Narrows

From Goddard Hot Springs we can stay in protected waters behind islands and reefs if we pass through several narrow passes: Dorothy Narrows, First Narrows, and Second Narrows (someone needs to get more creative with the names). Dorothy is the most “exciting” since it’s longer and boats need to announce their plans to transit the narrows ahead of time to avoid having to pass another boat in the tight squeeze. The waterway isn’t all that skinny from shoreline to shoreline, but the navigable part is. The rest is all (unforgiving) rock. After Dorothy we headed down the aptly named Windy Passage then through the short and easy First Narrows.

Right past that narrows is a sweet anchorage – “First Narrows Cove” or “Baidarka Cove”, depending on the guide you use. It’s a fun place to explore by kayak, and there’s a back way out to the ocean. Here’s a little drone video to show you what it looks like at low tide. The entrance channel seems a lot more confined when you’re navigating it in the boat, but it looks much less scary from the air. Enjoy!

I had a ball paddling all around the cove, squirting out the shallow side entrance…

These rocks are hidden when the tide is high!

…and riding the tide back through First Narrows and into the cove from the main channel. Sea stars, kelp crabs, snails, small Dungeness crabs, shrimp, tube worms with their feathery fuschia plumes, anemones, limpets, and tiny abalone are my rewards for low tide exploration. High tide means access to more areas, but low tide – especially those big spring tides – show us more of what’s hiding under the water. I came around an islet and startled a deer walking on the rocky shoreline.

Sometimes people ask us “what do you do all day when you cruise?” It might seem like all we do is lay around perfecting our favorite Margarita recipe as we meander from one pretty place to another, but that’s not very realistic. (We do have a good blender aboard though… just in case.) We like to say that “cruising means fixing your boat in exotic places.” We often stay in one place for two nights, so we have a travel day and a “play” day – time to fix little things, occasionally work on fixing big things, doing projects, planning for the next stops – weather and routing, and then exploring by kayak or dinghy. The nice long stretch of dry days got me started stripping and re-coating some failed paint on the caprails.

Just one of the caprails that needed attention…

Caulking, sanding, epoxy, more sanding, more epoxy, more sanding, primer, sanding, topcoat, sanding, topcoat again… lots of fun. But it needs to be done and we’d much rather work on projects out in pretty places than tied to a dock.

The days are getting shorter now – the sun is setting closer to 8pm and we’re losing light by 4-5 minutes each day. The silver lining is that earlier darkness and warm nights means great conditions for sunsets and stargazing on clear nights.

Our next anchorage wasn’t too far away – about an hour’s easy cruise through Second Narrows into Scow Bay. I rigged up “Adventures-Cam” – a GoPro mounted on the flying bridge – shooting a time lapse of our run from First Narrows Cove to there.

It’s amazing to have a spot right off the ocean that’s totally protected and hidden away. We only stayed there for one night, but had a beautiful moon-set to cap off the evening.

Our next stop will be Secluded Bay at the head of the Necker Bay fjord… stay tuned.

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