Culpepper Lagoon to Windy Bay

Using Tom Bay for tide guidance, we figured we needed to be at the narrows by 7am.  I worried a bit about our calculations, because just as I was getting up (at 6am), the sailboat Imagine was hauling anchor and heading out. But we continued with our plan, hauled anchor at 6:38, and headed for the narrows.

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Waterfall in Kynoch Inlet

When we arrived, the sailboat had already departed the lagoon, so we knew the currents were going to be fine for us. In fact, the narrows were virtually calm, and out we went. I was at the helm, as Bob tried to get the watermaker to work one last time. Very inconvenient up here in the back of beyond without a watermaker! This time, the unit would not even turn on. Clearly, some issues with the filters that we cannot address. Oh well, we enjoyed the sunshine as we headed out Kynoch Inlet. It was a short trip to Windy Bay, so we took a detour up Mussel Inlet to Oatswish Bay. This bay is marked as too deep for safe anchorage, but I wanted to check it out. Our route took us past the beautiful Lizette waterfall, and some seals on a rock by Thomas Island. The head of Oatswish was lovely, but as advertised, it would be a challenge and a half to find a tenable anchor spot.

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Put on a show. Might make #1 waterfall so far on this trip. Not tall, but very interesting flows.

We turned back for Windy Bay. On the way, we ducked into Bolin Bay as a possible alternate, and didn’t like what we saw, so back to the original plan for Windy Bay. It is large and open, and we tucked in behind the islet where the water was calm and the sun was warm. Seals were hauled out on a drying rock next to the inlet, growling, and there was an unseen waterfall we could hear just off our anchor spot.

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Bolin Bay would take a little time to find a place to anchor, but it might be worth it for the view.

It was a nice place to chill, and we spent a very lazy day reading and with Bob working on pictures. It wasn’t an anchorage that was calling for dinghy or kayak exploration, so we just relaxed.

Dinner was salmon gorgonzola and a nice Gerwurtztraminer, capped off with a few coconut cookies and the magic of satellite TV bringing us Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and South Park. Who could ask for more? We had a 6:30am departure to hit slack in Hiekish Narrows, so we didn’t stay up too late. Before bed, we noticed the air mass had changed and clouds were coming in. We went to bed all alone in Windy Bay.

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That salmon shows up in another dinner


Blind Channel Resort to Dent Island Lodge

Blind Channel Resort to Dent Island Lodge: 15.8NM

Happy Labor Day! No labor for us!! We awoke to a cold and foggy morning and were glad of the heat on our boat. Have I mentioned that the water around here is about 50 degrees? You don’t want to go swimming, that’s for sure.


 This is how "stuff" gets delivered here. In this case, a barge full of propane tanks of all sizes. 

We headed out for Dent Island Lodge, a small resort owned by the Nordstrom family that our friends Ann and Doug recommended highly to us.


Dent Island Lodge  


Karen at the Dent Island welcome sign.  

I had already planned to come, but it was great hearing about it from someone who had been there. We timed our trip to go through Dent Rapids at slack and arrived to a fairly empty dock at Dent Island. It is a lovely spot, set on the mainland but right next to “canoe rapids” that run about 12 knots at maximum flood or ebb and make a lovely waterfall noise.


Canoe Rapids in full flow.  


Canoe Rapids turns slack.  


If you want to visit Dent Island, it's going to be by boat or plane. Here the "rush hour" arrivals come right after we have docked.  

The lodge has a huge main building with a library, a TV, a bar, dining room and outside decks as well as a cascade of other decks down to the canoe rapids where you can sit and read a book and watch the rapids. Radiating out from the main lodge is a system of wooden walkways and bridges that lead to 4 “cabins” nestled into the pines. Each cabin has a deck with a view of the water, and while I didn’t get into one, I’m sure they are lovely.

There is a workout room that has floor to ceiling windows looking at the water…but who wants to work out? Must be for those corporate types who come here for retreats.


Exercise room exterior. All the buildings have a beautiful rustic architechture.


Dent Island exercise room.  


View from the exercise room.  


Same view from the exercise room but at high tide.

There is a large group of Japanese fishing enthusiasts who are here and are repeat guests. They fish from dawn to dusk and brought their own chef from Japan to cook for them. They are really nice and seem to be having fun.

We cooked up the “pink” salmon for lunch on the grill (yummy, and so fresh) and then Bob got antsy and wanted something to do. The kayaking is on the other side of the bay, so the 110 lb kayak needed to be portaged to the back bay. It quickly became clear that I wasn’t up to the task, so Bob drafted the dock guy and the CHEF of this resort to do the dirty work. I shudder to think how they carried that thing 200 yards, up and down paths and across those wooden bridges.


The docks at Dent Island.

Time to kayak! We had a great time, though I was nervous that the rapids (both Canoe and Dent were howling) might reach out and suck us into their turmoil. Of course, they were a zillion yards away but you could see some white water and hear them, but where we were was like a millpond, and that was fine with us.


Dent Island from Back Bay in the kayak.  


Large Dent cabin as seen from the kayak.

 The kayak we left in the back bay but we’ll have to figure out how to get it back to our boat, hopefully when the canoe rapids are at slack. We decided to stay an extra day because Ann and Doug were coming on the 6th and because Bob wanted to go salmon fishing.


The next-door neighbor at Dent Island. You need a boat or a seaplane to go borrow a cup of sugar.

 Our dinner at the lodge was fabulous, very high quality stuff in a relaxed surrounding. The best part was that the lodge has 2 cats who hang out in the dining room. This is totally cool with me, as our cats do that too. Bob and I fed them both little tidbits of goat cheese soufflé and they were quite happy. One, “Miss Kitty”, let me hold her and I put here in Bob’s lap. I needed a kitty fix and got it!  We also watched 2 seals “body surf” through the canoe rapids, which was really neat to see.


Karen "poses" with Miss Kitty.


If there is a cat, Karen will find it. In this case, Twitch.