Monday, August 8, 2011

2011 Alaska Voyage Ends

August 2, 2011

After an uneventful transit of Yuculta Rapids we decided to avoid the crowds in Prideaux Haven and instead headed for Gorge Harbor on Cortes Island.  The anchorage near the marina was very crowded so we found a relatively empty space near the east end of the harbor and enjoyed the sun.

August 3, 2011

We had a relaxed departure from the anchorage about 0800 under sunny skies and headed for Nanaimo Harbor, taking a route down the west side of Texada Island.  Military Area "WG"  was active, so we stayed close to the Vancouver Island shore as we passed Balleanas Islands.  By 1720 we were docked at Nanaimo where we shared a potluck meal with the Nowie's on their Selene 58 "Rhapsody".

August 4, 2011

Slack water at Dodd Narrows was predicted for 0815, so we were underway at 0700 to make sure we were there on time.  Passing through Dodd Narrows and heading down Trincomali Channel we heard to Victoria Coast Guard radio asking anyone near if they could assist a 37 foot pleasure trawler that had broken down.  We could see the boat and ended up towing them about 4 miles to a safer anchorage where they hoped someone could either tow them to Vancouver or fix their transmission.  The tow went well, except the trawler's tender engine scraped and dented a section of our teak caprail.  The people on board, while otherwise nice enough, did not offer to pay for the repair at the time, with obviously more pressing problems on board.  We will contact them later and see if they might consider helping with the cost.

The towing exercise took about two hours to complete, but even so, we docked in Ganges Marina by 1320 under sunny skies.  We visited with Miriam's cousin Dean Sevold and had a dinner in town with him before returning to the boat to continue visiting.

August 5-7, 2011

Spirit departed Ganges at 0930 for the short run to Roche Harbor for the Roche Harbor Yacht Club "Colors" cruise.  We were able to clear US Customs by phone with our Nexus passes and were tied up at the main guest dock by 1215 to begin the festivities with our fellow club members.  The weather continued sunny and warm and we decided to stay one extra day along with many of our friends from the club and continue visiting.

August 8, 2011

We reluctantly got underway for Anacortes at 0950.  The skies remained sunny in Roche Harbor but the clouds were hanging over Anacortes.  However by the time we arrived the skies had cleared and at 1330 Spirit was back in the slip at Anacortes Marina, after 104 days of cruising.

Spirit travelled 2920 nautical miles this trip, We ran the main engine 412 hours and consumed a total of 2565 gallons of diesel fuel for the heater, the generator and the main engine.

We will compute some of the other statistics later, but the fishing, crabbing and prawning this season was excellent.  We did discover some improvements we need to make before our trip next season.

The cruising is not quite finished this year, stay tuned for more.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Southbound from Port McNeill

July 29, 2011

After docking at the Port McNeill Fuel Dock Marina Patrick hunted for spare parts (none found) and Miriam did the final shopping for provisions before Spirit heads back into the USA on August 5, 2011.  That evening we had dinner with Ray and Sue Biggs at the “Sportsman Steakhouse” in Port McNeill after appetizers on “Seventh Wave”.

July 30, 2011

This morning we said goodbye to Ray and Sue Biggs onboard ”Seventh Wave” and headed out from Port McNeill in heavy rain and occasional fog, never having more than 2 miles of visibility, and most of the time just one mile.

The rain and fog meant the seas were calm, but the promised push from the flood tide never really materialized.  We passed Alert Bay and headed east into Johnstone Strait, where we had to dodge a few gillnetters before turning into Port Harvey, our destination for the evening.  We arrived about 1335 and docked in heavy rain.  Port Harvey was full for the evening, so we were glad we had made a reservation, since they had to turn one boat away.

We had dinner in their pub style restaurant (they have added a few items to the menu, such as steak and fries and the food was good) and reconnected with several other boats we had met over the past two weeks.  We highly recommend stopping here!

July 31, 2011

The rain had stopped overnight and in the morning we had complimentary Starbucks coffee on the barge, and purchased some freshly baked turnovers and sausage rolls for breakfast.  The tides are large this time of month, so we left at 0835 to minimize the effects of the currents in Johnstone Strait and in Cordero Channel as we headed to Cordero Lodge for the evening. We arrived at 1400 after dealing with 3 knot adverse currents and 6 knot favorable currents at various places along the way.  The skies continued to clear and we docked under partly sunny skies.

There were rumors that Cordero Lodge would be closed this season, but it is open for both moorage and meals.  We are looking forward to Beef Rouladen for dinner.

The rouladen was good as expected and we had a great evening with the three other vessels at Cordero Lodge.

August 1, 2011

The sunny skies persisted and we left Cordero Lodge at 1000 to arrive at Dent Rapids at slack water, which occurred at 1200.  Dent Island Lodge is only about one mile from the rapids, so by 1215 we were docked.  By evening, the docks were completely full.  We had made reservations at the Rapids Grill, which is a covered, but open air pavilion alongside little Dent Rapids that we had first experienced last year.  Rather than the traditional 5 course meal in the main dining room, the Rapids Grill offers a tapas style menu (small plates) cooked in front of 12 guests that sit at a high counter in very comfortable high chairs.  There are also a couple of tables for overflow, but a maximum of 20 people.  This evening there were 16 people.

Our menu included chilled gazpacho soup, grilled avocado with Dungeness crab, BC spot prawns sautéed in gin, butter and garlic, a duck confit risotto, grilled tenderloin and a dessert of chocolate mousse with fresh raspberries.

We have now travelled 638 nautical miles since leaving Ketchikan on July 12.  We have about 200 nautical miles to go before we return to Anacortes.

August 2, 2011

We leave at noon to hit the low slack tide in Gillard Passage and Yuculta Rapids.  We will stop someplace in Desolation Sound before heading to Ganges on Saltspring Island to visit Miriam’s cousin Dean Sevold.  We will not have internet until we get to Ganges, but hopefully we will have phone service most of the time.

We expect to re-enter the US on Friday, August 5.