June 17 - Supreme spa conditions were found at Hot Springs Cove in Clayquot Sound. The water in the hot springs was about 50 degrees Celcius, just perfect hot bath temperature, and there was even a hot shower to be had if you sat on a log under the water spilling off the 10 foot high rocks. Barry had a therapeutic massage on his hip under the shower, seeing that it was a 2 km walk down a wonderful boardwalk to get there, he needed it. There was even sea weed available if you wanted one of those ultra expensive sea weed wraps I always hear about. P.S. the boards on the boardwalk are adorned with carvings from boats that have visited. It was great entertainment to read the boardwalk as you strolled along in the rain forest.
The hot springs were much appreciated after a couple of long days sailing. Barry says that it was cold, wet, miserable weather. One evening we pulled into Friendly Cove at 1015 P.M. or 2215 in sailor talk. Friendly Cove is in Nootka Sound, most recently infamous for being the home of the urbanized killer whale Luna, who met an untimely demise earlier this spring when she had an unfortunate encounter with a tug boat. Friendly Cove is also famous as being the place in which Captain George Vancouver and Spain's representative Captain Juan Bodega Y Quadra signed the "Nootka Convention" in 1794 which became the basis for the Freedom of the Seas Doctrine. The early exploration and exploitation of the west coast has many of it's roots in this area and I am fascinated by it.
We did not have a chance to explore Friendly Cove as we arrived so late and then left early next morning to tackle Estanvan Point. I think it almost got the better of us, it was a steady 25 knots on the nose, gusting to 30, and it rained on and off all day. The boat held up well, the reinforced boom showed no signs of buckling or being unhappy in any manner, the only unhappy crew member was the Captain who when he took over his shift at 4:00 P.M. turned on the motor and motored into Hot Springs Cove, not giving up the helm in case the over enthusiastic crew attempted to sail again.
The next morning we awoke to sunshine and the Captain was all gung ho to get Bob to Tofino, but then the skies darkened, it started to rain and the wind howled, the Captain refused to move. The hot springs is a big business and boats come in all day with tourists from Tofino so Bob managed to negotiate a ride back with one fellow and Cat's-Paw IV and her diminished crew stayed put, visiting the hot springs and relaxing the rest of the day.
Today we had a pretty tame day, motoring into an inlet where a trail was reported to go to a lovely sandy beach. The tradition of the Lange Short Cut once again reared it's ugly head. We found the beginning of the trail and a group of kayakers who had come from the beach reported that it was very muddy and a few of their group had gotten boot full's going over it. I saw another trail that was clearly marked so I confidently set off down this trail, thinking I had found a better alternative route, ignoring Barry's comments that the kayakers had not come from this trail, 35 minutes later the doubt's were setting in and at 40 minutes I admitted defeat and we turned around. Barry really wanted to see the beach so after getting back to where we had started we set off down a 25 min. trail that took us 45 min. to walk, partly because of the mud and the maneuvering you had to do around it and partly due to Barry's by now much inflamed hip acting up. I felt extremely horrible to have
put him through a needless hour of hiking up and down and around just because I thought I knew a better way, #@%$#!
Although conditions out on the water haven't been all that one could desire we managed to keep up crew morale with a number of tasty and tantalizing meals. My brother Bob who's culinary skills up until now have admittedly only branched out to barbecuing and cooking KD or Kraft Dinner outdid himself the other day by preparing and serving, UNDER SAIL, a full course roast beef dinner including gravy, Sailor Bob indeed!! When we were blasting away into the 25 knot winds the other day I thought I would see if I could bake in those conditions, and managed to produce hot sour cream cranberry scones, that were inhaled by the cold wet crew. ( There was evidence of my baking on the floor, on the counter top, in the sink and pretty much everywhere once I was done, but I think it was worth it.)
We are headed into Tofino tomorrow. Barry has an appointment with an orthopedic specialist about his hip on Wednesday, so he will take a bus back to Victoria while I clean up and dry out Cat's-Paw IV in Tofino. Hopefully he will be back on Thursday evening and we can continue on with out Van Isle Voyage on Friday.