Miles Inlet to Murray Labyrinth

I awoke just before the alarm at 7:00am. We seldom use an alarm when on vacation, but we had a date with the tide. There is little information to be found on Murray Labyrinth. but Karen has been fascinated by the sound of any place whose name contains the word "Labyrinth". Those few mariners who have made the journey through the Labyrinth rave that if you master the challenges of the zig zag, somewhat "blind" entrance, you will be rewarded by a delightful protected anchorage with endless areas to explore via dinghy and/or kayak.

So off we went for the short 5 mile run. Along the way a humpback whale appeared on our port beam and paralleled our course until it sounded for food. It's always exciting to see a whale, and this encounter was most unexpected.

The route into Murray Labyrinth earns it name. It is narrow with many twists and turns. A zig-zag narrow channel between the rocks is intimidating. That is why we choose to make the run at low tide (it was a 3ft low tide) when more potential obstructions are visible. The trade off of running at low tide is the channel is narrower and demands the helm be diligent in choosing the course.

We supplemented our Nobeltec navigation display with a bow watch. It is a good practice, but seldom has the bow watch contributed in other narrow passages. Either the sun was in the wrong position so that its reflection on the water obscured anything below the surface or we never got close enough to the rocks or the bottom for the bow watch to issue a warning. This time was different. Twice the bow watch sounded an alarm just before the helm noticed the depth was dramatically lessening. Hats off to the bow watch, Karen!

Once inside the narrow entrance, the water opens up to a beautiful bay. The only obstruction is a rock that sits near the middle. Where else would a rock sit?

The holding is good in a mud bottom and we anchored in 21 feet about equal distance from three shores and that aforementioned rock. It’s important to note that the rock is only visible at low water and quickly covers, so be aware.

The anchorage is well protected and calm. The winds would blow from time to time but seldom exceeded 8 knots. Out on the Strait, it was blowing 20-30.

Given that our fair weather of the previous day had turned to rain, combined with the fact that we were both bone tired, made the day one of small projects around the boat, napping, reading, working on this blog and taking pictures between the raindrops. 20090907_Murray Labyrinth_0026 Karen Napping

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How Many Books Can Karen Read On a Rainy Day?

Although the forecast for tomorrow calls for a lot of rain, we still hope to get out and explore. Some of our most memorable trips in the kayaks and the dinghy have been in the rain, so we are seldom deterred by precipitation. Of course, a warm shower afterwards makes the memories even fonder. 

Right around 6PM the sun tried to make an appearance. Given the gloomy forecast for tomorrow, this is simply Mother Nature trying to tease us into optimism. For the rest of the evening it oscillated between rain, rain showers and more peeks of sun. Such is the weather in the Pacific Northwest.

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A Rainy Window Showing All our Satellite Gear: SPOT, Bluetooth GPS and XM Weather Receiver

The rain held off long enough for me to grill some sockeye salmon with an orange glaze accompanied by curried sweet potatoes.