We awoke in Little Nimmo Bay to big gusty SE winds and intermittent rain. Our nice calm bay now had some wavelets and even a few mini-white caps. The weather was about a 180 from the day before, something to be expected up here.
We had breakfast and waited for the helicopters from the resort to depart. One even flew low by the boat and the passengers waved.
As previously planned, we weighed anchor (and BOY was it dirty – by the time I got it washed down I was covered in mud) and then headed to the small dock in front of the lodge. It was really blowing and I wondered how we would get in there safely. Fenders out and lines at the ready, Bob greased the boat into the dock perfectly, and Nimmo Bay Resort’s owner (Craig Murphy) and another man were there to take our lines. As soon as we were secure, we were handed a hose with precious clean water to fill our tanks.
Once done, Craig boarded, took a look around and chatted with us a while. He offered the dock to us for the night, given the winds, but we decided it was time to head on to Greenway Sound. We backtracked through the narrow and rock strewn entrance to the bay and headed off, having some chili for lunch along the way.
We had winds and some rain, but nothing penetrated our snug little boat and on we went. We were surprised when Sullivan Bay Marina appeared – it looked like Manhattan in this wilderness area. We did a quick “drive by” in the rain but kept on going. We had been having a challenge with pumping our holding tanks – and so we called the charter operator to get some trouble shooting advice. Told us to put some liquid laundry detergent down the head with the hope being that if the pump was working we’d see bubbles next time we tried to pump it out. The thought was that the holding tank warning lights were stuck “on” and that the macerator pump had been working per usual.
We had planned to anchor in the east end of Carter Passage in Greenway Sound, but when we went in to look around, the winds were howling and there was no protection from the SE. So we decided the better part of valor was to head for Greenway Sound Marina (a large, U-shaped totally floating marina – not connected to land at all) and tie up for the night.
Once again, Bob made a perfect docking approach and Tom Taylor, the owner of the marina, grabbed our lines and told us the winds had really been howling all day. We were one of 5 boats in total, as the season was well winding down. Tom and his wife Ann were really welcoming, and though their restaurant had closed for the season, we were able to snag some leftover desserts (cheesecake for Bob and a Nanaimo bar for me). There was also great internet service and some goodies in their store. We had tested the “bubbles” only to know that the head was still not working, so it was time to call Brian at Northwest Explorations again.
He had Bob do some trouble shooting (to no avail), so a mechanic was to arrive here on Monday afternoon to fix the issue. We had delicious pork tenderloin and rice pilaf for dinner and took some time to relax. Greenway Sound Marina is up for sale, and we surely hope the new owners are as nice as Tom and his wife Ann. This is a truly lovely spot.
Monday dawned without the SE winds – the area became so calm vs. the day before! After doing laundry, dumping garbage, and buying some provisions, we launched the dinghy and went over to the dinghy dock at the base of the trail to Broughton Lake. This trail is managed by the BC parks service, and Tom had told us it was a great hike up to the lake. Bob had all his photo gear in his backpack, grabbed a walking stick and off we went. The trail was lovely and well-marked, but narrow and slippery in many places. We saw one super-huge Pacific slug, a tree frog and a snake, but no bears. That was fine with me. We took some nice photos at the lake, and started to walk to the next lake along “corduroy” logging roads, but they were so slick we were afraid of injury and turned back. We were gone about 3 hours total. The rainforest is so dense, it’s like you are in a cathedral of trees. The moss formations are amazing.
Nice Rainforest Trail
The mechanic wasn’t able to make it (long story), so Brian, our charter company owner, arranged to be here Tuesday morning via float plane from Campbell River to address the head issue. We decided to just relax and have a peaceful night.
Tuesday dawns to…FOG. We knew Brian’s plane would likely be late, so we took it easy and got a tour of another boat docked at Greenway, a 54’ Bracewell Pacesetter. Very nice boat, with a “dinghy garage” so the dinghy is actually stored inside what would normally be the lazarette area in the stern of the boat. Three staterooms and even an exercise bike on the flybridge. What fun!!
We saw the resident blue heron as well as a very inquisitive seal that kept eyeing us as we sat on the bench at the end of the U-shaped dock and looked out over the water, awaiting the sound of a seaplane’s engine.
11:15 – Brian’s plane arrives!! Apparently they had to work hard to find a way into Greenway due to the fog, they actually touched down on the water near Minstrel Island and waited an hour for the fog to dissipate. Boy, were we happy to see him!
To the Rescue
While Bob and Brian worked on the (smelly) head, I sat outside in the sun a while reading and then went over to chat with Ann at the marina office. We had a nice chat, but then the boys arrived looking glum and using Tom’s phone to call for more “head” advice.
Brian (a.k.a. Dr. Poop hard at work)
To make a long story short, about 2pm they found the issue – the “culprit” was the brass thru-fitting on the standpipe and vent pipe – it was corroded. There were several holes in each pipe. So the pump sucked in air instead of drawing from the holding tank. Bob and Brian gingerly cleaned it (it was fragile) and sealed the holes with sealant and self-fusing repair tape…and after cleaning out the bilge areas to clear out any remaining detritus, we were up and running again. Yea!
Tom helped Brian get a flight out, and Ken Smith, the owner of the 54’ Pacesetter we had toured earlier in the morning, asked us if we wanted to go fishing. He had been awaiting guests from Seattle via floatplane but the fog kept them away. We had planned to leave for Laura Cove, but the idea of going out fishing (in his 22’ fishing boat) was too good to pass up. We left around 5pm and had a blast, setting crab pots and fishing, though we only caught four small rockfish that we tossed back. We returned to Greenway Sound Marina about 8:30 as it was getting dark, and I bought another yummy Nanaimo Bar from Tom before heading to Discovery for the night.