West Spitfire Cove To Dodwell Group Inner Basin

We enjoyed a peaceful night, the winds were calm, and no swells can make it into this protected cove. We awoke to clouds, but they quickly parted, revealing blue skies and bright sun. Today’s plan is a short 8 nautical mile trip to Sans Peur Cove (off Sans Peur Passage, in the McNaughton Group), so we took our time enjoying breakfast, some housekeeping and a little planning.
The route to Sans Peur takes us down Spitfire Channel to the west, on the “outside” for just a mile or so and around Superstition Point and Superstition Ledge. The combination of shallow waters and the ocean swells made for choppy seas and we certainly can understand why some kayakers choose to portage from Swordfish Bay toSuperstition Cove rather than deal with the currents and rip tides off Superstition Point. 
Superstition Point
We left the shore about a mile to our starboard side and with the stabilizers working, we had a good but confused ride. It honestly was the most “motion” we’ve felt on this calm-to-date trip, far more than around Cape Caution. As soon as we turned into the entrance to Cultus Sound, the seas were on our stern and everything calmed down very quickly. Karen says “Cultus” means “worthless” or “good for nothing” in Chinook jargon, but today it means sunny and beautiful. She sat for a while on the bow, just enjoying the blue skies and lack of wind.
Karen enjoying the peaceful ride in Cultus Sound
Sans Peur requires a few doglegs to make your way in, but the charts are pretty good and kelp marks the fairway well. It’s a small cove and requires a stern tie. I set the hook (short scope) from the helm while Karen watched our stern to make sure we did not drift back into any rocks. Then, without too much drama, we got the stern tie set to a dead tree and were back on the boat in short order. The more you do these stern ties, the better you get at it.
The wind was about 15 knots out of the Northwest, which hit our bow in the forward port quarter. The anchor and stern tie were work hard to hold us in place. We decided to have a light lunch of leftover mac & cheese and see how things held.
Little islets dot our stern tie spot
Great view off the stern held fast by the stern tie just to the right
Although we held well, we’re only 28 yards from the lee shore and the winds are forecast to continue at this speed or higher all night. After checking our guidebooks for an alternate anchorage in the McNaughton Group with better wind protection (and finding none),we decided to head for our next planned anchorage in the Dodwell Group, just 4.5 miles away. We brought the dinghy on board and retrieved our 300 feet of stern line. The only hiccup was the anchor chain piled up again inside the locker, requiring me to go down and flake the chain as it came onboard. Alaskan Dream has 375 feet of chain, which we love, but it is at the limit of what will go back into the locker without some help. I think once you pay out more than 150 feet, you can plan of a 50/50 chance of have to flake the rode. Next stop, I ‘m going to pay out a bunch and see if I can flake it in so that it is less likely to pile up and jam.
Back underway, we have a short trip until we anchor at the Dodwell Group in the inner basin at the northern part of the group. Here too, you make a few turns around some small islets, and then find yourself in a moderately sized cove with good protection and nice views encompassing even more islets and rocky ledges. We anchored in the northeast corner, in about 40 feet, to protect ourselves from the northwest winds that were so troublesome in Sans Peur Cove. Of course, here the winds were out of the southwest. No matter, we have lots of room to swing. However, the crazy anchor chain did jam again on the way down. Fortunately, enough was paid out that we could set the anchor before addressing the jam in the chain locker.
One breathtaking day
With the winds, we decided to hunker down til late afternoon before going exploring. About 5:30, we headed out in the dinghy to explore some of the other anchorages that the Hamiltons talk about in their guidebook.We headed first toward Soulsby Point, where there is an old, abandoned fishing camp on the 20 meter island just west of the point.
Lots of great fishing stories were told here
It is amazing how much more fun a dinghy ride is when you do not have to shout to be heard. These headsets come in handy in so many ways.
We explored Soulsby Cove, and Forbidden Basin (so named by the Hamiltons because they could not get their anchor to set there, even with a tandem anchor).All the sites are pretty, but none are better than where we are!! It was only about a 3.5 mile round trip to explore these areas.
Karen is checking the how much water we have in the shallows with our handheld depth meter
Dinner was Karen’s favorite – Curried Chicken Salad with Golden Raisins and Celery, served with hot, fresh, homemade drop biscuits. We watched a little Sat TV until the signal could’t keep up with the movement of the boat any more. An early night for all!