How far behind are we in blogging??!! Oh, like two months….ack!
When last we blogged we were leaving Hartley Bay for Weewanie Hot Springs by way of Verney Passage to Devastation Channel. Follow?
Our first attempt at Weewanie Hot Springs was unsuccessful. Contrary to the Douglas book there is only one mooring buoy rather than the reported two. One small boat was on the only buoy and a second larger boat anchored where the other buoy should have been. Captain Rusty circled the small bay looking for a suitable alternative anchorage but there just wasn’t room for a third boat. We made our way across Devastation Channel to Loretta Island Anchorage with plans to try it again the next day. It wasn’t a beautiful anchorage but served the purpose. The next day we headed back to Weewanie Hot Springs, this time with better luck.
WEEWANIE HOT SPRINGS. About 10-15 minutes out from Weewanie Hot Springs we watched a cruising boat go in and tie to the only mooring buoy. We were sooooo close….however, we were able to anchor in the spot where the second buoy should have been. Success! After the folks on the cruiser finished with the tub at the hot springs we made our way to shore in the kayak and headed to the tub.
Weewanie Hot Springs runs about 102º. It has a smaller “tub” for bathing that can be drained afterwards and a larger tub for soaking. And, soak we did. Perfect.
After our soak we watched four whales travel down Devastation Channel while we spent a quiet night anchored in the small bay.
KITIMAT. Isn’t that a nice name. Pronounced just like it’s spelled. Kitimat. I really really wanted to like a town with such a nice name. But….there are a few issues with Kitimat and MK Marina.
Kitimat does have in interesting history. It came into existence in the 1950s when Alcan developed a hydroelectric facility to support the aluminum smelting industry. The company built a dam, a 10 mile tunnel, powerhouse, 51 mile transmission line, a deep sea terminal and smelter. Additionally, the company also designed, laid out and assisted with the initial construction of the city. At the time, the combined development was considered the most expensive project ever attempted by private industry. All of this was accomplished in a span of a four years and is well documented in the museum.
The marina itself isn’t bad. But there is nothing near the marina. Seriously nothing. No parks, no trails to hike, and town is roughly 10 miles from the marina. A taxi runs $60 roundtrip, WHOA! We utilized the bus to get to the grocery and museum (a fine museum), working around the very limited bus schedule. The second issue with the marina is the breakwater…or lack thereof. It has breakwaters, we know this because we could see them, but they are truly ineffective. Between the wind channelling down Kitimat Arm and the small fishing boats going in and out at fast speeds it made for a bumpy stay. Would we go back to Kitimat? Probably not. Note I haven’t any pictures because, well there wasn’t much to take pics of.
KITSAWAY ANCHORAGE. The forecast was for a windy couple of days. This is were we chose to wait out the wind and a good choice it was. It was a pretty anchorage and the crabbing was the best we’ve ever had. A very worthwhile stop. p.s. I STILL have crab in my freezer.
OWYACUMISH BAY. This is one of the most beautiful bays we have seen. Absolutely spectacular. Gardner Cannel has been one of the more scenic channels we’ve been in and Owyacumish Bay made the trip down this channel worth while.
That said, Captain Rusty made several valiant attempts to find Sweet T a suitable anchorage but eventually conceded that there was not a decent place to drop anchor with sufficient swing room. It’s a small deep bay then all of a sudden it’s shallow. He would not have been able to let out any scope whatsoever. The Douglas book we use rarely fails us, but it is 20 years old and over the years the recommended spot was no longer the depth they reported. Oh how we wanted to stay here. For days….
It’s good to have a Plan B though so we headed back to Europa Hot Springs (aka Shearwater Hot Springs) to spend a night or two.
EUROPA HOT SPRINGS. What a great stay we had here! The scenery was lovely, the bath house was nice, and with warm days and brilliant blue skies it was perfect. The temp in this tub runs about 107º; the warmest of the hot springs we visited. This was my favorite hot springs because it was off the beaten path with beautiful views no matter which way we were facing and since we were off the “popular” route we had the bay and hot springs all to ourselves. We made our way to the tub a couple of times for a good soak.
BISHOP BAY HOT SPRINGS. Continuing on with our hot springs tour our next stop was Bishop Bay Hot Springs. We headed out on yet another warm sunny day. We left Gardner Channel for Ursula Channel for Bishop Bay Hot Springs. This is the most “popular” hot springs we visited. The small dock was super crowded with small boats when we first arrived so we waited until early the next morning to visit the tubs. We did luck out and were able to grab an empty mooring buoy when we arrived. A nice boardwalk that led to a nice tub with an outdoor tub for bathing, inside tub for soaking. This tub ran around 104º.
With all these bath houses I’m not sure we’ve ever been this clean while cruising. I’m also not sure what that says about us, but don’t judge us.
All is well.