Just Where in the Universe are We?

Image: Overview map showing Port Neville, Sayward, and Campbell River.

I’ve been a little more active on the “social media” scene these past couple of months, and this had led to a few old friends contacting us and asking the question “Just where exactly are you living now?”

We live such busy lives, it’s amazing what slips past us.  Some people didn’t even realize that we were no longer living in Prince Rupert.  Others had some concept that we were living “down south somewhere”, but really didn’t know where.  Still others had heard that we were living in Port Neville, but had no real idea where that was, or how remote we were from “conveniences”.

The map above shows an overview of the general area where we live.  Up at the top left hand corner of the map, where the red line starts, is Port Neville Inlet.  The red line indicates the route we would take on a typical “grocery shopping” day in Campbell River.  We live near the head of the inlet.  We travel 15 miles by boat across Johnstone Strait to reach the first road access to “civilization”.  This take us about 40 to 60 minutes if we are using the Draiocht, our speed boat (travels at 15 to 20 knots) or about 2 hours if we are using the Awen, our motorsailer (travels at about 8 knots).  We tie up our boat at Kelsey Bay, which is the water access to Sayward.  Unfortunately, Sayward has no stores, so our trip isn’t over yet.  We transfer whatever we need to take to town (gas cans, propane bottles, Rubbermaid tubs to be filled with groceries, items to be repaired) into the truck, aptly named the Blue Rocket, because from here on, we will be traveling at speeds up to 6 times faster than in the boats.  It’s kind of like traveling at warp speed all of a sudden.  We now travel about 75 km to Campbell River, which takes approximately an hour, to begin our shopping adventures.  At the end of the day, we repeat the process in reverse, although often we are so worn out from our shopping spree that we sleep the night aboard the boat in Kelsey Bay and cross Johnstone Strait in the morning.

port-neville-map-with-place-names

Image: Map of Port Neville Inlet with various place names shown.

port-neville-map-with-place-names-2

Image: Map of the head of Port Neville Inlet – our home “territory”.

The two maps above show Port Neville Inlet in more detail.

awen-in-collingwood-bay

Image: The Awen anchored in Collingwood Bay.

our-cabin-in-the-woods

Image: Our cabin in the woods, with our 50 acres of alder forest in the background.

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2 thoughts on “Just Where in the Universe are We?”

  1. Do you have a dock, or anchor out? Either way it’s another transfer point for things going to and from the cabin. I would image you have to plan the days you cross Johnstone Strait. We even have to watch the weather for our 25 minute trips up and down Powell Lake to the cabin. – Margy

    1. We have a small float anchored by 4 – 60 lb Bruce anchors. This has proven to be sturdy enough to tie both of our boats to, while still “portable” enough that we can lift the anchors and take it into shore for cleaning and repair. We store our little Walker Bay skiff on the float when we are out and about on one of our boats, and then use that to transport groceries, etc. back to the house. If we have to move something really large to shore (like a sheet of plywood), we use our 21′ long herring skiff (aptly called the Kipper’s Folly). So yup, lots of hauling and transferring stuff into and out of boats and trucks.

      All our crossings are pretty much weather dependent. I usually look for a good two day break when the winds are down to go shopping – this gives us the option of overnighting in Sayward if we have a long or arduous day in Campbell River. I usually try to keep a couple months of food at the cabin, in case we get weather bound for a long period of time. So far, the longest we’ve been out has been about 6 weeks.

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