Monday, May 30, 2011

Juneau to Sitka Part 1

May 25, 2011

Today we played tourist and took the rental car with Jim & Cheryl to see the sights of Juneau. The weather promised to be sunny and warm. We started with the enormous Fred Meyer, which is reputed to be ¼ mile long, and seems like it when you are inside. From there we drove to the Shrine to Saint Theresa, which is located some 15 miles north of Juneau on the coast looking up the Lynn Canal towards Skagway, with views to the mountains of Glacier Bay off to the west.

After stopping at Costco and Home Depot, we made a visit to the Alaska Brewing Company and sampled beers like the Smoked Porter before finally returning to downtown. In town we walked around in the sunshine and had lunch at the Red Dog Saloon, a totally tourist experience with mediocre food, shopped for new cookbooks at the bookstores, and finally back to the boat for a rest before a pot luck dinner on Sea Jay. The sunset this evening was great, with tomorrow promising to have even better weather before rain returns on Saturday.

May 26, 2011

Departed the Intermediate Vessel Float and headed for Swanson Harbor via Stephens Passage, Lynn Canal and the intersection of Icy Strait, Lynn Canal and Chatham Strait. We have stayed in Swanson Harbor before and used the public floats, which were empty when we and Sea Jay arrived early in the afternoon. We soon had the crab pots set, hoping for a big haul. Later in the afternoon a bald eagle flew to the dock and watched us for about 30 minutes, we think looking for a handout. Finally, with a lot of screeching when two more flew overhead, the eagle took off and we were able to get a picture. By evening, both public floats were nearly full with Juneau residents coming to celebrate Memorial Day. Several of the boats set up tents on shore and there were several beach fires. An evening check of the crab pots brought no luck, so we moved them to a different location in the bay.

May 27, 2011

This was a lazy morning, with a breakfast brunch of biscuits and gravy, then a fishing expedition looking for the elusive halibut. Jim Matheson and Patrick took off in the tender for a spot about 8 miles from Swanson Harbor, but we had only artificial lures and were having a hard time staying on top of the pinnacle in Icy Strait where the locals claim halibut are abundant. Making a side trip to Hoonah for herring we encountered porpoise, humpback whales and sea lions. Hoonah has improved their fuel dock, just not quite open yet, and has a new transient float, but the main harbor looks the same as four years ago.

Returning to the fishing location, we found that another boat had anchored over the pinnacle. We just drifted and Jim caught a pacific cod, which we released.

A check of the crab pots showed we had managed to attract 2 legal crabs and a bunch of smaller crabs in the new location. After a long day we grilled chicken on the BBQ for dinner.

May 28, 2011

This was another lazy morning, with clouds, light rain, and cold temperatures. The crab pots had six nice Dungeness crab, our daily limit for two people, so we processed them and turned some into crab cakes for dinner. The wind came up and Icy Strait looked too rough to fish from with the tender, so this was a day to relax and read. An evening check of the crab pots brought one crab which we gave away to the boat across the dock, which had come up empty in their pots.

May 29, 2011

Although it did not rain overnight, the skies were still overcast, with cool temperatures. The yield from the crab pots was very poor, only one additional crab. Patrick and Jim went in search of fish again, but still no luck. There were a number of boats fishing, but no one was having luck. The late arrival of warm weather has apparently delayed the arrival of halibut into the interior SE Alaska waters. We were treated to a smoked and BBQ'd leg of lamb cooked by Jim for dinner.

May 30, 2011

We were awakened by boats departing early to get back to Juneau. The skies were clear and it promised to be a warm day, for SE Alaska. Departing Swanson Harbor at 0830 we saw numerous humpback whales, but none close enough for photos as we headed south into Chatham Strait. The winds were from the north and with our boat speed, the apparent wind was near zero and we were able to don short sleeves for the first time in weeks. We arrived in Tenakee Springs at 1245 in the afternoon, and after shutting down the boat, Jim and Patrick headed up the inlet to look for a place to set the prawn pots. Neither the weather nor the currents cooperated, so they returned with the pots, only to find out that they could have set them a shorter distance and in shallower water. Next time we will know better.

