We anchored in the peaceful bliss of Santa Gertrudis Cove just inside Nootka Sound. We had to sneak by two menacing rocks as the sun was going down. We made it through and anchored in the middle of the snug little cover that we had to ourselves. Our guidebook mentions a trail to a lake. The day before fellow cruisers Emily and Dominic said that they did not find the trail. So I went ashore (machete in hand) in the morning to see if it could be found. Before long I found what looks like could be a trail so Ranger and I made our way through the heavy undergrowth for 1 mile before we came to a lake. On our way back to the boat we slowly and methodically hacked the trail clear for us and those in our wake to find. When I came out of the forest and back to the beach we had a neighbor to share our little cove. They were a couple from Seattle on a Salish Sea cruise. Alexander and Victoria finished their school work and as we were readying for our hike to the lake another boat joined us in the cove. This boat too was from Seattle and their moorage slip was in the same marina that we left just a few weeks ago. Again, it is a small world. We made our way to the lake to find that it was not exactly the best for swimming. While Alexander and I did swim for a short time the water was just a little too murky and muddy to entice Ashley or Victoria in for a swim. Our two neighboring boat crews did make the hike and few of them decided to have a swim too. We chatted about our experiences on our respective voyages and compared our favorite spots. After we hiked back to the beach we spent the next few hours exploring at low tide. Ranger was able to get lots of exercise. Alexander put on his mask and snorkel and with his waterproof camera investigated all that the low tide offers 6 year old curiosity. Victoria used this opportunity to expand her crafting imagination. She found on the beach various items to design a school of fish. Using driftwood pieces, kelp leaves, rocks and shells to make for a wonderfully creative design on a large driftwood log.
Bligh Island Campfire
The next morning we lifted anchor and again carefully made our way between the reefs. We set a course for Bligh Island. Bligh Island is named for Lt Bligh who was an officer on George Vancouver expedition of discovery that mapped and named much of the Salish Sea and Vancouver Island. It is the same Admiral Bligh whose crew famously mutinied and set him adrift in the story of Mutiny on the Bounty. It was our trip to Bligh Island that allowed us to check the primary box that brought us to the outside of Vancouver Island. Ashley needed to see sea otters in the wild. It was already agreed between Alexander, Victoria and I that when we see our first otter that the three of us will have to tackle mom and hold her down from jumping in the water and trying to cuddle the cute little creatures. As soon as the first otter was identified Victoria wasted no time looking at it, she immediately jumped on her moms legs to hold her down. Good job Victoria! It worked and Ashley stayed on the boat. They are every bit as cute as we thought they would be but they are pretty shy so they do not let you get too close before diving underwater and out of sight. Despite this, it was great to see them and we were lucky enough to see quite a few. At the anchorage there was not much in the way of a beach or hiking trails. There was a small area that kayakers use as a camp so we went ashore there and explored a dry creek bed that went nearly straight up through the thick forest. After some time in the forest we came back to the camping area and Ashley and I set about making a campfire. Alexander and Victoria made themselves essential in their tireless search for dried leaves and twigs to keep the fire going. Once the fire was going strong they then turned their attention to collecting the wild sea asparagus that grows on this particular shoreline. Once they amassed a good stockpile of sea asparagus we went back to Samadhi to make dinner. Ashley made us some amazing Lentils, cauliflower and sautéed sea asparagus. It was fantastic and it felt very good to harvest what nature offered us. After dinner we returned to our now smoldering campfire. We quickly had it roaring again. We spent the rest of the evening talking about sea otters and campfires. We would have loved to have cooked dinner on the fire or at the very least made s’mores but alas we were unprepared to do either. The setting was magnificent. We watched the sun go down between the islands as we sat by the campfire with Samadhi just offshore anchored in glass calm water. We returned to Samadhi under the stars and the kids were asleep in their beds in minutes.