Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Frederick Arm

Well I was getting a bit ancy to get off the dock. So we decided to go up to the head of Frederick arm and check out Estero Basin a freshwater connected to Frederick Arm by a small channel known as "the gut". So we backtracked east down Cordero channel and headed up into Frederick Arm. The day started out pretty cloudy with a damn good rain the night before. I almost thought I would have to put on the ole rain slickers, but luck was on our side because later in the day the clouds parted and the sun came out. We managed to find a nice little spot to drop the anchor and then waited for high tide. The trick to navigating "the gut" is that you have to hit right at high tide. At that point saltwater flows from Frederick Arm into Estero Basin. So at high tide we packed up the dinghy and headed for "the gut". Well this little pass is pretty shallow and I had to get out and pull the dingy a couple of times, but once we got pass the shallow spot we had a mini whitewater trip into Estero Arm. "Mini" was about 100'. This lake is pretty damn big - about 4 miles across. We headed for the north shore where supposedly there were some streams coming into the lake. We motored and motored and motored until finally we found the most pathetic excuse for a stream. It came complete with some broken down shack. So we hung out for a couple of minutes and turned back. Now on the ride in both of us had smelled sulfur at this one spot. And sulfur can only mean one or two things. The first was ruled out (both of us swore it wasn't us). So we poked around for a the second likely candidate - a hot spring. We didn't find a hot spring, but we found another creek that ran down for a mountain that had been mined for gold. So of course I had to "pan" for gold. Since I only had my bare hands, this was kind of a difficult process, but I did manage to find four or five flakes. By now gold fever was in full swing and I had grand visions of getting up really early the next morning with a proper pan and work on funding some new boat projects. But alas, entropy and laziness got the better of my and I missed the 5am high tide window the next morning. Oh well, at least now I'm a proper pirate, with my gold stashed neatly away in a spice bottle.

Added note of grave importance: Belini is getting braver. She started coming out and hanging in the cockpit right by the companionway.

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