Crabbing in Tenakee Inlet, normally good, is reported to be sparse, and no one knows why. After a potluck stir fry dinner to reduce the amount of leftovers both we and Matheson's are accumulating, we watched a DVD on Antartica travels and called it a night.

The plan is to depart tomorrow for Takatz Bay for a 1 day stop, and then work our way to Sitka via Peril Strait, planning to arrive on June 4. There will be no phone or internet until then, although we have internet, but no phone in Tenakee Springs.

We have now travelled 1070 nautical miles since departing Anacortes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Whales in Stephens Passage

Patrick & Miriam in front of Mendenhall Glacier, Juneau

Pictures from Petersburg to Juneau Part 3

Lonely looking kayakers in Endicott Arm

Dawes Glacier from 1/2 mile away

Typical Waterfalls

Pictures from Petersburg to Juneau Part 2

The mother bear is totally ignoring us!

Pictures From Petersburg to Juneau Part 1

Five Finger Islands Lighthouse, Stephens Passage

Porpoise escorting us up Stephens Passage

Brown Bear on the beach, Tracy Arm Cove

A mother and four yearlings

The group finally gets curious

Wrangell to Juneau via Tracy and Endicott Arm

Dawes Glacier, Endicott Arm

Waterfall near Fors Terror, Endicott Arm

May 21, 2011

This is the long day we knew was coming, getting to Tracy Arm Cove via Frederick Sound and Stephens Passage. We left Petersburg at 0820 and were swept out Wrangell Narrows into Frederick Sound by the ebb tide, which helped all the way to Cape Fanshawe. At Cape Fanshawe we saw what looked like a dead baby humpback whale that was being eaten by several giant sea lions.

Rounding the cape, we headed past Five Finger Islands lighthouse and were greeted by a number of Dall Porpoise, which stayed with us for nearly 5 miles of our journey up Stephens Passage and into Holkam Bay, the entrance to Tracy and Endicott Arms. As we continued up Stephens Passage we began to see pouts from Humpback whales, but the closest we got to them was about 1 mile.

Sea Jay was already anchored in Tracy Arm Cove and the weather was calm, so at 1655 we rafted alongside and headed out to the nearest iceberg for some ice for "glacial" martinis. There were four brown (grizzly) bears on the beach, and we were able to approach within 100 feet from the water before they seemed to care about us. It appeared that there was a mother and three yearlings. Only the yearlings cared about our approach, the mother simply ignored us. It would probably have been different if we were on land. Our two vessels were the only ones in the cove.

Dinner was simply prawns and appetizers to go with the glacially cooled drinks.

May 22, 2011

The days just keep getting longer, and by 0330 it was light enough to wake us up, along with heavy rain. Even with the rain, we decided to go up Endicott Arm to see Dawes Glacier and so we left at little after 0800 for the 68 mile round trip to the glacier face. The ebb tide was running full force as we crossed the bar and we had a few minutes of excitement in the standing waves set up by the current flowing out of Tracy Arm into Stephens Passage. The rain became light and then stopped when we were about six miles from the glacier face. The ice was manageable until we were within ½ mile of the glacier face, so we stopped there and got our pictures while watching a small berg calve. The glacier has receded so much that our charts showed us 3 miles inland. On the way back we stopped outside of Fords Terror for photos alongside a waterfall and then headed back to Tracy Arm Cove, arriving at 1754. Once again we were the only two boats in the cove.

Dinner this evening was smoked pork tenderloin (done by Jim), salad, baked potatoes, fresh baked cornbread and caramelized onions. The weather continued to improve and we were treated to a nice sunset, but no more brown bears on the beach.

Our log now stands at 939 nautical miles.

