Monday, August 25, 2014

Octopus Islands to Von Donop Inlet

Distance traveled:  22.7 miles

Travel time: 3 hrs, 20 mins

The first part of today’s trip, in the upper left corner, involved re-tracing our steps through the narrow mouth of Hole in the Wall, ending in the bottom right corner at Von Donop Inlet. This brought us into our first southbound stop in Desolation Sound.


Living where we do, with a major airport 8 miles across the water, we never see stars in the night sky. So we appreciate them that much more when we’re in a remote anchorage and the stars, Milky Way, planets, moon and satellites shine so brightly.

After a quick dinghy trip this morning to visit with and say goodbye to Aaron and Julie on “Eight Bells”, we pulled anchor, then slowly and carefully made our way back through Bodega Channel toward Hole in the Wall.


The previous day while kayaking back to our boats from the Driftwood Museum, the four of us intended to paddle the “short way” back though this channel. But at the very low spring tide associated with the day before Full Moon, it was dry, so we portaged our kayaks instead. We were reminded that our kayaks are solid and stable, but heavy.


Our second trip through Hole in the Wall in 3 days was calmer than the first, and we hit slack perfectly.


The eddies and whirlpools, while still there, had much less strength.


IMG_5541 IMG_5544

But this boat didn’t like our speed (a 40-foot boat with a Ford Lehman 120hp engine can only go so fast!) so passed us despite being in the narrowest segment of the channel.



As usual, the shoreline was almost entirely undeveloped for the 20+ miles, but an occasional structure appeared, on an otherwise undeveloped island, and accessible only by water with not anywhere for even a helicopter to land. We do notice, though, that the structures are more elaborate as we head south into more accessible areas.


Today’s route took us through the steepest shorelines and deepest water we’ve seen yet. Note the 1801-foot sounding just behind our boat in the photo below, with other soundings of 1621 and 1680 feet. Our depth sounder doesn’t go beyond 999 feet, so only the chart tells us we’re transiting such deep water. No worries about touching bottom here!


Early afternoon we traveled more than 2 miles up the narrow Von Donop Inlet to the very head, and dropped anchor.


By late afternoon the anchorage was “crowded”, meaning there were almost 20 boats inside, but it’s large enough to accommodate many more without anyone being close by if preferred. Several boats rafted up and partied til past our bedtime.


This large aluminum fishing boat from Kingston, Washington came in late in the day, and at sunset used a system with loudspeakers to play a pretty version of a song, not “Taps” but similar, in that it was a piano and a muted trumpet. Almost everyone was out on the decks of their boats, listening, and most applauded at the end.


For the first time since we left home, we’d spent the whole afternoon sitting on deck reading our books. It sounds absurd to say, but we’ve been too busy for much reading.

No comments: