I got an email tonight instead of a phone call! Thats got to be a good sign ... unless they are really just hiding around the corner! No, they also sent some photos (coming to the blog soon).
They are in Port Hardy, cleaning up and resupplying for the crux part of the trip around the North end of the island and down the exposed and largely uninhabited west coast. In Jeff's words, they are "imitating the walking dead" right now.
They've had some memorable experiences coming up the inside passage, including seeing Pacific whitesided dolphins just North of Seymour Narrows, and playing chicken with barges towing huge rafts of logs! Apparently, these often deviate from the shipping lanes. I hear it can be quite unnerving in darkness when you can hear and smell the logs, but can't see where they are!
The bioluminescence has been brilliant. Off Telegraph Cove they saw three streaks of bioluminescence cruise beneath their boat fast, and then heard a popping breath. The assumption was dolphins, but equally likely it could have been an orca, given the high concentration of orcas in that area.
The hoped-for Easterly winds never actually materialized today. They just got the good old Northwesterlies in the face as usual. A strong/gale wind blew up for a while so they took the opportunity to brew up and have a nice dinner. Then they proceeded to paddle again once the evening calmed. They claim all this night paddling is to avoid the wind, but a few readers have suggested that this is just a ruse and its really all due to the color of their boat!
They are considering leaving Port Hardy tomorrow (5/17) morning to do the last stretch up to the head of the Island before heading out in a Westerly direction along the exposed North coast of the Island. The forecast is for winds Northwesterly 5 to 15 knots easing to light overnight then rising to Westerly 10 to 15 Thursday afternoon. Its about time those Northwesterlies stopped, but unfortunately this is just in time for their west-bound leg towards Cape Scott!. The outlook for the following days is winds backing to light to moderate southeast then rising to Strong to gale force. This should be just as they round Cape Scott and start the long slog down the coast in a South Easterly direction! Ouch! As Keirron says, "we wouldn't want to do it the easy way, would we?"