May 23, 2011

The rain returned overnight, heavy at times, but no wind. We departed Tracy Arm Cove at 0745, bound for Juneau, a distance of 42 nautical miles. Just as we were leaving the cove we spotted a brown bear on the point; it looked like the mother bear we had photographed two nights before in the rain. The seas were flat, no wind, but occasional light fog. As we crossed the bar at Tracy Arm, we saw the Holland America ship "Zuiderdam" approaching. This was the same ship we had been on while transiting the Panama Canal a few years ago. Both we and Sea Jay managed to get across the bar well before the Zuiderdam approached.

About 20 miles up Stephens Passage, just around Taku Harbor we saw numerous humpback whales spouting and feeding. They were all too far away for good photos. We continued on and headed up Gastineau Channel into Juneau Harbor followed by two cruise ships that joined two others already there, for a total of four. The downtown area was crowded!

We had arranged a car rental through "Rent a Wreck", and they picked us up at the dock to get the car and sign the paperwork. We did a quick tour of Costco, the Mendenhall Glacier and Auke Bay before returning to the downtown area and having dinner at the Twisted Fish Restaurant.

Tomorrow is a lazy tourist day in Juneau for both of us while Jim and Cheryl Matheson fly to Skagway and ride the White Pass and Yukon Railroad, a tour we have already done.

Spirit has now travelled 982 nautical miles since leaving Anacortes, and we are almost as far north as we will go this trip, at 58 degrees, 17.665 seconds North Latitude.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ketchikan Photos

Longhouse at Totem Bight

A Halibut Totem at Totem Bight

Skunk Cabbage at Lunch Falls

Lunch Falls at Settler's Cove, Ketchikan

Saxman Village Totems and Longhouse

Friday, May 20, 2011

Ketchikan to Petersburg (rain, rain and more rain)

Bounty from the sea, capturing a brass relic from the bottom at low tide in Meyers Chuck

Waterfront property for sale in Meyers Chuck

The new air freight terminal

When the tide goes out!

The skunk cabbage could be the SE Alaska state flower they are so lush

The spider's web in Meyers Chuck

The Dall Porpoise under Spirit's bow

May 16, 2011

Monday morning the good weather had departed, and the rain was falling, heavy most of the time. We had arranged to share a car rental with Jim and Cheryl so we could not only see both ends of the road, but also the scenic spots too far to go on foot. Our first stop was Totem Bight, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. When we were last here the totems looked in need of repair, and now a major reconstruction and preservation project is underway, with many of the totems roped off from the public for restoration. The long house is still open and available to tour, but there were three sets of cruise ship passengers on tour while we were there.

From Totem Bight we continued north along the road to the end, which is Settler's Cove Park. The main attraction is Lunch Falls, which were running hard from all the rain. From Lunch Falls we retraced our path into the city center and stopped for halibut and chips at one of the dockside restaurants. We actually ate the meal at "Stan's Place", which had a liquor store and lounge, but the restaurant delivers food there all the time and it was a cool atmosphere.

After lunch we walked along Creek Street in a deluge, stopping to pick up a few souvenirs, and then drove to the other end of the road, which ends at George Inlet Cannery, closed to the public, but part of the cruise ship "experience". We stopped briefly at Saxman Village, another collection of totems and a longhouse, but by then it was closing up since the cruise ships were departing.

We headed to Safeway for fresh produce and when we returned to Spirit found that "Wild Blue", Pat and Alex Benson, had arrived and were tied up across the dock from us. We had met them last year in the Broughtons on the way north and again at the Selene Rendezvous. "Wild Blue" cruised the west coast of Vancouver Island last season. They joined us for dinner along with Mathesons and Hambletons at the Cape Fox Lodge. We had a great dinner with a crab and brie appetizer served with sliced Granny Smith apples, good steaks and great halibut.

May 17, 2011

The rain continued all night and we departed City Floats at 0900 in heavy rain. The first stop was Anderes Oil for fuel, and we took on 580 gallons which filled us completely. Fuel was actually slightly cheaper than in Anacortes. By 0945 we were done fueling and headed north up Tongass Narrows and into Clarence Strait to Meyers Chuck, one of our favorite stopovers. Sea Jay cruised slightly faster and reached the public float about 30 minutes before us. We docked in heavy rain and wind. Today's run was just a little over 35 nautical miles. About one hour later, we rafted a 48 foot sailboat "Sapphire" alongside Spirit since the docks were full and the bay in Meyers Chuck had gotten a little windy and rolly. We ordered fresh cinnamon rolls from the postmistress for the morning, but found out the gallery was still not open for the season.

