Author Topic: Trip to Nootka Sound  (Read 5064 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Markshoreline

Trip to Nootka Sound
« on: July 22, 2014, 08:45:39 AM »
After weeks of getting the boat and gear ready we departed Shoreline on Sunday morning.  LiLi towed nicely except in places where the freeway lanes were "rutted" from tire studs that caused a little swerving unless I kept the speed down to 60 or less and everything was OK.  With 50 lbs pressure in the trailer tires the V6 4Runner pulls it nicely at reasonable (60 ish) speeds, even full of fuel, ice and gear.

What was to be a brief stop in the Tulalip Cabela's ended up in the ladies' section looking for just the right color resulting in a little stress while heading to the border when we saw the Peace Arch wait time was 90 minutes to cross!  We hadn't anticipated such a long wait so we chose the Douglas crossing which was just about 60 minutes wait time.  The pressure was caused by our ferry reservation which required us to pull into the terminal no more than 60 minutes and no less than 30 minutes prior to sailing.  It worked fine, however and we had an uneventful ferry ride to Nanaimo which for a 45 foot rig costs about $250 one way.  When we booked our return trip reservation most prime time sailings were already booked so we had to settle for an 8:15 pm which would get us back home quite late.  Book your reservations as soon as you can!

From Nanaimo we traveled North up the East side of Vancouver Island which is about 300 miles long and 50 miles wide.  It was a surprisingly hot day at 92 F but the travel was uneventful.  We arrived in Campbell River and enjoyed the fine hospitality of Gooddays Greg and his son Nick.  We were treated to a dinner of oysters, spot prawns and salmon, YUM!  A little fishing intel was also very much appreciated.

Monday morning we were refreshed and headed across the mountains through Strathcona park and took in the tremendous snow capped peaks and lake views.  The road is pretty curvy so slower trailering speeds are called for.  A couple of hours after leaving Campbell River we arrived at Gold River and found the boat launch.  The local tribe operates the launch and provides a secure parking area for vehicles and trailers- our six night stay cost $60.00.  The ramp itself is marginal at best since the floats are in disrepair and one side is too shallow for many boats.  Users prefer the side closest to the road and line up for it, whereas the other is often unused.  At low tides (2 feet or less) the ramp is dry and unusable.  Once launched and the vehicle was secured we motored the hundred or so yards out the river into Muchalat Inlet to begin the 20 mile cruise to our destination- Critter Cove in Nootka Sound.  Incidentally, there is a flying service Nootka Air close by the dock if you'd prefer to fly.   Once mid day arrives the wind begins to pick up and creates some significant head on waves which slow progress and can make for a serious boat wetting!  The 21 hardtop cruised beautifully through the  chop, however keeping us comfy and dry.

Critter Cover http://www.crittercove.com/ is a fishing resort that features cabins on floating docks- pretty cool to have your boat tied up in front of your cabin!  They are only open two months a year, however.  There are a few other lodges in the area including Moutcha Bay and Nootka Sound Lodge as well as Cougar Creek campground which boasts a boat launch and dock you can reach by car in another hour or so from Gold River.

