Saturday, June 13, 2015

Campbell River and Codero Lodge 6/10/15

Our trip to Campbell River was a little bumpy but smoothed out as we neared the northern end of Strait of Georgia.  Just as we passed Comox we encountered at least 50 sail boats racing north.  Our timing was just a little late and we had to slow for a few of leaders to pass from port.   Wind was in the mid teens gusting to 25, just right for them to race, "rails in the water".   After dodging them as the tacked across the main channel they came back and caught me from the starboard side.

As we approached Campbell River the marina recommended (Discovery Harbour) by most was full since they were hosting the race.   The always friendly Canadians from Discovery quickly suggested we contact Coast Marina next door.  This is a small marina next to the ferry terminal.  Wind was blowing from NW and the current was in full ebb north, at about 4 kts.  Current protection was very good after entering the harbor but watching the 200' ferry slide sideways thru the opening was a bit nerve wracking.  All was well and we docked opposite a 76' Nordlund.   The owner helped us land and we learned he was from Las Vegas.  Small world.

Campbell River was a good place to provision for the trip north, walking distance to a major mall and several good marine stores.  Found a good seafood store for fresh fish at the commercial dock and even better, fresh fish dishes at the floating restaurant in our own marina.   Along the street this piano was being moved from store to store.   My friends Kirk and Tim would have taken the opportunity to play but I just listened as others of varying skill took a turn.

The tide swing in this area is around 14 ft and can go as high as 20.  To service boats a "grid" is often used.  Boats enter the grid at high tide and are dried out as the tide recedes.  You have several hours to do any underwater work before the tide returns to float the boat again. (Assuming you fixed any new holes)

One of the many fishing charter boats in the area caught my eye.  Understand the boat has been named as shown for over 20 years.  Still, have to wonder if a name change would help business.

We had planned to go directly north via the Seymour Narrows and into Johnstone Strait.  The weather forecast has been for Gale warnings there for the past 4 or 5 days.  Relief is forecast for Saturday or Sunday.  There is another route to the northeast that reduces the time in Johnstone Strait by about 17 miles.  Sounded better than sitting at the dock so we left for Stuart Island and the northeastern route.  

After making good progress thru 3 sets of rapids (Yuculta, Gilford and Dent) all very close together, it was time to find a place for the evening.  As we passed the rapids caught a glimpse of the only place I had ever visited in British Columbia prior to this trip.  Years ago was a guest of Dave Ritchie, founder of perhaps the largest heavy equipment auction company in the world.  I arrived by float plane from Seattle and really had no sense of where I was.   Never guessed would be here again, on my own boat 15 years later.

Saw a sign for Codero Lodge on one of the islands and after consulting one of our MANY cruising guides gave them a call for an evening slip and dinner.  The place is isolated from the mainland, no cars, generates it own power and offers a quiet retreat.  Dinner was outstanding, no menu, our meal was prepared by the full time chef (who helped us tie up).  We had a feast including, fresh salad, ribs, pork chop, potatoes, corn and two choices of homemade pies.  For the road fresh baked chocolate muffins.  Needless to say, this is on our list of recommended stops.

On the dock there were dozens of humming birds fairly undisturbed by our arrival.

Keela checks out the water supply to the lodge.

BOX SCORE  7.5 HOURS 24 Gallons  54 Miles 

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