We still had some fresh crab, so dinner was crab mac & cheese, followed by an evening watching "Over Alaska", since none of our satellite TV systems are working in the heavy rain and this far north.

May 18, 2011

The rain stopped briefly this morning, and at 0630 there was a knock on the hull. Our cinnamon rolls had arrived, still warm from the oven. It had been light, or nearly so, for three hours anyway. The tides are extreme this week, and at 0801 it was a minus 3.9 feet, preceded by a plus 17.8 foot the evening before for a total range greater than 21 feet. The rain held off while we took a brief walking tour of Meyers Chuck, which convinced us that skunk cabbage grows very well in this climate. The different shades of green were amazing. We watched several of the residents scoop treasures from the sea floor on the minus tide, including what looked like an old brass binnacle cover. The rain returned as we left at 0940 for the 22 mile run to Santa Anna Inlet in flat seas. Along the way we had several Dall Porpoise playing chicken with the bow of Spirit, crossing back and forth and swimming just ahead of the bow wave.

We rafted next to Sea Jay at the head of the inlet in light rain, but the skies appear to be clearing. After ensuring the two vessels were secure, and that we had properly accounted for a 20 foot tidal variation, both Mathesons and Gills put out two prawn pots, the first since entering Alaska.

When we checked the pots about 8 PM, there were only a few prawns, so we moved them into deeper water, about 350-400 feet and hoped for the best. After a potluck dinner on board Sea Jay we watched a very forgettable movie "Inception".

May 19, 2011

Checking the prawn pots this sunny morning brought some surprises. Not only did we have plenty of large prawns, but one of Patrick's pots had an octopus, which had eaten about 6 prawns, looking at the empty shells in the pot. The octopus was perhaps 2 feet across when stretched out.

We cleaned the shrimp and put the octopus is a covered pot with a weight on the lid to keep him from escaping and left Santa Anna Inlet at 0910 bound for Wrangell via Zimovia Straits. There were more Dall Porpoises playing around the bow. We arrived at Heritage Basin in Wrangell at 1345 under overcast skies, but relatively warm and no rain. Heritage Basin is about ½ mile from town, so we went via the Matheson's tender to register at the port office and look for a few miscellaneous items and then returned to the boats to prepare for Patrick's 64th birthday dinner, which included a rib roast that we had dry rubbed with spices and then mesquite smoked on Matheson's Traeger BBQ. We also had baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, salad and a chocolate cake with ice cream that Miriam baked underway. Our appetizer this evening was the octopus, which we simmered Spanish paella style in a sauce of rice, tomatoes, onions, garlic, white wine and smoked paprika. It was actually pretty good, but cleaning an octopus was more work than we expected.

May 20, 2011

We awoke to sunny skies in Wrangell and did boat maintenance until 1130 AM, when it was time to depart for Petersburg via Wrangell Narrows. Conventional wisdom dictates entering either end of the narrows 2 hours before high slack tide, since the current flows into both ends and meets near the middle of the 21 mile passage. That technique allows a slow vessel to take advantage of a following current the entire way through the narrows. That is what we did, except for waiting about 30 minutes to allow the Alaska Ferry Matanuska to transit the narrowest portion before we entered. We did not see another vessel until we were nearly through the narrows.

At 1645 Spirit docked next to Sea Jay in Petersburg under mostly sunny and warm skies. The fishing fleet is mostly in, so the docks were fairly crowded for this early in the season. After a quick walk around town we enjoyed dinner at the Beachcomber Inn, where we tried the smoked black cod, the seafood chowder, and a drink call an "Uff Da", which is sort of like a vodka martini with a cinnamon gummy bear garnish instead of olives. To keep up a rain theme, a brief but intensive rain shower greeted us as we finished dinner. We returned to Spirit and reviewed the charts to get ready for a long day tomorrow.