While salmon fishing had been red hot the week prior to our arrival it cooled down significantly our first two days there.  We turned our attention to bottom fish and pulled out some very nice lings as well as an assortment of rockfish.  Jigging is a hoot when you'e in a fishy area such as Nootka! 
We got into our first salmon just inside the ocean near Friendly Cove http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootka_Crisis#mediaviewer/File:Vancouver-friendly-cove.jpg
Trolling a flasher and anchovy we quickly put three large springs in the boat.  That area limits each fisher to retain only one fish over 77cm (about 30 inches- 16-17 lbs.).  Because two of our first three fish were over 77, we were catching whopper fish only to release them because we were looking for a smaller one.  Failing that, we headed home for dinner.  Later that evening, we made a quick trip to Strange Island and within a minute or two were playing a perfectly sized keeper and were back at the cabin about half an hour from when we left.  One of the highlights this trip was Lisa learning to run the net.  After just a quick lesson she nailed the net job every time, even with huge, thrashing fish.  Her only weakness is the fish were so heavy she needed a little help lifting the full net over the gunwale into the boat!  Now I call her the Net Queen!
The ocean was very rough during our week though we did venture out twice briefly but it was much more comfortable inside, plus in the ocean you may only retain salmon under 77cm.  We caught all our fish inside the sound. 
At home on the dock we got to meet several Arima owners- Lorne (Blind Monkey), Ron (Fox Sea) and Gray who has a nice 17 skip who is not yet on our forum but is familiar with our group.  Ron and his wife had moorage only so were staying on their 19 hardtop with Alaskan bulkhead- very inspiring!  We also ran into Gooddays Greg and son Nick who made the trip a couple of days after us and spent the night at Cougar Creek.
One of the great things about Nootka is like it or not- you are unplugged.  There is no cell service, no TV and no wireless.  It was a great break for us to let go of our electronica and just be where we were in the moment.  We evolved into a routine of waking at 4:30 am, fishing hard through lunch then returning home to process fish and take a nap, then have dinner and head out again for the evening bite.
LiLi the boat performed amazingly well, and with the new Garmin 741XS networked to the motor I was able to track fuel usage.  With the 4 blade 15" SS Solas, we could cruise at 20+ mph achieving 3.5 mpg at a rate of 5.7 gph, certainly more thirsty than the 19 Ranger with the 115!  I gulped during a speed run at WOT when I saw the fuel usage was 16.7 gallons per hour at 38 mph, especially when doing the mental math and realizing that fuel on the West coast of Canada is around $6.00/gallon so the sprint was costing about $100/hour.  We kept her at a pace and trim to operate at 6 gph or less the rest of the time.
The radar worked nicely and along with the chart plotter helped us weave through the islands to the fishing spots a couple of days when the weather socked in.

We ran into Gray again (we met last year at Critter) and learned he was having main motor trouble so was completely dependent on his kicker.  Since he was heading out on Sunday as we were, we offered to tow him the 20 miles back to Gold River from Critter.  The water was calm and we both wanted to make the trip in less than 4-5 hours so we discussed a plan to pull his boat at planing speed.  The gutsy 150 was able to lift both boats onto a plane and we cruised at 10.5 mph for 2 hours back to Gold River while consuming 8.3 gph at a rate of 1.3 mpg.  We were able to get the boats loaded onto the trailers and spotted a pretty Arima who's owner is Pescadore on our site! I took a pic of the three boats but Pescadore is in the distance and a little hard to see.
The trip home was very pleasant- we were packing two possession limits (8 springs) and a few large lings, and we had the glow of a very enjoyable, relaxing trip to share.  All was uneventful except one minor scrape with the law... but we were soon on our way.
The 8:15 pm ferry out of Nanaimo got us to the mainland and fortunately the border was a breeze at almost midnight, but by 2 am we were happy to arrive home and dragging into bed at 3:00 was a blessing to end a great trip!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 05:16:15 PM by markshoreline »
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline theSaltyPuddle

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 01:08:55 PM »
Great report Mark.  Glad you enjoyed yourself and were able to get out of those cuffs!  Looks like you had a beautiful ocean in those pictures,  gotta love Nootka!  So apart from the extra fuel burn are you 100% satisfied with the upgrade from Lili 1?  The 21 sure is a beauty.
1985, 17' Sea Chaser, 2001 100hp Yamaha 4 stroke, 2002 Yamaha T8

Offline GregE

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2014, 04:21:51 PM »
I heard that officer can be influenced by TUNA.   :biggrin:

Nicely written report.    :applause:  No Critter Cove pics, eagles whales, ??? 
We're hoping to get up there next year and will carry some tuna just in case   :wink:
Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline Markshoreline

Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2014, 05:33:24 PM »
Rob, Lisa is thrilled with the 21 so I'm happy, despite the fuel and wind yaw.  Forgot the pic of one of her favorite features- the table on which we had a snack of lox and bagels ready to enjoy.





Greg, It's funny but when we had no wireless and no cell signal we kind of forgot about our phones so really missed a lot of pics!  Most of the ones we took are posted here.  Click on the link for Critter, though.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 09:17:44 PM by markshoreline »
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline GregE

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2014, 06:36:18 PM »
Oh yeah that looks great!!  No Brut flutes?   :wink:


Here's a couple pictures of the Critter Cove facilities for those who have not been there.





Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline GoodDays

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2014, 06:43:40 PM »
That fish cop looks mean !!  :whistle: I hope I don't run into him ! :hoboy:

GoodDays Greg

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2014, 07:04:05 PM »
Mean?  I'd say down right nasty!!!   :jester:

Greg, thanks for adding the pics, big omission on our part.  We weren't in the ocean long enough to try for hali's, and believe it or not eight days goes so much faster than you can ever imagine when you're having a good time!

I forgot to mention that we weren't totally unplugged... we brought along our Bose that can run on it's battery or plug in and it accepts iphones so we spent lots of time with our favorite tunes and over the course of 8 days we got way deep into our libraries.  It was really sweet!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 09:18:24 PM by markshoreline »
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline CanvasGuy

  • ArimaOwners.com Sr. Banner Engineer
  • Fisherman
  • *****
  • Posts: 2584
  • aka king slayer
  • View Gallery
    • Smart Custom Canvas
Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2014, 07:18:04 PM »
Great Report and a Great time..Nice Fish..
 good On Ya Mark.. :applause:


 about the Fish FUZZ.. Don't Worry...
 :biggrin: He's harmless..

 for your latest adventure..
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 08:05:35 PM by CanvasGuy »
Gary Smart
boatless  now
 http://www.smartcustomcanvas.com
“Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” Arthur C. Clarke

Offline GregE

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 07:23:13 PM »
Don't want to step on your story- but I bet you recognize some of these areas.  I'm having fun just remembering...   :biggrin:







Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline StreamFixer

  • Administrator
  • Fisherman
  • *****
  • Posts: 8731
  • Have Rod, Will Travel
  • View Gallery
    • StreamFix
Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2014, 08:07:32 PM »
All was cool as I read the report, however, when I got to Mark's last pictgure, I was unsure of which of the two in the picture was the more nefarious...  Still wondering. 

BC must run on the theory that it takes one to catch one   :shrug9:

Pretty sure a good time was had by all.  Maybe I will have the opportunity in the near future to join in on that trip.

StreamFixer
'97 19SC w/ Salt Boss Top
'03 Yamaha 115 EFI
'05 Yamaha T8 Solas 4 blade prop

"By the grace of God we travel upon the rivers and sea..
They, like He, are mightier than me."  Mike Jesperson aka 'Nalu'

Offline CompTime

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2014, 09:01:46 PM »
WOW  :bigshock:

It looks like you two had a great time. I'm glad to see you are making new memories on the boat and hope they continue.  :applause:
SEA RANGER 19 /GOT-BAIT?

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2014, 09:40:09 PM »
I leave a week from Sat for this exact trip. Have a 21 SR HT also.  Thanks for sharing this gave me a great idea of what to expect as i am a Nootka virgin.

Offline DSCS

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2014, 10:30:33 PM »
Great report Mark  :applause:  Now we'll have to get together for some Bibimbap and Hite so I can get the real low down.

I never use the Peace Arch crossing when I am towing.  I use the Pacific Highway crossing also known as the Truck Crossing (SR-543).  The wait times are usually shorter and the US side coming back is much easier to navigate with a trailer in tow.

Alan
We're most of us liars, we're 'arf of us thieves,
an' the rest are as rank as can be,
But once in a while we can finish in style
(which I 'ope it won't 'appen to me).

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2014, 10:32:02 PM »
Comp, the LiLi glow is all your doing!  Thanks so much.

