We left Shearwater late yesterday morning and made our way over to Codville Lagoon. As we got just south of Bella Bella, we turned the corner into Lama Passage (I think that’s its name), we were “greeted” by about 75 gill netters with nets strung pretty much the entire width of the channel.
We looked behind us just as another one was setting his net from one side of the channel, across our stern and headed for the other side.
“Quick!! Turn around and get out while we can!!” I said to Kevin, but it was too late (and the other route around and through Gunboat Passage was considerably longer). So we picked our way through the crazy maze of nets and boats…it was complex and intricate, this maze. The boats let their nets out and what you can see on top of the water is a teeny tiny line of white dots (once you’re close enough to see them) and at each end of their net, there’s an orange float.
But there were so many of them, right next to each other, that we had to basically zig zag back and forth across the channel and/or find the end floats that were far enough from shore to squeeze past. It was nuts. We’ve never seen anything like this many boats in such close proximity. The interesting thing was that they were all being so polite and civil to each other on the radio while they jockeyed for their sets…this is NOT how it would have sounded in Alaska. I’m serious. The gill netters we’ve heard on the radio are, well…FAR less polite.
We saw this tug and barge up ahead of us and wondered how the heck they made it through, but it’s more likely that he was through before they started setting nets.
The cruise over to Codville Lagoon was beautiful and uneventful (after we got through the net maze).
We met up with our three new friends on Dawnbreaker (Lars, Thomas, and Urban) and anchored at the head of the lagoon. Their dinghy was on shore at the trailhead so we knew they’d hiked up to the lake already. We did a little work and had a light lunch and then hiked up to the lake after they got back. We made a plan for a co-op happy hour at 6pm on Airship.
The hike to Sagar Lake is not a long hike.
There are wonderful boardwalks built to walk on for most of it, but in some spots, there are stairs made from roots and they’re a little bit of a scramble.
Little frogs along the trail:
Actual stairs in one spot:
The lake was placid and the only sounds were bird sounds and water moving somewhere down the shore (maybe a small waterfall from the hillside). We saw kingfishers, one goose, and an osprey overhead. The beach! A sandy beach!
We heard there were wolves around here, but didn’t see any tracks on the sand (just the tracks of the barefoot sailors…they all went for a swim when they were here).
We headed back to Airship, and about a third of the way down the trail I spotted some fresh wolf tracks. So fresh, that they were filling with water as I got out my camera to take these two photos:
There were some smaller tracks next to them…maybe a wolf pup? Pretty cool. (And now I’ll say that while I was sitting on the beach up at the lake, I had the very distinct feeling of being watched.)
Back to the lagoon, Dawnbreaker and Airship at anchor:
Back at Airship we had snacks and a cocktail on the top deck, and were having such a nice time we invited the guys to stay for dinner. We grilled some halibut and I made some lemon risotto with zucchini. It was a very fun night!
We’re monitoring weather conditions for crossing Cape Caution, and tomorrow looks like it might be good. After tomorrow there look to be a few days of not so good weather. Dawnbreaker is headed down to the Koeye River today. There’s a little cove that looks anchorable in good weather. Their plan is to anchor and take the dinghy on an excursion up the river…word is that there are quite a few grizzlies back in there. We aren’t sure what we’ll do yet. We’ve got some limited internet here in Codville Lagoon so we’re doing some work while we can. We’ll either take our time for a few days, or head down to Fury Cove and get set up to cross Cape Caution tomorrow.