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  • Capt. Eric

Miles Inlet

Updated: Jun 25, 2022

Aiming for good weather in the Queen Charlotte straight we left Port McNeill early morning. The straight is one of the few areas on the way to Alaska where the seas are fully open to the Pacific Ocean, so care must be taken before transiting so we don't end up in a famous local storm.

From Port McNeill, the passage all the way to the lee of Calvert Island is just a little too far for little Enfin to achieve comfortably in one day since we like giving Princess a nice evening walk and the crew a nice rest when we can.

So, seeing a nice weather window I decided to split the passage to Calvert Island in two, with a stop in Miles Inlet about half way up.

Miles Inlet is an amazing cove. The entrance is narrow with a number of nasty rocks guarding the North and South sides, but is a straight shot. The wind was at our back as we made our way in, and soon we were in a tight and narrow space that opens up about half a mile further down.

We found our friends "Raven Song" already anchored in admittedly the best spot. We had not coordinated with them so it was fun to meet them again and to realize we'd had the same ideas. Exploring the inlet, we decided on a small spot about double the width of the narrow place. In about 30 feet of water I'd need to lay 100 feet of chain to sleep comfortably, which if left to swing fully might take Enfin in the shallow parts at low tide.

For the first time on this cruise we decided to tie a stern tie using our tender. We're not yet used to doing this so it takes us probably more time than regular cruisers.

We got it though, and soon we we safe and all tucked in our small own cove.

Setup a stern tie with the tender

Setting the stern tie

A side inlet with falls at low tide

Once safe we set off to explore the large labyrinth of inlets with the tender and were treated to spectacular nature, with beavers lazing in the sun, and otters fishing from the shore.

Like most anchorage in this part of Canada the forest is lush and dense all the way to the high tide water mark, so it makes going ashore and walking there very difficult. We settled for landing at low tide on exposed rocks, and Princess understood what needed be done perfectly. She also enjoyed the smells of crabs and fishes: if we let her she'd be hunting all of them, before trying her luck at an otter or two.

Princess surveying her new domain

Finding a spot to leave the tender is always tricky since during a falling tide it will only take about 10 to 15 minutes for it to be fully high and dry if you simply beach it.

So I aim for deep spots where the falling water cannot leave us stranded. We better not get that wrong, or we'll have to wait a long tide for the water to rise back up!

Finding a safe spot for our tender

We had arrived early enough to enjoy a very long evening in this beautiful and isolated spot. The long mid-summer days making it even more enjoyable.

Leaving in the morning. Narrow passage and fog

Calm weather was forecast for the next day, so we set off to do the other half of the passage to Calvert Island before the afternoon winds would inevitably come in.

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