Coronation Island is beautiful in an entirely different way than Pybus Bay or Thomas Bay. Those places have towering mountains, snowfields, and waterfalls. Coronation Island, situated out in the ocean, just south of Chatham Strait, has a rugged, swell-carved coastline dotted with sea caves, arches, and occasional sandy beaches.
Getting to Coronation Island requires favorable weather. Even when the wind isn’t blowing, strong currents and ocean swells can make conditions around Coronation Island uncomfortable. We lucked out with light wind and a moderate swell. Once we got into Egg Harbor, we barely even felt the swell.
After everyone was in and settled at anchor, we gathered in the dinghies for an excursion around the west side of Coronation Island. It wasn’t quite as calm out as the last time we were here, but definitely calm enough to get a look at this incredible rugged coastline.
Dinghying in the swell is different than in calm anchorages. Since we sit so low, even small swells result in occasionally losing sight of the other dinghies. It’s an odd sensation, mostly fun, but also sobering when one considers the power of the swell.
We went back to the puffin cave we found in 2019, but it appeared to have been taken over by cormorants. We only saw two puffins (but MANY cormorants).
Several of us landed dinghies on the beach back in Egg Harbor and explored the caves and tide pools. The beach here is both more interesting and more accessible than the beaches at most of our anchorages.
Several of us headed over by dinghy to the beach at the head of the bay to relax in the sun while others relaxed aboard their boats.
On Airship, Laura’s brother Jason was jigging off the stern and managed to hook a 34 pound halibut! He patiently pulled it up to the boat (with a treble hook on 30lb test braid!) and he and Kevin managed to pull it into the dinghy first with the gaff, then tied it overboard to a cleat while we had dinner. (How is it that we always manage to catch a big halibut right at dinner time!)
Italian night on the raft for dinner consisted of pasta with marinara sauce, pasta with pesto, spinach salad, grilled salmon with a Tuscan garlic/sun dried tomato/spinach cream sauce, three types of homemade pizza, and a peach/berry cobbler for dessert. No one is starving around here, that’s for sure!