Day 8 | Flotilla to Alaska | Echo Bay to Blunden Harbour

Queen Charlotte Sound—rounding Cape Caution—is probably the most significant of the “gates” along the Inside Passage. Here, every vessel is forced from behind the shelter of Vancouver Island into the open Pacific for 40 miles.

Since we left the Gulf Islands, we’ve been looking ahead for our opportunity to round Cape Caution. Tomorrow looks to be the day, so this morning we put the Broughtons behind us and headed northwest to Blunden Harbour. We left Pierre’s about 8:00 a.m., hoping we’d arrive at Blunden before any afternoon wind built.

Echo, looking sad as we wave goodbye
We always enjoy our visits with Pierre (well, and Echo too, of course). Thanks again Pierre (and Sam and Naomi) for the hospitality, the hot tub, and the delicious seafood chowder!
Leaving Echo Bay and heading west in Fife Sound
By mid-morning we were starting to see a little blue sky!

Blunden Harbour is an excellent anchorage, with good protection, lots of room, and superb exploring options by dinghy. It’s also perfectly located as a staging point for getting around Cape Caution, since it’s only 48nm to Fury Cove, allowing us to leave at the crack of dawn and beat the afternoon breeze into Fitz Hugh Sound. And, we have some cell service here, so we can access all the weather information quickly and easily (and publish to the blog).

A few hours after low tide, we took the dinghies to Bradley Lagoon.

Once at the entrance to the lagoon, however, it became clear that we would not be entering at this time. The lagoon was still draining through its narrow entrance channel, creating a several foot waterfall.

Here’s some video of the entrance, to give you a better idea:

We headed back to the boats for happy hour and a thorough discussion of tomorrow’s route rounding Cape Caution, weather planning, and contingency options.

Afterwards (a couple hours later), a smaller group of us took dinghies back over to Bradley Lagoon to see if we could get in. The tide was still ebbing, but it was much calmer (and without the several foot waterfall!) so we went in and explored for a bit.

By the time we returned to exit the narrow channel, it had turned to flood and the water was flowing steadily back into the lagoon. We’ll make it an early night so we’re nice and rested for our early departure tomorrow.

The Safe Harbour/Airship raft
Polymela, Eagle 40, at anchor in Blunden Harbour

Today’s total: 33.7 nautical miles, 4 hours 29 minutes underway
Flotilla total: 257.8 nautical miles, 35 hours 53 minutes underway

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