Another Crossing of Cape Caution to Summers Bay in Belize Inlet

What makes Cape Caution so difficult, other than the fact that it is open to the ocean? It’s the relatively shallow depth close to the point.

We did all the right planning and the weather buoy data was within the safe parameters, and most of the open-water cruise south was manageable, but we did encounter some really big waves (10 feet high or so) near Cape Caution. They didn’t bother us as much as they might have for two reasons: (1) the big waves were coming from behind us, not from the side, and (2) we were better mentally and physically prepared.

But shortly after we passed by Cape Caution, another boat, traveling in the opposite direction used the VHF radio to hail us: “True Love, True Love this is the Goodship”. We responded and settled on a working channel where in slow seaman’s talk he asked: “I was just wondering how the seas were . . . um, so close to Cape Caution? I had plotted a line further out in deeper seas and was just wondering . . . about the waves you encountered at Cape Caution?”

The Captain responded that the Goodship should continue on its path because the waves closer to shore were almost twice as big as the waves farther out.

In our brief conversation, we learned that the straightest line to your destination isn’t always the best. Because Cape Caution is so shallow near shore (sometimes only 40 feet deep) the waves get really big. It’s a matter of math and physics, of course. A 4 foot wave in water 300 feet deep has to grow much taller to convey the same energy in water that is only 40 feet deep. There is simply no place for the wave energy to go but up. James and Robert your Mom can explain that to you.

Oh well, another lesson learned experientially on the True Love. Later the Captain thought of a better response that he should have made: “We were just testing our new stabilizers.”

Other than our experience near Cape Caution, the cruise to Belize Inlet was pretty easy. On the way we spotted a two Humpback whales and a couple of porpoises. We did encounter some fog near the entrance to Belize Inlet, and in fact a different boater hailed us to tell us it was sunny and clear only a mile away from shore, which we really appreciated, but this time we were in the correct place to enter Belize Inlet. It’s nice to know many of the boaters around are looking out for each other. Our timing was perfect for the tides and the currents through Nakwakto Rapids, and we entered Belize Inlet about 12:30PM.

Belize Inlet is a 20+ mile long beautiful inlet with cascading large and small waterfalls everywhere and we only encountered one tug and two other boats exiting on our way in, and no other boats at all during the two days we were anchored. Trees grow everywhere even on very steep inclines. Here’s one that is quite amazing!

One of our goals was to find the Native Nakwakto pictographs dating back to the 1860’s and we did! They depict assaults with trading vessels. James and Robert, what do you see in these drawings?

We anchored at Summers Bay and the sun came out and it actually felt like we had cruised back to summer warmth. Our anchorage is surrounded by waterfalls filling our boat with lovely sounds.

After another long day we were pretty tired, but once again we felt a great sense of accomplishment. We enjoyed some steak and our previously caught crab with a nice salad and some gnocchis. A feast to celebrate our accomplishment of discovering a new area! Belize Inlet and Allison Sound will be the last new areas we investigate for the first time on this trip before heading back to the familiar waters of the Broughton Islands.

We’ve spent two nights here exploring the rest of Allison Sound by tender. Allison Sound is a northern turn off from Belize Inlet. We are not sure what makes a body of water a “Sound” versus an “Inlet”, maybe it’s depth. The dark-colored water of Allison Sound is almost more like a brackish lake. It’s very beautiful and peaceful, but there isn’t as much life. No eagles, just a few loons and ducks, very few fish and it just doesn’t have that salt water smell. All in all, we prefer our waters teaming with life and more blue. But, we did encounter some deer. One was swimming across the sound in front of us.

Can you see the deer in this picture?

This is only the third time we’ve seen this. The first time was outside of Pender Harbour and another time at Octopus Islands.

This area does have some deer fly issues, although strangely enough they aren’t a problem in the morning or at dusk. But it gave us a chance to deploy our handmade screen for the upper helm entrance and it worked perfectly as we cooled the interior of the boat with a good airflow and still escaped the flies during the sunny and warm afternoon.

Our satellite TV was able to get some signal, so we were able to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing by watching a documentary on the History channel. The moon landing was such a important part of our childhood. The fascinating part of the documentary was the fact that the people in mission control were so young. The average age was only 29 and most were the first in their families to go to college. The young man who was head of Electrical Engeneering, Steve Bales, was just 25. Before joining NASA he was going to be a Texas rancher. At Only 25 years old\ Bales made some crucial decisions on ‘go, no go’ issues. Truly incredible.

That entire NASA operation took new thinking, open minds and incredible stamina and energy. The other thing we didn’t know and learned from listening to Saul’s show on Friday was that Walter Cronkite was on air for 30 of the 33 hours to report the lunar orbit and landing. Saul’s Friday Show was excellent by the way and you can listen to it through the link to his podcast. It’s been our running joke on the connectivity side. We can’t make a call, or get mail, but we can download or stream Saul’s show!

So Sunday we continued our cruise south. We were a bit low on fuel, but we were able to reach Sullivan Bay on North Broughton Island and refueled. After fishing consultations on Monday morning we’ve learned that down rigger lines break often but there is a new kind of down rigger line that is more durable than steel cable. So we are off to Port McNeil to re-equip so that we can fish again. Although we passed Port McNeil on our way north we didn’t stop there, and we’ve since heard that most boaters prefer stopping at Port McNeil instead of Port Hardy. So we are also looking forward to investigating a new port!

The Captain and The First Mate of the True Love

“They slipped briskly into an intimacy from which they never recovered.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

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