Since leaving Ketchikan we have logged an additional 133 nautical miles for a total of 799 miles since leaving Anacortes.

On May 21, we intend to go directly to Tracy Arm Cove for the night, spend the next day going up either Tracy or Endicott Arm, depending on ice conditions, remaining a second night at Tracy Arm Cove, and then on to Juneau. We will be out of email and cell phone contact most of the time until Juneau.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Lowe Inlet to Foggy Bay and Ketchikan

A peaceful evening in Foggy Bay

Raindancer and Sea Jay in Foggy Bay

A view of Bottleneck Inlet Entrance in the rain

May 13, 2011

Underway in rain seems to be the norm these days, and today was no exception. We left Lowe Inlet at 0750 in rain and 44 degree temperatures as we headed north up the remainder of Grenville Channel. As the morning progressed, we monitored the weather broadcasts and made the decision to cross directly to Foggy Bay (in the USA), bypassing Prince Rupert. That turned out to be a good decision. We called US Customs when we got cell phone coverage and got permission to anchor in Foggy Bay prior to clearing in Ketchikan the next day. The crossing was uneventful, only 10-15 knot winds and a low 3 foot swell. Although we had one brief rain squall, the day was generally sunny, and as we approached Foggy Bay we picked up a whiff of the hickory smoke from Jim Matheson's Traeger BBQ. Sea Jay cruises faster than we do, so they arrived earlier and had dinner ready when both we and Raindancer anchored at 1845 local time, under sunny skies. There was one other boat in the bay, but lots of room.

Dinner on Sea Jay included not only the smoked chicken breasts, but also crab cocktails and fresh spot prawns that Jim had caught that morning in Lowe Inlet. Cheryl had also made a superb potato salad.

This was the longest day underway we have done, 103 nautical miles, and 630 nautical miles from Anacortes.

May 14, 2011

The next morning, May 14, we left early at 0714 for the 36 nautical mile run from Foggy Bay to Ketchikan. The wind had started to build from the North, and the combination of wind and tide abeam of Mary Island covered the boat in spray and salt. However, that soon calmed down as we continued up the channel and entered Tongass Narrows and approached Ketchikan. We decided to delay fueling until we depart Ketchikan and found a slip at City Floats, which are located between two of the cruise ship piers, right in the center of town. The good news was finding a slip. The bad news was the slip was exposed to the wind and chop coming from the north down Tongass Narrows. However, Spirit is pretty heavy and the motion was acceptable. We docked at 1145 showing 666 nautical miles on the log.

Patrick got one of the folding bikes out and rode several miles to the Napa parts store that was holding a replacement sea water washdown pump for us, ours failed in Lowe Inlet. The sun was out, the temperature climbed into the 60's and within two hours, the pump was replaced.

We met Matheson's at Annabelle's for dinner, which was excellent, then stopped at the Sourdough Bar for a nightcap before walking the two blocks back to the boat.

May 15, 2011

Sunday was a maintenance day as we woke up to two cruise ships and brilliant sunshine. We changed the main engine oil and load tested each battery in the house bank to ensure that we had solved the house battery problem. All batteries tested "good", but we found one additional loose connection that may have contributed to the erratic house battery performance.

The weather continued clear, warm and windy all day and we took a walk around downtown and played tourist for several hours before having some of our many leftovers for dinner.

Bottleneck Inlet to Khutze and Lowe Inlet

Waterfall Point, Finlayson Channel

Rainbow in Khutze Inlet

It is still Winter here

Orca swimming alongside Spirit

Another view of Waterfall Point


If the sun was shining this morning we had arranged for Sea Jay to take photos of Spirit at Waterfall Popint on Sarah Island. The weather cooperated briefly and we go the photos. We continued up Finlayson to Heikish Narrows, where we had to slow down and let three orcas go on by, one passing less than 5 feet off the side. We entered Princess Royal Channel and headed for Khutze Inlet, where we were surprised to hear "Raindancer" calling us on the VHF. They had seen us on the AIS and were also anchored at the head of the inlet. We proceeded in and got anchored at 1215 and then set a crab pot. After only 4 hours we had seven legal and large Dungeness crabs to process. About one hour later, another vessel "Seawolf" arrived without a depthsounder. We got in the tenders and scouted out a safe place to anchor due to the steep shelf and shallow water of the Khutze River delta. The safe place was right on top of our crab pot, so we pulled it to find three more crabs.

