Exploring Abandon Mill at Ocean Fall – EP 5

In the Episode we continue our adventure, as we sail north toward Alaska.

We leave Alert Bay early in the morning, and head up Queen Charlette Sound toward the Pacific Ocean. There is not much wind as we motor north. We skirt the BC mainland as we poke our nose out into the big blue pacific ocean. After passing Cape Caution the wind comes up a little and we roll out the jib and motor sail. With the sail up the motion of the boat improves as we roll in the Pacific Ocean swell.

Along the way we spot a Sea Lion rookery on a big rock. The big bull gave us a loud roar as if to tell use to get away from his harem, so we motor sailed north toward the inside passage.

Once in the inside side passage the swells subside, the wind drops and we motor up Fitz Hughs sound toward Kwaksua Channel which leads us to Perth Bay. Our first open ocean hop was uneventful. Once on the inside passage, we hug the east side of Calvert Island. It is nice not to be rocking and rolling. We head up Fitz Hughs Sound, and anchor in Pruth Bay, just as it was time for dinner. We find a few other boats there. I assume they all are heading to Alaska.

On day two we wake up to fog and rain. We pull up the anchor and head for Fitz Hughs sound, via Meay Inlet and Hakai Pass.  

Once in Hakai pass felt the swell of the Pacific Ocean, but as we turned North up Fitz Hughs Sound we left swell behind. As we approach Namu we come in for a closer look. Namu was once a thriving fish packing plant, and now it just contains a bunch of dilapidated buildings and docks. This place is slowly being reclaimed by time and nature.

We continued north up Fisher Channel heading toward Ocean Falls. As we turn down Cousins Inlet the wind comes up, allows us to sail all the way to Ocean Falls.. As we approached guest dock we roll in our sail and ready to boat for docking. As it turns out we were the only cruising boat at the dock.

In the evening I go to “The Shack” at the head of the dock. Inside the shack there is free wifi. I use slow connection to check in with the rest of the rel world.

On day 3 we explore the old mill at Ocean Falls Ocean Falls was once a thriving Crown Zellerback paper mill. There are still a few old building standing, but like Namu, this place is also slowly decaying as time passes by. After breakfast we walked through town and up the hill to the dam and spillway. The dam at Ocean falls was erected in 1920. At that time around 250 people lived here, by the 1950’s the population grew to 3,500. The mill closed in 1980, and now there are only a handful of local residents.

On the way through town we met a famous local character named Norman. He told us about the old town and commented on there are more dogs than people leaving in Ocean Falls these days. Norman is the curator of the local muesem. Each of the old uninhabited buildings are in various stages of decay. It is just reminds me nothing is forever. The walk up the hill to the spill way is a brisk one, but well worth the trek. The view of the spillway, the lake and the valley behind provide breath taking scenery.

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