At anchor in the Octopus Islands
Last year, I had dreamed of reaching the Octopus Islands, because their reputation was superb and I wanted to see if reality lived up to the hype. It does….in spades. We had a peaceful night at anchor, and awoke to watch the tide recede. This was particularly interesting, because while we knew that these islands were dotted with rocks, when the tide went out, you could see them in living color. A bit scary, as we had navigated so carefully yesterday and had the charts with the enlargement of the area in our hands and on our computers, but not every hazard is marked and it pays to keep a close eye on the water from the bow, looking for white smears that turn into big rocks at low tide.
The day before when we anchored in the afternoon at high tide, this was the view just to our north. Maybe a good place to anchor?
The next morning; low tide, and the same view reveals the rocks and shoaling that were covered at high tide. Definitely not a good place to anchor!
Best of Times in The Octopus from the kayak.
While the tide was low, we went for a 90-minute kayak excursion, our second experience in the kayak and just a great as the first. In fact, it was better, as exploring at low tide means that you see all the cool life forms that are typically covered up. We saw huge orange and purple starfish, crabs, and clams, who at low tide were squirting water into the air like geysers. Bob and I do not have the hang of synchronous paddling yet, but we are trying to improve. We did see a few huge seals frolicking across Waiatt Bay, but they were shy and did not let us approach.
Karen in the Kayak.
After lunch and a siesta, we decided to go for a dinghy ride to see the entire area and scope it out. Unfortunately, our tour was cut short by rain. I was amazed that on a Friday of a long holiday weekend, there were so few boats in this lovely province-maintained marine park. We retreated to our dry boat in our snug anchorage, now shared with just one other boat, a sailboat apparently single-handed by an avid female kayaker. Wonder if she gets lonely?
Karen shows off her bruises as she hangs the towels out to dry, taking advantage of the sun starting to chase away the rain.
The view from our cove over to the neighboring cove. Another stern line holds us fast in this small anchorage.
Where's Karen? Just look for the book, blankie and sunbeam. Do Not Disturb!
One other thing – up here, getting rid of garbage is a chore. Few places accept it, and there’s always a charge. There was a garbage barge moored at the entrance to the marine park, complete with flower boxes and a money box on a chair for you to use the honor system when you dropped off your refuse. How cool is that?
The garbage barge outside Octopus entrance.