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Eurika! We found the illusive Soda Springs at Ella Bay

Ella Bay is up Behm Canal, astride and to the west of New Eddystone Rock. On hearing that we were going to venture up the canal, the ever curious Waggoner Guide overlords tasked me with poking our head in at Ella Bay to see if there was actually an active soda springs.

It was a more memorable stop than I had hoped for. In the process of trying to get a line threaded through the painter-less park service mooring ball, we lost our fancy Hook & Moor boat hook. The communication between the bow and bridge is usually textbook, but not this time. Whoops. There went the only hook of its kind we had aboard. This was the only items were we didn’t have an on-board spare when we needed one. (So, sent the RIB out to explore as Ciamar floated and circled nearby.)

But I digress. To report back on the destination research -- Yes! There are soda spring spouts there. We found two. But I need to share the caveats. We arrived at a mid- and rising-tide and it was very hard to spot the then submerged springs of carbonated water. But you can see it if you relax and look closely.

There is no ‘fixture’ providing soda water flow above ground, or above high tide mark. The flows come from below the waterline at a rising tide. We were not there at low tide, so can not say for sure whether one, or both of the spouts are visible on exposed low tide land.

If you take a look at the two pictures, you will see that you can reference off of the mooring in both shots. In first shot, the RIB is far to the left, in shallow water located over top of the first spring we saw. Quinn hopped out there and waded around in water that was only a few feet deep. So, it IS possible that this spring exposes on low tide. No guarantee. In the second picture the RIB is directly behind the mooring. That spring had a much stronger flow that could be seen in 20+ foot water. If you pull up to the mooring and grab ahold, you are sure to see that spring as soon as your wake effect subsides.

Last thing to note here is that on multiple maps the mooring location depicted is way off. You’ll see the mooring more north and west of, and in deeper water than the marked location on several charts. It is much more usable for cruising yachts where it actually is than where it is shown on the charts.

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