Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 16 | Hisnit Inlet to Friendly Cove

We left Hisnit Inlet on the early side this morning. The anchorage at Friendly Cove isn’t all that spacious, so we wanted to get in early enough to be sure there was room for everyone. Turns out we were the only boats there!

Nootka Lightstation at Friendly Cove

When we visited last month, the light keeper told us they’d soon be doing construction to rebuild the  tramway, and when we arrived, we could see they were mid-project on that now. There was an enormous crane and barge at the dock loaded with heavy equipment, supplies, and people working.

We all dinghied over to the dock so we could do some exploring. The lighthouse was closed to visitors, but there’s still much to see here in Friendly Cove.

After walking the beaches a bit, we headed up to the Friendly Cove church to take a look at the carvings inside.

We found this framed artwork and some sculptures upstairs:

Rudimentary ladders that lead up into the bell tower look inviting to us adventurous types, but we’re sure this area is off limits for visitors.

Further along the trail is the Friendly Cove welcome pole, carved by master carver Sanford Williams. We visited Sanford during our last visit to Friendly Cove, where he spends two months a year working is his studio on the beach. (To read more about Sanford, and for a recap of last month’s visit to Friendly Cove, click here.) Sanford is the son of Friendly Cove’s only full-time residents, Ray and Terry Williams.

Continuing along the trail there are two cemeteries, a lake, and six cabins available for vacation rental.

Cabin No. 6 is apparently the cabin to rent, with it’s beach-side location and fantastic ocean view.


We walked out onto the point and took this photo looking back at the shoreline and the Friendly Cove church:

Next, we wandered back toward the lighthouse and along the path past Ray and Terry’s house to take a look at the old fallen totem, carved sometime in the early 1900s.

From here we had a nice view of our flotilla boats at anchor:

While looking for more information about Friendly Cove, we came upon this interesting article in the National Post from last summer. Check out these old photos of Friendly Cove from the Vancouver Public Library archives. This first image shows the original church over in the corner of the cove. (The original church burned down in an accidental fire and was rebuilt in its current location around 1955.)

This image looks like it was taken from the location of the original church:

After heading back to the boats, Kevin and Ralph and Vince went out to do some fishing, and Sam and Laura explored a few nearby coves. Santa Gertrudis Cove, just around the corner, has room for a few boats.

Looking out Santa Gertrudis Cove
Looking in Santa Gertrudis Cove

Boca del Infierno Bay, the next bay to the north, has a VERY narrow entrance that is only accessible by smaller boats.

Here it is on the chart:

And this is taken looking out as we transited the narrow entrance by dinghy:

There were SO many colorful starfish lining the rocky walls:

Just outside Boca del Infierno, near the Nootka Island Lodge, you can see the ruins of several previous structures dotting the shoreline.

Back on the Airship/Safe Harbour raft, we met for happy hour. Laura used the leftover coho from Ralph and Jeanette’s fish to make some happy hour salmon cakes, with a garlic pesto aioli for dipping. They turned out great, and we’ll try to recreate the basic recipe here:

Laura’s Pesto Salmon Cakes

Cooked salmon (we had about two cups leftover from our grilled salmon dinner last night)
Pesto sauce
Finely diced fresh jalapeños (I used about 2 Tbsp, seeds and pith removed)
Green onions, mostly the green part, finely sliced
Juice from one lemon
One egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Canola oil for frying

Direction: Mix some mayonnaise (I used about ¼ cup to start) in a bowl with about 2 T of pesto sauce, diced jalapeños, green onions, and one egg together in a bowl. Add salmon and mix together, adjusting the amount of wet stuff (mayo/pesto/lemon) so that the salmon sticks together enough to make a “ball” that doesn’t fall apart. If mixture is a little too wet, add some Panko to adjust. Shape into whatever size cakes you like (I did smaller, one-bite, happy-hour sized cakes this time). Pour some Panko in a shallow dish for dipping, and pat all sides of each cake lightly in the Panko, then fry in hot canola oil until lightly browned all over, a few minutes per side.

For the dipping sauce I mixed together some mayonnaise, the juice from one lemon, more finely sliced green onions, pesto sauce, some pepper, and maybe a little Penzey’s roasted garlic powder. Feel free to experiment! (Cilantro is also a nice addition to these flavors.)

We also got some roe from the coho and made ikura (Japanese salmon caviar) and served this on some crackers with cream cheese and fresh cracked pepper. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but those who like this sort of thing…liked it! We just think it’s nice to use as much of the fish as we can.


Today’s Route: 11.4 nautical miles, 1 hour 31 minutes underway
Flotilla Total: 486.5 nautical miles, 73 hours 58 minutes underway

Hisnit Inlet to Friendly Cove