Sunday, July 25, 2010

Hot Springs Cove to Tofino

Our 2 days at Hot Springs Cove were quite special. On the first evening we walked the 1.3 mile long boardwalk through the rain forest to the springs. What an ordeal it must have been to construct the path. It meanders through bog and dense, dark forest with lush ferns and moss covering everything in sight. The hot springs are in a rocky crag on a point of land that juts out into the open ocean. The hot water cascades down a small cliff and fills several small pools before pouring into the sea. At high tide, small waves surge into the outermost pool mixing ice cold salt water with the warm fresh water. We shared a soak with a group from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club who were traveling as a group around the island. They soon began the trek back to the anchorage giving us the rare opportunity to watch the sunset while alone in the pools.

The next day was spent aboard in the anchorage working on projects and helping a couple from another sailboat who had trouble with their engine’s alternator. Mark even loaned them a spare that we carry aboard but, although it was the same brand and size,
it had slightly different mounting points. The folks were very grateful for the help. Anne, meanwhile, chased dust bunnies around the boat with a broom and dust pan (how can a boat on the open sea get dusty??) and tried a new recipe for a breakfast bread that used a can of beer instead of yeast. It turned out to be delicious and more socially acceptable than drinking a can of beer for breakfast.

On Friday the 24th were sailed to Baccante Bay, another beautiful spot up an inlet behind Flores Island. We found just one other boat anchored there but were soon joined by the Royal Victoria Yacht Club group. They were a fun bunch though and later invited us aboard two of their member’s larger power boats that were rafted (tied) together for the night. Everyone was so pleasant and made us feel welcome. Anne commented that they were all so polite. Maybe that goes with the “Royal” part of the yacht club’s official designation. We laughed about how she felt like she had to be a bit careful with her usual “say anything that pops into her brain way of speaking”.

Yesterday we sailed and motored to the town of Tofino, the tourist Mecca of Vancouver Island’s west coast. It’s from here that the hoards of visitors depart via high-speed boats and float planes for daily whale and bear watching tours. We consider ourselves so incredibly fortunate to be experiencing all of the best this area has to offer aboard our own “floating home”, on our own schedule and, most often, in total privacy. All of that comes with a price however. We are totally responsible for our safety and the seaworthiness of our vessel and, although somewhat of a burden, we feel it offers the most satisfaction, fulfillment and sense of accomplishment. While watching last night’s sunset from Tofino’s wharf, we gazed out across the water at “Blue Rodeo” gently swinging at anchor in the ebb tide current and almost had to pinch ourselves to make sure that this wasn’t just a wonderful dream.

We will stay in Tofino again today and may take a shore bus ride to check out some of the nearby, famous surfing beaches. Tomorrow, it’s off to the town of Ucluelet and Barkley sound where more exploration and adventures awaits.

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