Dinner was a pork tenderloin, au gratin potatoes and green salad on board Spirit, shared with Mike and Kathy from Raindancer and Jim and Cheryl from Sea Jay.

Today's run brought our log to 471 nautical miles.


The next morning there were six more crabs that we kept. After pulling the pot, we started to raise the anchor and the chain jumped off the windlass wheel and ran out the entire 400 feet of chain and was then stopped by the nylon snubber line at the end. However, the line was so long the chain was under water and heavy, so heavy three men could not lift it up to put back on the windlass. Some creative engineering with hooks, knots and the windlass allowed us to finally retrieve the chain, and then shorten the snubber line to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.

By 1045 we were underway for Lowe Inlet.

We passed by Butedale, which looks even worse than last year, with more areas of collapse. Butedale falls were running very strong. The weather varied from sunny to rain, but we had timed our departure to take advantage of the currents in both Princess Royal Channel and Grenville Channel. We ran into one rain squall in Grenville Channel that was so heavy and dark we turned on our running lights. However, by 1730 we were anchored in Nettle Basin in Lowe Inlet in front of Verney Falls, which were sending foam and current halfway across Nettle Basin.

We joined for a dinner of crab fettuccini on Raindancer and then spent a quiet night at anchor.

Shearwater to Bottleneck Inlet

We awoke this morning to wind and rain, with wind gusts to 30 knots, and wondered whether we were going to be able to leave the dock. However, the weather forecast predicted the winds would calm to 10 knots or so by noon, so about 1017 we and Sea Jay departed Shearwater, with a planned destination of Bottleneck Inlet. We both headed up Seaforth Channel in increasing seas but decreasing wind and by the time we got to Ivory Island Light we decided to go out in Milbanke Sound and directly up Finlayson Channel to our destination. We were shadowed by the Canadian Coast Guard vessel "Bartlett". The seas in Milbanke Sound were not too bad, running 5-8 feet on the port bow and then changing to beam as we rounded Ivory Island. The visibility had dropped to less than one mile, and we lost visual contact with Sea Jay and Bartlett as we headed across Milbanke Sound. We are the slow boat!

However, soon we were in protected waters with the seas on our stern. The seas continued to subside as we headed up Finlayson Channel. We were greeted by several Dall Porpoise and then later some whales as we headed North. The rain continued to increase as we entered Bottleneck Inlet at 1530, and by 1545 we were rafted alongside Sea Jay in a rainy but beautiful inlet with a stunning view to the still snow covered hills on Sarah Island. Although the rain was heavy, the wind was calm. The temperature continues to remind us of February, never getting above 50 degrees.

Dinner this evening was a potluck salad and pizza dinner with Jim and Cheryl (leftover from Shearwater) while we watched several episodes of season three of the "Big Bang Theory".

Today's run was 46 nautical miles, for a total of 440 nautical miles since leaving Anacortes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

North to Prince Rupert

No posts for the next 3-4 days as we head into Northern BC

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fury Cove to Shearwater via Namu

Spirit in Namu Harbor
Huddled around the fire pit before dinner

We understand this ship is a real bargain!

The buildings look good until you get close
The further building is inaccessible due to a rotting boardwalk

The managers house with a pool table

May 8, 2011

After a peaceful night at anchor rafted next to Sea Jay, Miriam and I got up and began Mother's Day with breakfast and then launched the tender and took a photo tour of Fury Cove in the sunshine. During the very early morning hours most of the boats anchored overnight had departed, leaving only the two of us and two other boats also rafted together.

After photos and re-stowing the tender, we have figured out that we have one or more failed house batteries that will have to be addressed when we get to either Shearwater or Ketchikan. However, with the generator, we can minimize the impact for a while.

