Port McNeill to Potts Lagoon

June 24 – Goat Island Anchorage at Crease Island

Port McNeill to Crease Island, 21.6 nautical miles
Total this trip to date: 362.04 NM

Fortunately it was not raining when we got up this morning! We found about 6 inches of rain in our dinghy…testament to the amount rain that fell yesterday. Everything outside was soaked, but we are very grateful that it is dry today.

At 0745 we untied our lines and motored over to tie up at the Port McNeill Fuel Dock and Marina just across the fairway from the Port McNeill Boat Harbour. It opens at 0800 and we wanted to be their first customer. There was a phone there with instructions to call for an attendant, so we called and she came down to help us. The access to this fuel dock is one of the easiest we’ve seen. It’s fairly new and the dock was lined with many fenders that were closely spaced…we didn’t even need our own fenders! We were lucky to be the only boat fueling. The fuel dock attendant was very friendly and efficient, even through she said she’s only been in Port McNeill for 3 weeks, and came here from Ottawa…all the way across the country. I said something about yesterday’s rain being as bad as in Ketchikan, and she asked if we had been there yesterday! Needless to say, she needs to get a little more familiar with west coast geography…
We left the fuel dock at 0845 and headed back across Queen Charlotte Strait to Blackfish Sound. Today we were blessed with very calm conditions and even some sunbreaks. Because it was so calm, we baked Orange Danish underway. Orange Danish is a long-time tradition for us. We frequently baked it when we were sailing on Carina when we left early in the morning for long passages, especially when the weather was cold. On the sailboat, we used to eat the Danish in the cockpit, protected by our dodger. We don’t have Orange Danish very often anymore…it’s not the most healthy of things, of course, and now that we’re traveling inside in a power boat, it just isn’t the same. But today the Orange Danish tasted WONDERFUL!
We anchored at Crease Island at 1200 in about 20 feet at mid-tide. One other boat was here that left shortly after we anchored. We had the place to ourselves until later in the afternoon when three other boats came in.
We launched the dinghy and put the crab trap out. We got crabs here in 2009, so thought we’d try again. We took the dinghy in to the beach and walked around on many, many large rocks. The head of the bay was filled with all sizes and types of driftwood. It’s apparent that the winter storm winds blow fairly fiercely in here.
The wind came up in the afternoon and we were sailing a lot around our anchor. It continued to gust until nightfall. The sun stayed out most of the day, occasionally being blocked by some passing clouds.
Leaving Port McNeill :
Port McNeill Boat Harbour on the left, fuel dock on the right
Our Orange Danish morning treat
Cruise ship entering Queen Charlotte Strait
from Blackney Passage…left a huge wake
Queen Charlotte Strait was calm and sunny for our passage
Crease Island anchorage
Alice by the massive amount of driftwood on Crease Island
June 25– Mound Island
Crease Island to Mound Island, 4.26 nautical miles
Total this trip to date: 366.3 NM
It rained overnight, but was dry this morning. It was still cloudy, and a little breezy in the anchorage. All we caught in our crab trap was a giant starfish. And we even have salmon scraps for bait!

We decided to cross Indian Channel and anchor at Mound Island. We’ve never stayed here before, but the crabbing has always been reported as good. It was only a 45 minute trip, and we found ourselves alone in the anchorage. After we anchored and were getting the crab trap ready, a small aluminum skiff breezed through the anchorage to check about a half dozen crab traps they have out. We hope there will be some crabs left! Our speculation is that they came over from Farewell Harbor, which is just across the channel from us. Farewell Harbor is a luxury fishing retreat, and probably they offer crabs on their menu…
The anchorage at Mound Island is at the end of a long channel. It is exposed at the head to the afternoon westerlies, so we anchored before we got to the head. It’s still a little breezy where we are, but the holding is good and it is not uncomfortable. Another boat came in later in the afternoon. And a couple more dinghies have come in and dropped crab traps.
It actually got sunny with temps in the 60s this afternoon…it was nice to see some blue sky! We enjoyed a quiet day of reading and relaxing. So did the kitties!
Mound Island anchorage
Jim launching the crab trap at Mount Island anchorage
Mickey enjoys wrestling with King, a stuffed animal
June 26 – Potts Lagoon
Mound Island to Potts Lagoon, 8.89 nautical miles
Total this trip to date: 375.19 NM
It was gorgeous when we got up this morning at Mound Island! Blue sky, sunshine and calm. Jim retrieved the crab trap to find only one keeper…but at least it was one! We stowed the dinghy back on deck and left at 0945. We made our way down Indian Channel and carefully navigated through all the rocks in Beware Passage to Clio Channel, where we turned in to anchor in Potts Lagoon.

Potts Lagoon is an old favorite for us. We first anchored here in 1980 in our sailboat Carina, when there was a logging operation filling most of the bay. Now there are about a half dozen float houses that line the shore, where owners spend the summer months. The crabbing is usually good here. In 1980, we were able to just hang a crab trap off our stern and catch our limit in about an hour. Of course, there were a lot more shellfish and finfish in this area 30 years ago.
Clouds filled in mid-afternoon, and the wind increased and started to gust. There were no boats here when we anchored, but 6 other boats have come in this afternoon. It’s a big anchorage…there’s room for more.
We found one keeper crab in our trap this afternoon, so we cooked it with the one we got this morning at Mound Island…and left the trap out for overnight with the hope we’ll have some more in the morning.
A gorgeous morning leaving Mount Island anchorage
From Mount Island, looking out at Indian Channel
After we navigated through Beware Passage,
we looked back to see the rocks that fill the passage
Some of the float houses in Potts Lagoon
June 27 – Potts Lagoon
Cloudy and calm early this morning, and it quickly turned to rain and wind for the rest of the day. Nobody left the anchorage, and one more boat came in. The wind gusted all day, and our plans for taking the dinghy out to do some fishing this afternoon were shelved because our boat was moving around enough in the gusts that we felt we should stay on the boat. By evening, the rain was less intense, and the wind was still gusting, but not as strong.
So, it was a good day for reading, making brownies, and starting to develop a slideshow of our cruise. We got two keeper crabs today, so we spent some time cooking crabs, as well.
We took a snapshot of an aluminum skiff motoring by….with a kitty standing in the bow! Brave cat! He belonged on a boat anchored nearby, and later we spotted the kitty climbing down a ladder from their bridge deck to the main deck. When they came in, we noticed that the owners hung a towel off their stern…perhaps the kitty has been swimming before…
We think we’ll be leaving in the morning, and will continue on our trip south. We think we’ll end up either in Port Harvey (where we can check out the new marina) or, if Johnstone Strait is good, we may continue all the way to Forward Harbor. All plans are weather dependent, of course.

 

In last night’s calm, the reflections were striking
More float house reflections
Potts Lagoon anchorage
Kitty riding in the bow of the aluminum boat

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