What Day Is This? Oh, Turnbull Cove!

Turnbull Cove

Aug 17
We pulled out of Sullivan Bay and headed across Sutlej Channel heading for a charming anchorage somewhere. It was once again calm so there was very little hope for sailing. A short motor brought us to the faster water off Watson Point. My app betrayed me for the first time as it said slack was at 12:50. Well it was just after 12:50 and it sure as hell wasn’t slack. We slipped and slided along the narrow channel in about 1 or 2 knots of current that seemed worse because of the eddies.

As we emerged Dave suggested we forgo Kenneth Passage and it’s even faster water and settle in at Turnbull Cove. I agreed but wanted to have a look at Kenneth. To see what it’s frequency was… We motored over and went through the first bit with 3 or 4 knots pushing us. As I entered the middle part of the passage I decided to turn back. Then I had to motor against the current, running at close to 7 knots but barely going 3.5 over ground.

Then we headed across to Turnbull. R Shack was just setting their anchor and we tucked in between them and shore. For the first time since we left Smuggler Cove the sailboats outnumbered the powerboats. But I’m not sure it will last. As I sit here at 8 pm the count is currently powerboats: 5, sailboats: 6. But that’s as close as it’s been for weeks. A lot of powerboats up here.


We are thinking at least two days here. There is a trail up to a lake and we might give it a try tomorrow. And there are places we can reach by dinghy as well. Time to save some cash!

The bill at Sullivan came in at over $400. In that there was moorage, power, two meals, fuel, some supplies, a few delicious turnovers and an expensive but nice long-sleeved T-shirt. Moorage itself worked out to only $36/night but the extras killed. Can’t afford to do that too many times.

Anyway, we dropped anchor and sat for a while in the afternoon sun. I spent a couple of hours writing a 4000 word post to catch up the last week or so (I guess it was longer than that!). No internet at all here, so we will have to wait and see when I can post it. While I wrote, Leslie headed out for a row and explored the east end of the Cove.

Then I started supper: we had that fresh salmon Oceanus III had donated and we were excited to give it a taste. I scaled it on the transom and then rubbed tons of salt into the skin with a touch of pepper. Then I seasoned the other side with a bit of sage (I didn’t bring any thyme!) and inserted some slices of garlic into the meat. Yes, it was that thick. After I crisped the skin on high heat on the BBQ, I doused the meaty side in lemon juice and then flipped it over to cook on low. Down in the galley I sautéed onions and celery while I boiled some carrots. I dumped in a bunch more slices of garlic, and then I added the cooked carrots and some green onions with a bit of soy and lemon juice. Miracle of miracles, it was all done pretty much at the same time. And I didn’t over-do the salmon: delish.


After dinner I cleaned the BBQ, Les started dishes. Well, she started them after she finished her book. I had made her stop for dinner with four pages left in Michael Crummey’s Sweetwater. I’m a pretty mean guy.

The iffy water in the tank means we are adding bleach to the rinse water now. I don’t think it’s strictly necessary but I don’t want any intestinal trouble whilst stuck on a small boat. Yech! They said about half the people drink it as-is but they are obligated to post ’boil for 2 minutes’ notices because they really have no way of testing the water to the provincial standards.

Leslie made me some hot chocolate and we are sitting out in the cooling night air enjoying a slowly setting sun and listening to various heaters, generators and engines. People do like their creature comforts 🙂

We saw the stars for the first time this trip. Sigh.

Tax Dollars at Work
Yesterday the Coast Guard paid a visit. They sent in a RIB (rigid-hulled inflatable boat) with 3 Fisheries officers. In what I consider an ironic turn, the Coast Guard in Canada is a civilian organization and not armed whilst the Fisheries officers were all packing a sidearm. Because of them unruly mackerel.

Apparently the Fisheries guys are now standard issue on the two big Coast Guard patrol boats. It used to be they would just catch an occasional ride, but now they are full time. I guess the RCMP also tag along sometimes to ensure that if they catch anyone doing anything, there is always someone with jurisdiction. Nice enough guys. Turns out my brand new extinguishers aren’t legal though… Still need to be inspected. Who knew?

Aug 18
Up and at ’em. As per usual, first one up (me this time) boils water for coffee and tea. I also headed on deck and took down our LED anchor light. Then I got out the raisin bread for toast. Morning rituals!

We spent the AM doing pretty much nothing. It was great. Leslie and I then took a low tide recon of the trailhead up to the lake. We had arranged to do the hike in the PM with Dave and Margaret.

There were a couple off a familiar deep blue double-ender called something Parrot walking their two labs. We’d last seen them at Sullivan. In fact at least 3 of the boats here, excluding us, had been at Sullivan or Pierre’s. It’s a small community.

We walked for a few minutes in the mud and rocks of low tide and checked out the steep hill, then headed back for lunch. A big bowl of Chef Boyardee’s best and a toasted roll and we were good. So we lazed a bit more.

I packed a fleece, raincoat, water, insect repellent, chocolate, socks and my Mocc’s (shoes) in preparation for the hike. In actuality it’s pretty short and the weather was gorgeous so all that was pretty much a waste. Still…

We swung by the Shack and joined D & M rowing towards the trailhead. The tide had come up and was still rising so there were some options on how best to tie up the dinghies so they’d still be there when we got back. Dave opted for a high-water log and I settled on tree overhanging a rock ledge on the edge of the small bay.

This trail is an old logging chute and there was an old rusting steam donkey in the trees still in (relatively) good shape. These were used to haul logs down the slopes to the water. Lots of old rusting steel cables everywhere as well.

The start of the trail is up. And steep. But we took it slow and it wasn’t too bad. Pretty short all things considering, so the out-of-shape among us were merely out-of-breath at the summit rather than falling-over exhausted. This group, incidentally, did not include Margaret nor Leslie. Huh.

The trail then headed down hill to the lake on a gentler and shorter slope, which made the return trip a breeze. At the lake there is a short dock out to a floating platform for swimming off of, or just hanging out on. So we hung out. The sky was clear and the water like glass. It was a pretty sweet way to enjoy the afternoon. At one point both Dave and I were privileged enough to see the high speed tumble of an osprey as it fell from the sky and disappeared beneath the surface who’re popping back up with something glittering in its talons. The Broughtons keep giving us these moments that make the trip so worth while.

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The trip back to the boat was easy and retrieving the dinghies was reasonably easy although each of our methods of tie-up had its flaws. I had to scramble through the bush to get my dinghy but Dave had some difficulty getting his close to shore. I called it a draw.

The previous night we had been sympathetizing with a very hoarse bird that kept calling. Just before I retired, I spotted it and it turned out to be a small seal that was continuously circling the Cove croaking. We were careful not to say it out loud, but the lack of other seals and the plaintiff nature of the call indicated something sad had happened. This continued through the next day with the small seal visiting all the boats and every nook and cranny of the cove, diving and surfacing to croak every couple of hundred yards.

But when we were returning from the hike, Dave and Margaret spotted an adult seal in the water behind them. And later as we were enjoying a beer on R Shack we spotted the big seal head bobbing off the port side with the little head a few feet away. And no more croaking. That was nice.

Dinner was sausage in lemon pasta and I had popcorn for dessert. Then we watched some tv on the laptop (only two episodes left of Gilmore Girls), I put out the anchor light and we crashed for the night. Tomorrow we head out… Maybe a marina (Shawl Bay) or maybe Moore Bay for an anchorage. We need to be at Pierre’s on Saturday.

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