Day 14 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Tahsis to Hisnit Inlet

Our pace over the next several days is dictated by weather at Estevan Point, one of the major headlands on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The only must-see Nootka Sound destination for our group is Friendly Cove, about 20nm from Tahsis. If the weather was perfect today, we could even leave Tahsis, stop for a few hours at Friendly Cove, and continue around Estevan Point in the afternoon.

Alas, the weather isn’t perfect and we aren’t in a rush. Twenty plus knot southeasterlies were forecast, and the morning reports backed that up. We have no desire to fight the weather, so we’ll wait. The forecast indicates wind will blow for another three or four days, giving us the perfect excuse to explore Nootka Sound.

Most of the group started off this morning with a tour of the Tahsis fish hatchery.

Several folks got fuel and headed out after the hatchery tour, and others hung back had lunch at the restaurant at Westview Marina before heading out just after noon, all bound for Hisnit Inlet.

Leaving Westview Marina

About halfway out Tahsis Inlet we started feeling the wind—15-20 knots—but in the protected inside waters the water had just a bit of chop and the ride remained comfortable.

Hisnit is a big anchorage surrounded by mountainous terrain that’s unfortunately marred by logging. Still, it’s pretty.

And the fish! The water near the mouth of the creek leading to Deserted Lake was teeming with returning salmon. Unfortunately, they weren’t biting. Apparently as they near freshwater their appetite diminishes.

Folks spent time kayaking and exploring by dinghy, and we met on the raft for grill night. We put together a couple of big green salads (gotta use that produce while it’s fresh!), and we also made one of our favorite salmon dishes (Grilled Salmon Fillets With Creamy Horseradish Sauce — recipe below) from some of the coho Kevin caught a week or so ago (pulled from the freezer).


Grilled Salmon Fillets With Creamy Horseradish Sauce

3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp prepared white horseradish
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp soy sauce

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp prepared white horseradish
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
6 1- inch-thick salmon fillets (each about 6 ounces)

For sauce:
Mix all ingredients in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)

For salmon:
Spray grill rack generously with nonstick spray. Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Whisk oil, horseradish, soy sauce, garlic, salt, and pepper in another small bowl. Brush oil mixture over both sides of salmon fillets. Grill salmon just until opaque in center, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to plates. Serve with sauce.