Departing Fury Cove shortly after 1100, we motored out into Fitzhugh Sound and headed for Namu. Sea Jay followed us about one hour later. Namu is an abandoned cannery town, slowly fading back into ruins like Butedale, but they still have overnight moorage and a tour of the ruins. There is still a lot that is left, including the abandoned store, the pool table in the manager's house and lots of buildings slowly crumbling under the weight of winter snows and no maintenance. It will not be long before stops will be impossible due to the deterioration.

The caretakers, Pete and Teresa are really nice, and are working hard to keep enough going to attract visiting boats for a day or two. They built a fire in the shelter on the dock where we had dinner and drinks as the sun set. Even with the fire it was cold, winter is still here. There was one other sailboat from Sweden tied up to the dock.

Morning brought a departure for Shearwater where we hope to find an electrician to look at the battery situation.

The log now reads 368 nautical miles.

May 9, 2011

We said our goodbye's to the staff at Namu and headed for Shearwater, a run of only 26 nautical miles. Arriving shortly before noon we found the dock in sad shape, no power, no water and broken beams due to a 110 mph hurricane that devastated Shearwater in March. The entire guest dock broke free!

It is definitely early in the season. While waiting for a mechanic to arrive to check the battery bank we discovered loose and corroded terminals on the house batteries. The mechanic confirmed that was likely the problem, so two hours with emery cloth, contact cleaner and wrenches tightening all connections (all of them were loose to some degree!) has solved the immediate problem. The rain is falling again, but we are having fun and relieved we do not have a serious house battery bank issue!

A valuable lesson in the importance of keeping all bolted connections tight!

The log now reads 394 nautical miles.

Port McNeill to Fury Cove

Or, what were you doing on opening day of yachting season?? Spirit and Sea Jay rafted in Fury Cove
Interesting beach scenery

Driftwood at Fury Cove

A sunny afternoon, the sunset later was just OK

After a night of waking up at intervals (0130, 0400, 0700) to check the weather reports for Queen Charlotte Sound, and the buoy reports for "West Sea Otter" buoy, Jim Matheson and I initially decided to wait a day to cross Cape Caution. However, by 0800, the buoy reports were favorable and the weather reports indicated a brief window of opportunity to cross, so at 1030 we departed, with an intention of stopping at Bull Harbor and crossing on Sunday, Mother's Day. The weather started out cloudy, then partly cloudy, and finally clear and sunny as we approached Pine Island.

Jim took the lead, and when he got to Pine Island, the seas and wind were acceptable, so we decided to make the crossing on Saturday, continuing on to Fury Cove. Jim is somewhat faster, so he arrived before the wind picked up between Egg Island and Cape Calvert. There was a westerly swell of 5-8 feet, but long period, so no real problem. Even though the wind was above twenty knots for us, we also had no real problem, just a little spray across the bow. We saw our first large whale just off Pine Island, but only a glimpse.

The course we needed to keep put the swell nearly on the beam, but the stabilizers kept the motions acceptable, and we only needed to dodge the occasional log. That collision avoidance became more of a problem as the wind picked up.

Jim and Cheryl Matheson's boat is much faster, so when we reached Cape Calvert, we called on the radio and asked where they were. They had decided to stop in Fury Cove, which was a new location for us. Jim met us outside in his tender and guided us in where we rafted alongside of "Sea Jay". We were securely tied alongside Sea Jay at 1830, underway for just 8 hours. There were two other vessels already anchored in an absolutely beautiful sheltered bay with a view out across a spit covered in white sand looking out to Fitzhugh Sound. Later three more vessels that had been following us also entered and anchored.

It was now time for cocktails and appetizers on Spirit and then a delicious dinner of smoked ling cod on Sea Jay as we watched the sun set with a brilliant pink and clear sky. The cove is absolutely calm and quiet as we finally call it a night and get ready for a day of exploration tomorrow.

The log now stands at 342 nautical miles, for a day's run of 68 nautical miles