We left Blind Channel on Day 4 and had a very smooth run going until we got into Johnstone Strait. Perfect Pitch's electricals began to act up, so our fearless Captain and Trusty First Mate put on their thinking caps and tried desperately to resolve the issue at sea. We managed to get to Port McNeill to rendezvous with Buttercup, a bit later than expected, and set about trying resolve the issue. It turns out, after 13 years, Perfect Pitch needed some replacement electrical parts, which was disappointing, but understandable. Fortunately Captain Wiel has forged many great relationships in the boating world, and his guys Gary and Scott were able to come up from Gibson's Landing on Day 6 and get us on our way. Buttercup carried on with the idea that we would catch them further up The Inside Passage.
View across Johnstone Straight from Port McNeill
Funky Orca statue in Port McNeill harbor
The silver lining in our little sidebar was the opportunity to meet and hang out with the Legendary Bruce Jackman, Proprietor of North Island Marina, and his family and friends for a few days. Bruce is a larger than life BC pilot and marina operator with an amazing sense of humour and a story a minute. Bruce and his wife Nancy go way back with Sue and Captain Wiel, and it was a treat to get to know them, and their kids Allan and Katie. If you're ever in Port McNeill look them up. You won't regret it - they have a very special brand of hospitality. Thanks so much Bruce, Allan, Gary and Scott - we wouldn't be moving on to Day 7 without you.
One of our several great visits with Bruce (second from left) and Nancy (second from right), and their friends and family.
Much of the conversation during our time in Port McNeill revolved around Day 7, and the critical decision of when to cross Queen Charlotte Straight and take on getting around Cape Caution, some of the most challenging waters on the Pacific Coast of Canada. We looked long and hard at wind, tides, weather and historical anecdotes and then late on Day 6 made the call...launch by 6AM and take on Cape Caution.