Thursday, May 22, 2008

Shiriri Saga#18 Paths of Glory.

Jervis Inlet ("old Jarvy," First Lord of the Admiralty) is a fijord that leads deep into the heart of the Coast Range.

June 6 AM Paths of Glory.
Sailing up the long winding reaches of Jervis Inlet is like visiting my favourite maritime sailing books -The series by Patrick O`Brian beginning with Master and Commander and following the life of Jack Aubrey through fourteen books in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic wars. We sail up Agamemnon Channel(HMS) with Nelson Island (Horatio) to port and discover that nearly every island and bay carries names of historical ships and characters in O`Brian`s books. The naval officers who charted these waters with Captain Vancouver must have been bursting to accomplish this massive task quickly so they could get back to Europe where "real glory"(and promotion) was to be won in battle. This mountainous, forested coast bears the names of glory yet.

That BKW (breakwater) in Killam Bay should have warned us off. Old logging shows mean old cables and other junk.

PM Anchor Tango.
The anchor is snagged on some old logging cable. We have tried to anchor near an abandoned wharf on a narrow ledge along the precipitous sides of Jervis Inlet that winds for miles deep into the heart of the Coast Range. The cable holds the anchor from being raised completely to the surface and will not let go even when I try dropping the anchor quickly. I am exhausted. Heather suggests a cup of tea, and by pouring it carefully into the murky water we win free! No, unfortunately we did n`t think of that, but the tea break and a brainstorming conversation leads me to try motoring in circles and that breaks the rotten cable. We cross the Inlet in the dusk and anchor in a hundred feet on the glacier smoothed rocky bottom of Dark Cove. Thankfully it is a calm night or we would have dragged across this bottom for sure!

Thats HMS GOLIATH(74) . I wonder who KILLAM was?

June 7 A Stress Test.
Princess Louisa Inlet near the head of Jervis Inlet really is a spectacular place! We motor through the narrow entrance of Malibu Rapids at slack water and twist our necks from left to right looking at sheer rock faces leading up to the snow caps and glaciers of the Coast Range. We can hear the roar of water falling down the slopes even over the sound of the engine. At the head of the fijord is Chatterbox Falls splashing right into the sea and a dock for visitors to the park. At last we do not have to anchor!

Just look at those nearly vertical contour lines!

This spectacular place features in a classic boating book A Curve of Time by M. Wylie Blanchet. We look for the family and their little cruiser Caprice but know in our heads if not in our hearts that their time is long past. All the books we read bring the places we visit alive, link us to personalities and events in the past and give us a sense of participating in a story ourselves.

We do go ashore and have a chat with the ranger who tells us of an unusual bear that is hanging around that seems to have no fear of humans. One of the crew has a really healthy fear of bears so we do not wander far from the boat. The problem here is that the falls are so loud that the bear could not hear us coming and move out of the way even if he was of a mind to. It turns out that it is not funny at all when I touch Heather`s arm as we walk beside the Falls and say "Roar!" in a friendly sort of way. Ah, these rational fears!

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