Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hartley Bay Native Village

Fraser Reach
We departed Butedale on April 28th at 11am after a rather sleepless night.  There was a Hurricane Force Wind Warning in effect outside the channels, 50-65 knots overnight, diminishing to 20-30 knots.  We were thankful to be tied-up at a secure float.  Although we were in the “Inside Passage,” some strong gusts did come up at 4am and we awoke to check the lines – all was well and the storm had passed by morning.  We continued up Fraser Reach and then headed west through McKay Reach. 
Fraser Reach
The glacier carved mountains and untold number of waterfalls along Fraser Reach are fabulous even on a cloudy day.  The camera couldn’t keep up or capture the grandeur. 

Fraser Reach

The seas that day were reasonable with 1-2 foot chop; the exception was at the meeting point of McKay Reach and Wright Sound. 
Fraser Reach
Fraser Reach
We had 4-5 foot swells or chop but after a short crossing, we turned north into calmer seas up Douglas Channel and arrived at the Native Village of Hartley Bay.  Hartley Bay surely is the nicest Native village we have ever seen, the homes seem to be well kept and the public buildings are very nice, including a beautiful school. 
Got d' Fever and Uno at Hartley Bay
The community is connected by a system of boardwalks over marsh land.  Boardwalks are also stubbed out for building lots available for new homes; we saw several homes being built as we walked the village. 
Church at Hartley Bay
Since there are no roads, transportation is by foot, carts, or ATV’s; we did see one “Smart Car” in the village, which is small enough to travel on the boardwalks.  For supplies, residents travel 80 miles by ferry to Prince Rupert for groceries since the village is without a grocery store or shopping of any kind; ugh, I wouldn’t do well here without shopping!  
Community Boardwalks, Hartley Bay
We arrived at Hartley Bay at 2:45pm and a young resident helped us with our lines, a very nice gesture; he had just caught some crab and asked if either of us were interested in having two large size crab.  Uno with her Korean background loves seafood of every sort and was more than happy to accept them and make crab soup.  Some fishermen from Prince George at the docks were also interested in our arrival and chatted with us for the longest time, giving us all sorts of tips on how to fish for Halibut; they were quite the characters.  They noticed that we were given some nice crab to prepare and showed us how to quickly dispatch and clean a crab. 
Local Fishermen, Hartley Bay
They demonstrated the process with one crab and Phil repeated the process with the other crab, perfectly executed. 
Phil Cutting & Cleaning the Crab
Later that evening Bryann and his son Nick, whom we had met several days earlier while at Shearwater, arrived in Hartley Bay aboard their sailboat Aegean; they were cold and tired having sailed for 12 hours from Klemtu to Hartley Bay at 6 knots, arriving near 8pm. 
Bryann's Arrival on Aegean
We invited them over for some hot tea and stew; our heaters were running and they began to thaw out.  They seemed to enjoy the opportunity to relax.  Bryann had a number of interesting stories to tell so there was plenty of time to make some peanut butter cookies.  Nick was really appreciative; he said they hadn’t had the pleasure of homemade cookies in quite a while.  Of course that pulled at me heartstrings so I packaged up some cookies for their next day’s sail.  It certainly had been a fun day for us, filled with adventure and lots of fun people.

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