Incident at Ire Inlet

“I am shutting down the generator.” he yells. “We’ve got smoke.”

She’s leaning off the flybridge dangling a long lens over the smack of coral-hued jellyfish swarming with the incoming tide.

We are ready to haul anchor, and now we are not. What has violated the generator? Easy to imagine.

Ire + Anger

Seeking a new tangent in northern BC, Jupiter follows a route along the hypotenuse of Pitt Island where attractive inlets and coves present themselves, and the Ala Passage rounding Anger Island urges exploration.

Some Pythagorean prankster has ascribed nomenclature to a charted congregation: Azimuth and Sine Islands, Cosine Bay, Logarithm and Tangent Points—a new attribution angle.

Jupiter’s crew is lured into Ire Inlet incising Anger Island, chiefly by the impossible narrowness of the approach. Are these monikers descriptive of a frustrated mathematician, or of something more dire?

Once inside the cove we encounter a bloom of Lion’s Mane jellyfish propelling themselves gracefully about looking to entrap, impair and ingest copepods and crustaceans. These creatures are sometimes seen in Jupiter’s anchorages, but rarely in such paraffle.

Lion’s Mane at Ire are concentrated inside the narrow entrance channel, growing in size and number, stirred but never shaken free by tidal currents. Many, reaching the size of a lethal life-ring, trail stinging tentacles a fathom or more in length.

There will be no swimming tonight.

After a peaceful night and a good dinner Jupiter’s crew prepares for a routine departure when a curious jellyfish reaches into the boat’s sea water intake that cools the generator.

Much of the amorphous biomorph becomes enmeshed in the strainer basket, but slime, ooze and sticky tentacles make it through the generator water pump and are smoked in the exhaust.

Cleaning a sea strainer basket requires a strong stomach and good protection when handling gunge from an eviscerated and toxic creature.

Pythagorean Pork

Now southbound we clear in to Canada at Prince Rupert where the market has cuts of locally raised pork on hand.

Generously salt pork shanks. Coarsely chop onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Nestle shanks into a heavy pot, and surround with chopped vegetables and a passel of peppercorns. Add water just to top the shanks and simmer, covered, for a couple of hours, or until the meat is cooked but not falling apart.

Set shanks aside to cool. Strain vegetables from broth, reserving both. Preheat the oven to 425°. Place strained vegetables in the bottom of a roasting pan and set the shanks directly on top. Pour in a small amount of reserved stock and save the rest for another use. Roast shanks, basting with liquid from the pan, for about 30 minutes or until crispy on the exterior.

Serve shanks with mashed potatoes, and a tangy coleslaw.


  1. Dana Starr says:

    Randy & Fiona — Wow! The pork shank meal looks great. Bon Appetit. Once again an immensely enjoyable post on your remarkable adventures. Understand the complications with regards to water intakes and the problems that can occur. In my previous years sailing, we ruined an engine by somehow sucking seawater into the exhaust manifold and cylinders. Thank goodness for all-risk no fault boat insurance. You guys were obviously well prepared to handle your jellyfish invasion. Great pics of the food & sea life. Best regards, stay safe, and travel well, as you always seem to do.

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