Nord101, good luck on your trip, hope you have ferry reservations!  Do pay the tribe for the "secure" parking!  The Nootka regs are a bit complicated and vary depending on where you are.  Get the measuring stickers on your boat, have a good copy of the boundaries and what is legal/not legal in each area.  The fisheries police are very present as are the Coast Guard so make sure your safety equipment is up to standards.
Be sure to hang out on the docks and find out what others are doing.  Also, the Critter crew members know an awful lot about where/what is working and tipping is always a good way to make new friends!
You'll probably meet some ArimaOwners.com guys there!
Mark
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 10:41:08 PM by markshoreline »
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2014, 10:39:12 PM »
Alan,
I went to Hae Nam Calamari and BBQ House today and it was stunning!  No Hite though as I still had a lot of fish to run the sharp knife through.
Agree about the Pacific Highway crossing but now it's called Douglas and it is 543- the new road is great and the reader boards on I-5 are very accurate so follow their wait times to choose your crossing.
We came back via Peace Arch near midnight and it was just passport?, got anything? No, and goodbye!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 10:42:20 PM by markshoreline »
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline 2Steelhead

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2014, 06:06:39 AM »
Nice! Critter Cove looks perfect - along with everything else...
2002 19' Sea Ranger Hardtop
Yamaha F115TLRA
Yamaha 9.9

Offline corky12

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2014, 02:09:36 PM »
Where do you catch the ferry to go to Nanaimo?   I used to travel to Victoria and Nanaimo frequently in the 90,s with a motorhome and boat from Taswassen and it seemed we just got in line when we got there with no problem.  Maybe things have changed?   thanks   John

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2014, 02:33:24 PM »
It's still Tsawwassen, you can get to Victoria or Nanaimo from there.  Also the anacortes ferry goes to Victoria as does the black ball out of port Angeles.
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline Hydro-Therapy

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2014, 02:45:11 PM »

 Corky it is still much the same. But with a reservation you know you will get on the ferry without having to worry about having to wait for the next one. Highly recommended with heavier longer rigs like motor homes, pickup and campers pulling boats during peak times of the year.  :twocents:

 H-T
Fish forever Work whenever !!!!!
"89" 19SR Keith 115 Merc. 15 4s kicker W/trollmaster Raymarine A70D

Offline amazing grace

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2014, 03:43:17 PM »
Sweet. Great pix of the Lady holding her hog!  Good for you guys, living the dream. Congratulations. :smile1:
1989 22' C-Dory Angler

Offline blindmonkey

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #20 on: July 23, 2014, 04:45:37 PM »
It was great meeting Mark. Also saw the 21 with the wood pilothouse windows there and saw Good Days Greg's boat  out by Camel Rock. I am back there next week for round two   :party:
Lorne
2013 17' Sea Chaser, Honda 90, Yamaha F8
1994 Sea Explorer, Mercury 60, SOLD

Offline BruceL2_Fish

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2014, 06:49:58 PM »
 Mark, great report!  You are making me think it's time to try to visit that wonderful place.

Bruce
2012 Sea Ranger 19 (M. LaDeane)
Suzuki 115 Four Stroke
Honda 9.9 Kicker

Offline Markshoreline

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2014, 08:18:52 PM »
Bruce it is magnificent!  You can stay in a cabin or in a campground and fish your butt off!  The cool thing is you can do really short runs in the boat (like 5 minutes and be into big fish, or a run out to the ocean is half an hour plus however far you want to go after reaching the open water.  Soon you can start picking up coho after you've got your limit of springs.

Lorne, say hi to Ron (Fox Sea).  He's going back up, too.
2002 Sea Ranger HT 21, Yamaha 150, Yamaha 9.9

Offline GregE

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2014, 10:13:29 PM »
Bruce, and other optimistic Nootka dreamers: 
Lets plan on taking a Flotilla up there next July.  This week was recommended as the hot bite time- some times it is.....   :shrug9:

But wouldn't it be fun to have the corner table in the restaurant  filled with AO members eating fresh cinnamon rolls and comparing fishing stories?   :arms:

Greg
Osprey 26 LC Kodak;  Arima SR 19 HT; SL 22 Honda 225
http://www.sagecreekforums.com/phpforum/index.php
Sold:  Arima SE 16 WeeBait; SH 15 WeeBoat;
SR 21 NoBait;  SL 22 ReBait

Offline GoodDays

Re: Trip to Nootka Sound
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2014, 07:16:09 AM »
One morning at Camel Rock there were 5 Arimas !! Sounds like we definitely have the beginnings of a solid flotilla !!!
Next time slide by and say hello !! I always wave at Arimas and would be more than happy to share tips and just BS. !!

GoodDays Greg