Island is about 6nm east of Port McNeill.  Access can be by ferry, float plane, or land plane. About 1500 persons live on the island and two thirds are members of the ‘Namgis First Nation living both on two First Nation Reserves and in Alert Bay village. The ‘Namgis are part of the Kwakiutl peoples in that they share the Kwak’wala language. This area is a land of spirits and magic.

Totems at the 'Namgis Burial Grounds

Totems at the ‘Namgis Burial Grounds

A chance to visit a living cultural center of a First Nations people known as the ‘Namgis who are part of the Kwakiutl.  They lived in bands in the areas from the Campbell River, to the south, to Queen Charlotte Sound in the north. There language Kwak’wala is still spoken in Alert Bay by adults. They have struggled for well over 100 years to maintain there heritage. Contact with early trappers, explorers and then governments have been harsh until recent times. This is the land of totem polls, carvings and great legends of thunderbirds, ravens, whales, bears. Many oral histories of ancestors transforming from thunderbirds to human and back to the great magical bird. A place alive with people caring for their heritage.


Raven Transformation Mask

The Raven Transformation mask represents both supernatural beings and also the Raven transforming to a man and then back to a raven.  This is from the U’mista Museum on Echo Bay.  There is an incredibly rich display of many masks used at the potlatch.


Sacred objects from the Umista museum

The Kwakiutl had a ceremony of dance, song, and gifts called “potlatch”. This was held in the long house of local chiefs and during the potlatch gifts were exchanged, hunting & fishing rights were granted. Until the late 1950s potlatches were banned both in Canada and the US. Gifts, masks, ceremonial costumes and masks were taken by the governments. Beginning in 1970 the Kwakiutl were able to regain their possessions and created the U’mista cultural museum on the island.  After being mesmerized by the stunning collection at the museum I returned to the lobby.

Totem at U'mista Museum

Totem at U’mista Museum

Its about a one mile walk back to the marina that is filled with carvings and art that face out toward the water.  Places to view, soak up & enjoy this stunning place.

Echo Bay Art

Echo Bay Art

As I walked along, it was a delight to soak up the spirit of this gem.


Abandoned Fishing Structure

Continuing past far more art then I could soak into my brain and simply being overwhelmed by this place we all made our way back to the marina.


Echo Bay Marina

Sadly, we made the boat ready to head over to the Broughtons.

Port Harvey to Port McNeill

Port Harvey courtesy of Teri Weronko

Port Harvey courtesy of Teri Weronko

0830 hrs June 23, 2015 at Port Harvey N 50º34.164′ W126º16.411′

After a pleasant evening of dinner with Irene and a cruising couple from Portland, I was up at 0600 hrs this morning to make coffee, take a shower and be ready for our 0830 departure to Port McNeill some 35nm west of Port Harvey.

Port Harvey to Port McNeill

Port Harvey to Port McNeill

We slipped our lines and motored down past the Havannah Channel past the Broken Islands into Johnstone Strait and came to a west heading below Escape reef.  Calm winds and sea state this morning.  We continued to motor towards the west.


Irene talking to a dolphin and Teri on the bow spotting

1000 hrs as we are approach Robson Bight we see about 50 dolphins, feeding in groups off both sides of the boat.  Later, about an hour, two Minke whales can be seen off the port side.  An amazing day.  Everyones on the deck enjoying spotting.

1400 hrs we’re in the channel between Cormorant Island and Vancouver Island.  We come in close to the shore of Alert Bay to recon tomorrows visit.

Alert Bay Shore

Alert Bay Shore

At 1700 hrs we have passed the nav aid on the south west tip of Cormorant Island.  We are about one hour before reaching Port McNeill as we motor past the Alert Bay ferry heading towards Port McNeill.

Alert Bay Ferry

Alert Bay Ferry

We are now within sight of Port McNeill at 1800 hrs.

Approaching Port McNeill

Approaching Port McNeill

First stop is the fuel dock.  We fuel up and then go to the water/pump out dock.  Some crew remain on the boat to go to our slip and tie up while others head to the grocery store to restock the boat.  The grocery store, restaurants, etc. are just up the hill from the port.  Easy access.  Tomorrow we will visit Alert Bay.