Bishop's Cove to Lowe Inlet (via Hartley Bay)
We left Bishop's Cove and turned north up Ursula Channel to get to the top of Gribble Island, and then southwest for a 13 mile sojourn through the breathtaking scenery of Verney Passage. It is easy to become inured to the beauty that is a constant presence along this route, but this passage is particularly striking, and one wonders how many people have ever explored these remote cirques and imposing rockfaces. I bet there are a lot of first ascent opportunities yet to be found there.
|Bishop's Cove to Hartley Bay to Lowe's Inlet (Google Earth)|
Kitimat is the location of a planned oil terminal for international transport of crude, and there is local concern about the damage that a major spill would wreak in the area. The First Nation sentiment seems universally opposed, but the coastal communities are sparse and poorly represented in the halls of power. Perhaps the new Canadian leadership will help, but the strongest ally the natives have now is probably the crashing oil market.
Whale channel, which communicates with Wright Sound in the north, and the Gulf of Alaska in the south, is aptly named. On our return trip in late July, I don't think we were ever out of sight and hearing of whales in that area. The devastation that would result from an accident in these constrained channels, both to wildlife and people, is appalling to imagine. The remediation record of oil companies does not inspire confidence.
We refueled at Hartley Bay, a small native community with a free government dock and fuel, but no provisions. While we were refueling, there was a bake sale going on for the local school, and I regret not asking if auslander were qualified buyers!
We slipped away from Hartley Bay through Stewart Passage, and turned northwest onto Grenville. We already had 8 hours and 35 miles under our belt for the day, so we chose Lowe Inlet as our anchorage for the night, the closest anchorage to the south end of Grenville Channel. It was in these last hours of the day that we had the first rain shower of the entire trip! Truly unprecedented Spring weather.
|The turnoff into Lowe Inlet from Grenville Channel|
|Verney Falls in Lowe Inlet|
|Mathias cooking dinner in our tiny cabin|