We left our anchorage in Mackenzie Sound at 0630, rushing to make it through Kenneth Passage on the last of the ebb. A band of fog clung part way up the mountains beside and behind us, but we could see blue sky ahead, so were hopeful the fog would lift and we’d have good visibility for most of our passage.
But the weather gods weren’t on our side. Fog dogged us through the narrow channel west of Kenneth, making it nerve-wracking to spot the multiple drift logs swirling about in the current, which was now against us as well.
Even when we reached the wider waters of Grappler Sound, clarity was elusive – as is often the case on summer mornings in the Broughton Archipelago. Fog rolls in from Queen Charlotte Strait and sticks around until early afternoon. It can be stealthy: it appears to lift, only to move around and descend again a few minutes later, thicker than ever. That’s OK when we’re at anchor, but we don’t want to get caught travelling in such deceptive conditions, especially these day when there are so many drift logs, which radar can’t detect.
The fog entirely blanketed the intricate shorelines and passages between our boat and our intended destination (hidden somewhere in the photo above) so we needed a duck-in. Luckily Carriden Bay was close by, with calm water, sunshine and plenty of room to anchor. We’d passed it many times before but this was the first time we’d stopped. It was a good place to practice patience while we watched and waited.
Two hours later we were underway again, thinking the way was clear – but soon the fog returned with a vengeance. We needed yet another duck-in, this one secure enough for overnight anchorage as we weren’t going to keep playing this game.
At 1045 we made it into Tracey Harbour, just before fog filled its opening passage. We’d never been there before, and it proved a good discovery – nice enough that we stayed for two nights. It’s unlikely we would have gone there if not for the fog, so in that sense, I guess the stealthy beast actually did us a favour that morning.
PHOTO SHOW: “Breathing Space”, an exhibit by three members of the Gabriola Photography Club, runs until April 14, downstairs at the Gabriola Medical Clinic (weekdays). Together we’re showing about 30 prints, and “Morning Revelation”, the photo above, is one of mine on display. You can find more info here.