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Meyers Narrows and Kynumpt Harbour

We left Port Stephens with no particular destination in mind. Once again, rain poured down. Given the rainfall, not much scenery was visible and riding around in the dinghy wasn’t very attractive, so we figured we’d make miles. We hate to zoom through such an interesting section of coast, but frankly, we’re ready for summer.

Outside of Port Stephens conditions weren’t very summer-like. Gusty southerly wind, 1-3 foot chop, sideways rain, visibility down to 1/2 mile. Sam was pleased to find his portholes keeping water out. We were all pleased to be in warm, dry, comfortable pilothouses.

We passed anchorage after anchorage that sounded interesting. Barnard Harbour, Surf Inlet, Laredo Inlet. Conditions calmed slightly. The downpour lightened to rain, then showers, and eventually to a mere mist. We continued south. Somewhere, the sun must be shining.

By dinnertime, we were approaching Meyers Narrows, a narrow, shallow cut that connects the “outside of the inside” with the normal inside route. A cove jutting out from the narrowest part of the passage looked interesting and secure. We dropped the anchor, dropped the dinghies, and explored a bit before dinner.

We decided it was a good night for soup, so Laura made a homemade tomato soup in the pressure cooker (recipe at the end of the post), and Sam cooked up some cheesy garlic bread to go with it.

The next morning we awoke to…sun! (Well, and a little bit of fog, but that didn’t stick around long.)

After so much rain and wind, we welcomed the opportunity to dry out, cruise with windows and doors open, and soak in the scenery. We briefly turned north, exited Meyers Passage, and did a 180, pointing the bows south past the native village of Klemtu.

Airship heading north in Meyers Passage

Once again, we didn’t have a destination in mind. As we passed Klemtu, we briefly got a cell phone signal and realized that our probable window for rounding Cape Caution was three days distant. We knew that Airship wanted to fill up with fuel in Shearwater, but we preferred to enjoy today’s sun anchored in a secluded cove somewhere. Kynumpt Harbour, just seven miles northwest of Shearwater was an ideal destination: close enough to make Shearwater easily reachable in the morning for fuel, but scenic and seldom-used. Given the calm conditions, we plotted the most direct course, which took us out to the ocean and into Seaforth Channel rather than through protected Reid Passage.

Whales had other plans for us, however. Just outside Moss Passage, a couple of cavorting humpbacks caught our eye. They were breaching and tail slapping, over and over, often in unison. After a few minutes, we swung the boats to port to get a closer view. Slowly, we followed them into Moss Passage, soaking in the sun as the humpbacks leaped and splashed, wiping away the memory of the recent weather.

Single whale breaching
One whale breaches while the other slaps a giant fin on the surface (1)
One whale breaches while the other slaps a giant fin on the surface (2)
The splash from one whale breaching, as the other starts out of the water for its turn (1)
The splash from one whale breaching, as the other starts out of the water for its turn (2)
The splash from one whale breaching, as the other starts out of the water for its turn (3)
This was a beautiful, full-spin corkscrew breach! So dramatic!

Sam took his drone up in hopes of capturing some of the excitement from the air:

The rest of the day down to Kynumpt Harbour was uneventful. More calm, more sun, and heat! For the first time in days, the boat was warm naturally, no need for diesel furnaces.

Kynumpt Harbour is a nice anchorage, although the holding is only fair and the swinging room is a bit limited. It’s well protected, pretty, and best of all (after days or weeks without cell service), has a bit of Telus cell service with a booster. Oh, did we mention sun?

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Creamy Tomato Soup

I found a recipe for this soup online here, and then modified it to fit what I had in the galley, and to suit our taste.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1-2 shallots, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 28-oz cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Red pepper flakes (I used about 1/2 tsp
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

1. Turn the Instant Pot to Sauté. Add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and cook until the onions are softened. Add garlic and cook until the shallots are beginning to brown.

2. Pour the tomatoes, chicken broth, basil, and red pepper flakes over the shallots and garlic. Stir to combine. Secure the lid on the Instant Pot and cook on high pressure for 7 minutes.

3. Quick release or naturally release the pressure, either way is fine. Use an immersion blender to blend right in the pot until smooth. (Alternately, you can transfer to blender to blend and return to Instant Pot to keep warm.)

4. Stir in the heavy cream.

5. Serve with cheesy garlic bread or grilled cheese sandwiches (for dipping!)