Circumnavigating Cortes………

Jolted from sleep, I am careful not to move an inch in order to maintain the cocoon of covers around me. It is a chilly wet morning in Squirrel Cove, I wonder how long I can hold my bladder before braving the elements. I can hear Ron’s deep breathing & try not to disturb him, while hoping upon hope he will wake soon & light the diesel furnace.  On these cold October mornings we stay beneath the covers as long as possible, & this is when I can’t help but wonder, why are we here??????

Leaving DesolationRon - Lewis

We finish a bowl of hot porridge & a game of scrabble from last night, now cosy in our warm cabin listening to the rain drops on the deck above. We only venture forth once the rain eases off, to motor up Lewis channel in Hytta’s wake. As we slowly move north the skies clear & once again the wonder of nature opens up around us. By the time we round Bullock Point the north tip of Cortes Island, we are once more stunned by the vista before us. The massive forested hump of Raza island rises before the towering peaks of the Downie range, dotted with fluffy white clouds against the clear blue sky. Gone are the doubts from our rude awakening, now we thank our lucky stars that we are here on this amazing adventure, each with the one we love, what could possibly be better than this?

Raza from LewisTip of Cortes

We locate the narrow entrance to Von Donop Inlet & slowly navigate the 5km into the heart of Cortes island, until we are now once again close to Squirrel Cove our starting point. Safely anchored in the final bay we head back up the inlet to Hytta in a small side cove. I snap a quick shot of Parsifal resting peacefully in the late evening light & then another of the amazing sky as we head back up the inlet in the dinghy.

Von Donop BayVon Donop

Tom is barbecuing sausages & frying brussel sprouts, & Karen has prepared a delicious potato salad. After another lovely evening, an amazing sunset, great food, wine & conversation we tear ourselves away, only to find that Hytta is surrounded by a thick mist. We circle Hytta blindly, only able to discover the entrance to the small bay once Tom points us west. Through the bay opening everything looks black, but there is a slight ‘arrow’ of lighter water to our left which we hope is the open channel. Our flashlights are useless as they just reflect back off the mist, reminding me of the pea soup fogs of my English childhood. I sit in the bow peering nervously ahead until we spot Parsifal’s anchor light flashing through the trees. Ron is careful to circle the small rocky headland into our bay, but we can still see nothing of the boat, until the beam of my flashlight finally illuminates her beautiful scrolled nameplate on the stern, Parsifal, what a welcome sight, safely home!

Von Donop - Hytta sunsetReflection

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