Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Return to the Octopus Islands, June 30

Distance traveled: 37.2 miles

We left Lund at 5:30 a.m. with the goal of hitting Slack Tide 4 hours late at the Beazley Passage Tidal Rapids. These rapids reverse directions with each tidal swing (approximately every 6-7 hours) and run to 12-14 knots at Spring Tides near the full or new moon. With our 7-knot boat, we have no chance of getting through except near slack tide. Lady Luck was with us, and we arrived 10 minutes early, sliding through in calm water and without incident.

The scenery in this stretch is staggeringly beautiful. Especially early in the morning with the spectacular light. Near the Octopus Islands, the final half mile takes you through a disconcertingly narrow, shallow (11 feet) , rock-lined passage, which can only be navigated at idle speed and with great caution. We've done it before, but it's always a challenge when tired at the end of a long travel day. And it's gorgeous!

So we anchored in Waiatt Bay with fewer boats this early in the season. Wind was gusty through the night. Kayakers enjoying an adventure are common in this area.

After getting settled in our anchorage, we dropped the dinghy and traveled to the "Art Shack" or "Driftwood Museum", which goes by different names to different boaters.

The cabin/shack is privately owned and only has a roof and posts, no walls, but the owners kindly allow cruisers of all kinds to install creative artworks commemorating their boat and visit. Some are 20 years old as indicated by the dates on the pieces.

This, our third visit, we installed a piece made of driftwood found at Blakely Island near home, using a wood-burning tool borrowed from brother-in-law David. We also re-found art installations from friends on "Eight Bells" and "Gold Rush" who have visited in previous years (we were here with Gold Rush in 2009 and with Eight Bells in 2014).

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