Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Refuge Cove to Prideaux Haven

Distance traveled: 10.1 miles

Travel time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

After another leisurely morning, we left Refuge Cove and headed northeast. A nice thing about Desolation Sound is that it’s small, so distances between spectacular anchorages or marinas are short. The scenery is . . . we’re running out of adjectives! But short travel distances means more “down time”, and we love that.


Blue water, mountains, trees and rocks continue, and in the sunshine and warm temps, it feels perfect.


The approach to Prideaux Haven looks narrow and rocky. And it is.


But the nautical chart makes it look worse than reality. Advancing very slowly, it’s not a problem.


We anchored in 44 feet of water with 3:1 scope, knowing high tide would bring 11’ deeper water. As long as the weather forecast remains mild, we’re expanding our comfort and willingness to anchor in deeper water. Learning continues, whether we like it or not. And mostly we do.


On a tip from a boater anchored nearby, we left in the dinghy to explore the area and see if we could find some oysters off East Redonda Island, 2 miles across Homfray Channel from our anchorage. We had the latitude and longitude for our destination, so navigated accordingly.


We found the spot, and while Cathryn fended the inflatable dinghy off the sharp rocks and oyster shells, Bob went ashore and chipped oysters off the rocks. We’ve not done this before, so it was “trial and error”. This spot also produces clams, but the tide was too high to find any.


After collecting 28 oysters in a bucket of salt water, we returned to Next To Me. The afternoon was warm (83 degrees, light breeze, humidity 52%), and Cathryn wanted to test the waters, famous for being warm enough to swim, despite being many miles north of home where the water never breaks above 55 degrees. A neighboring boat reported the water to be 72 degrees, chilly at the onset but comfortable after a couple minutes. Bob had observed Next To Me’s boat bottom has grown some long green scum, so since she was there, Cathryn spent an hour scrubbing the waterline to get rid of the scum. Besides, we’re lacking sufficient exercise on this trip, so it seemed an opportunity to work a few muscles.


Our anchor neighbor, Ray, offered his shucking knife, we gratefully accepted, and Bob shucked 16 of the oysters. This boating life offers continuous learning experiences, and we wish we’d paid more attention previously when we’ve been with friends shucking oysters. But Bob got the job done.


Cathryn mixed up a bit of olive oil, butter, lemon juice and garlic, and voila!  Delicious dinner.


Bob gave our extra oysters to another anchor neighbor, who in return gave us a very nice bottle of wine we plan to save for 10 days from now when son Ryan and daughter-in-law Jaime join us aboard, and we’ll belatedly celebrate both of their August birthdays.


This is a gorgeous anchorage, and we note from the VHF weather reports, the barometer, and the clouds that the weather is changing. Summer may not be over, but near-term things will be different.

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