We leave Von Donop inlet in clear weather, a far cry from the misty night before, heading south to Gorge Harbor. Despite the overcast sky we once more enjoy the amazing vista as we exit the inlet and look north to Calm channel.
We cruise slowly south down the west coast of Cortes using good use of our binoculars to explore the bays & inlets of the rocky coastline. On the helm I am able to navigate by lining up Parsifal’s prow with the distant small gap marking Plunger passage, which separates the Subtle Islands & the westernmost tip of Cortes, what wonderful names!
As we cross the mouth of Winter Harbor, we change course for a moment to allow the Quadra ferry to cross our bow. We hurry to follow Hytta towards Uganda passage, carefully watching her exact movements through the buoys & markers, to ensure we negotiate this complicated channel around Shark Spit safely. A few moments later we enter through the narrow rocky cliffs or gorge and are amazed by the huge harbor sheltered inside. We are so happy to be staying at Gorge Harbor Marina which turns out to be a jewel on the wooded slopes of this tranquil basin.
With Parsifal safely moored to the wide planked dock beside Hytta, I leave Ron to complete his chores & follow the path up the landscaped slope. Crossing a quaint bridge over a wooded stream I come to the heart of the resort, a courtyard flanked by a tranquil pond & attractive ivy covered buildings housing the store, office & wash house.
That night it is our turn to entertain Tom & Karen aboard Parsifal with Ron as chef. We serve appetisers on the chart table in the sitting area, lit by the rich brass lamps which make the carved wood doors gleam. We serve sliced Hungarian salami Ron had bought at the eclectic store at Squirrel Cove, together with a selection of cheeses, olives & crackers.
Ron has been slowly roasting a selection of root vegetables, which he serves with a steak & Italian sausages cooked to perfection on the barbecue, and leeks braised in butter. Dessert is a freshly baked apple cobbler which we quickly put together this morning, together with a dollop of fresh yoghurt on top. The wine & conversation flows freely as always, with none of us wanting to admit despite the yawns, that it is time for Tom & Karen to take the few steps home across the dock.
We spend a peaceful day in Gorge Harbor, cleaning up in hot showers, visiting the store’s well stocked shelves, catching up on reading & writing, which we finish off with a delicious supper at the restaurant perched above the boats. It feels strange to be sitting at a table in smart clothes served by a waitress , a momentary return to civilisation.