Log #61L Back to the Broughtons

September 19, 2016 in Logs by Series, Series 61, The Logs

Log #61L Back to the Broughtons

Coos Bay, Or, USA

Sept. 19, 2016

Hi Folks,

We are down here in Coos Bay in southern Oregon, and will be in California in a couple of days. We have had good weather, although we waited a day in Neah Bay in the Strait of Juan De Fuca before rounding Cape Flattery for a two day sail down the west coast of Washington with good winds astern, wing on wing to Newport, Oregon. We spent three days there to visit with my high school chum, Dallas Platt and his wife Hazel. While waiting for him to get down from Canby in Oregon we rented a car and went inland to see several covered bridges, even more in number than in the movie The Bridges of Madison County.


We motored all the 82 miles from Newport down here in Coos Bay in calm following breezes to arrive early on the 17th. We wanted to rent a car to go dune buggying, but none were open today, a Saturday, or a Sunday and so we will go south, weather permitting.

Sailing down the west coast is not too bad as the predominant winds are from the north, except when the winds are from the south, as yesterday. Murphy’s Law, so we will be here until Tuesday Sept. 20, as Judy did not want to go out into 25 to 30 knot winds even though they are from the north. There are signals flashing when the waves over the bar are too heavy, and the signal has been flashing all day today. Hopefully tomorrow will be a go. I will get this off before we leave, as we have found a nice pub with good WiFi nearby.

Our next stop will be Crescent City in northern California, hopefully leaving here tomorrow for a 22 hour passage.

Below is a picture of a humorous weather rock at Pierre’s Echo Bay where we had a lovely rib roast dinner for my birthday, and the chartlet of our passage from Pruth Bay on Calvert Island down to Pierre’s in the Broughtons.

Incidentally, if the pictures on this covering letter do not come out, but just show thumbnails of them, right click on the thumbnail and the picture should open.

Another valuable bit of knowledge, for Canadians motoring through the USA, you can use your Canadian credit card at the gas pumps, and for the request for a zip code, you can enter the three digits of your Canadian postal code followed by two zeros, and it will be accepted by the machines. For example if your postal code on the credit card was M3T 5A2, you would enter 35200.

All the best,




Log #61l Back to the Broughtons

Coos Bay, Oregon

Sept. 18, 2016


July 15, we left the east cove of Westcott Point, our first anchorage south of Cape Caution. This cape marks the beginning of the Northern B.C. Coast, and now we were heading south for the Broughtons, another fascinating group of islands forming an archipelago off the mainland and across from the northern tip of Vancouver Island. We gunk-holed through the area for a few weeks a couple of years ago. (See Logs # 58k to # 58q for our exploration of this enjoyable area. If you haven’t been saving my logs, you can still see them on my website at www.veledaiv.ca. )


We were actually able to sail for a few hours on our 22 mile passage down to anchor in Lewis Cove (50 49.400N, 127 03.128W) for the night, and then down to Cullen Harbour next day, where we wended our way in to anchor just outside of the narrow channel going into Booker Lagoon (50 47.538N, 126 45.091W).


Our guide books cautioned us about the entry through Booker Passage into the lagoon, as it is deep enough, but dog-legged and narrow, bounded by shoals on both sides, the currents getting up to seven knots. Passages or channels leading into lagoons have strong currents, as the tides entering and leaving such enclosed bodies of water have only these narrow restricted points through which to flow. The larger the lagoon, the greater the currents. See Log #58r for the yacht which was capsized going through the notorious Nakwakto Rapids into a large three coved lagoon.


capsized yacht in Nakwatkto Rapids


We explored the passage and Booker Lagoon in our dinghy that afternoon. In going around the shoreline we explored into several bays. One bay we thought was just a narrow cove turned out to be a couple of small islands, on the far side of which were a couple of sailboats anchored together. We had a good chat with the crew of Magena, who are members of the Saltspring Island Yacht Club, flying their distinctive yacht club burgee emblazoned with an elephant. The use of an elephant on their burgee is because the club is located in Ganges on Saltspring Island. The name Ganges is in reference to the Ganges River in India, and the elephant is the symbol of the Hindu god Ganesh. Got it?


In talking with them we found out there is good prawning in the depths of the lagoon, and several good anchorages around the shoreline. We returned to Veleda and came back into the lagoon to set the prawn trap, planning to check it next day when we brought Veleda into the Lagoon.


We went through the passage just before slack high water (just in case we grounded) next day. Calculating exactly when high or low slack water occurs is difficult as the closest tidal reference is 30 to 60 minutes after high or low slack water at Alert Bay. No problems. We anchored over in the cove where Magena had been ( 50 47.550N, 126 45.076W) for the night. When we hauled our prawn trap but caught only eight prawns, an American dinghy in the same area gave us few of theirs and suggested we locate our trap near theirs, which we did. As we were dinghying around the lagoon we saw a small pod of dolphins.


During the evening we saw smoke from one of the nearby islands, and dinghied over to check it out. It was from a fire a man and his son were cooking a meal over before leaving in their small run-about before dark. Later we watched a black bear swim over to the island where the man and his son had been, thinking it was a good thing that they left when they did. The bear clambered around the island, then swam to another, then to the mainland. I was surprised by how fast the bear could paddle along in the water. It was great to watch this animal in its own environment as it lumbered and swam through its domain.


When we retrieved our prawn trap on our way out next day, we had only a half dozen medium sized prawns. Going out the narrows was no problem as we made our way against a 2 knot flood current, with some interesting turbulence at the outer dog-leg into Cullen Harbour. We motored the 13 miles into the Broughtons to Pierre’s Echo Bay on Gilford Island to enjoy their rib roast supper for my birthday. We were there a couple of years ago and enjoyed their hospitality, rib roast and pig roast dinners.

Pierre is the bearded one Rib roast on the spit Mmmm

After having showers and doing laundry we left next morning to drop our prawn trap just outside and then anchored in Shoal Harbour, a large sheltered bay just around from Echo Bay. We anchored there when we were in the area two years ago. This year in addition to dinghying around the bay looking at abandoned and currently used float homes,


bandoned float home Seasonal float home

I watched a logging operation dump bundles of logs into a log boom at the far end of the bay. The slide was beside the accommodation barge.

Accommodation and workshop barges


The trucks would stop before the slide area to have three thick wire cables cinched around the bundle of logs.

Wire cinched around the bundle of logs


Then it would proceed to the slide, lower the support arms and the bundle would be nudged off the truck down the slide into the water.


Support arms lowered & bundle ready to be slid off


went back to Veleda to get Judy as the area also had good bird life, and to watch another bundle being slid into the water.


Rather than stay there overnight, we raised anchor, retrieved our trap with only another half dozen prawns, and motored 6 miles to anchor down in Waddington Bay (50 43.073N, 126 37.043W).


From Pruth Bay on Calvert Island to Pierre’s Echo Bay