Friday, July 29, 2011
More pictures when we have a faster internet connection.
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
|The mermaid greeting visiting boaters at Ocean Falls|
|Sea Jay passing Boat Bluff lighthouse, Sarah Passage|
|Sea Jay in the fog at Khutze Inlet|
|The waterfall in Khutze Inlet|
|Butedale, Princess Royal Channel continues to deteriorate|
|A good haul of crabs in Khutze Inlet|
|Appetizers of crab and prawns in Khutze Inlet|
|Nordic 42 "Noeta"in front of Verney Falls, Lowe Inlet|
|Patrickchecking out the falls for salmon, none found|
|Our route from Shearwater to Ocean Falls via Gunboat Passage|
|Prince Rupert to Ocean Falls|
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Leaving Ketchikan for the last time in 2011, under sunny skies, we headed for the fuel dock and added 300 gallons of fuel. We don't really need it, but want the extra margin in case we decide to do some additional cruising in British Columbia. After fueling, we headed down Revillagigedo Channel into Foggy Bay. We were the only boat there and after anchoring we sat out in the sunshine and enjoyed the unusually warm weather.
Monitoring the Central Dixon Entrance buoy on our satellite weather system, we knew we might have a somewhat rough crossing the next morning, so we got up at 0345 and began the preparations for leaving. The 0400 weather report sounded acceptable, seas to 5 feet, so we left at 0412 under clear skies. There were dozens of gill netters along the coast as we headed across Dixon Entrance, but most were north of us by the time we arrived at Cape Fox. The wind increased to 25 knots from the southeast, not the forecasted direction, the visibility decreased to 1 mile, and the seas became lumpy and confused with a 4 foot wind chop from one direction (SE) and a 6 foot swell from another (SW).
After three hours, we were finally in the lee of Dundas Island, and the swell abated, as well as the wind, now only 15 knots, with visibility now increased to 5 miles. We dodged sport fishing boats, and the gill netters as we entered Venn Passage for the final run into Prince Rupert. We were fortunate to have a slip at the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club, but it was on the outside of the breakwater and the motions were pretty violent at times from all the traffic in the harbor..
After clearing Canadian Customs, we resupplied at the local Safeway and then had a great dinner at the Cow Bay Café, trying both the halibut and the rack of lamb, along with some "Flying Kiwi" sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. One of our cruise ship friends/chefs living in Texas goes by the name "The Flying Kiwi", so it was fun to try the wine. The weather was predicted to deteriorate, and it did, with light rain and fog by the time we were finished with dinner.
We are waiting for Matheson's to cross Dixon Entrance, hopefully in the AM.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
July 11, 2011
Today was another unusual sunny and warm day in Ketchikan as we prepare to leave Alaska for British Columbia, completing our time in SE Alaska in 2011. We did not go downtown, leaving that area to the passengers from the four cruise ships that were here today. We have been in SE Alaska for nearly two months and have explored new harbors, fished new places and visited familiar spots. The weather has fluctuated from sunny to torrential rain, but unlike 2010, no high winds. Also unlike 2010 we have become somewhat more expert in catching fish, crabs and prawns, so much so that we shipped most of the catch back from Sitka.
We reconnected with Matheson's on Sea Jay this evening as they completed their circuit of the Behm Canal. The prawns they caught were huge!! After Matheson's were settled in their slip we gathered on Spirit for a spot prawn feed, moving on to Annabelles's in Ketchikan for a final dinner before heading towards Dixon Entrance in the morning.
We will make the 86 mile trip in two days, stopping at Foggy Bay (in the USA) tomorrow before heading out across the open water of Dixon Entrance early on Wednesday morning. The weather report is favorable and with luck we should be in Prince Rupert by 1:00 PM local time as we lose one hour crossing back into Canada and Pacific Daylight Time.
Our path south is subject to change and weather, but we should be across Cape Caution within one week and then have further updates to our adventures. The area of the North BC coast is nearly devoid of cell phone coverage until we get to Shearwater.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
July 2, 2011
After getting up early to go to the post office, in the rain, Patrick arrived to find that it would not be open until Tuesday, July 5, even though the posted hours were 10:00 AM to 12:00 on Saturday. A USPS employee was there but declined to look for our mail. Later that day Patrick helped Brad Downey, the owner of "Moonstar", a Selene 62 that had been towed in the day before with an electronic engine control failure. Everyone thought the problem had been found, a bad electrical connection, so Moonstar got underway, but the controls failed again while just outside the harbor. Several of us got into our tenders and helped Moonstar into the dock at Heritage Harbor. Troubleshooting continued and everyone finally decided the control computer had a fault that could not be fixed in Wrangell.
Matheson's and Gill's went to the Stikine Inn for an excellent dinner, with servings large enough for several meals. We would hate to meet the cow the prime rib was cut from, it was probably related to a mammoth!
July 3, 2011
The rain continued all day as we visited on the docks with the other vessels gathering for the July 4th celebrations. Patrick helped Brad Downey on Moonstar install the backup throttle from Cummins on his engine. Brad is going to install a manual transmission control on Tuesday so they can continue cruising.
Matheson's and Gill's shared prawn appetizers on Spirit that evening, followed by a halibut dinner and movies. We have several more movies to add to the "do not watch a second time" list.
July 4, 2011
We missed the parade due to a late brunch on Spirit; it was raining pretty hard, but we called a taxi and went into town for the logging competition which included log rolling in Zimovia Strait. The town had all kinds of booths and street games for kids and adults, as well as a beer garden at the Elks Club. After appetizers with Matheson's and Downey's on Moonstar, we went back to the Stikine Inn that evening for a late dinner and watched the fireworks from the terrace of the inn. We missed the live band and street dance, voting for dinner inside instead. The fireworks display was pretty good and they were launching them from only about 200 yards away.
July 5, 2011
Patrick was at the post office when they opened, but only two of the three packages were there. The final package was due in by 3:00 PM that afternoon. The first package contained a new Mastervolt battery isolator, which we were able to install by noon. The last package, a new autopilot hydraulic pump, arrived as promised, and by 5:30 PM it was installed and checked out.
Matheson's left to begin a visit to the Behm Canal, we will meet them in Ketchikan in about one week.
Dinner was leftovers from the Stikine Inn dinner the night before.
July 6, 2011
We offered to escort Moonstar as far as the entrance to Wrangell Narrows, which meant that we wanted to leave Wrangell between 12:30 and 1:00 PM so that we would arrive at the south entrance about 2 hours before high slack water, the best time. As soon as we got underway we checked out the operation of the new autopilot pump and then followed Moonstar 20 nautical miles to the south entrance to Wrangell Narrows, where we turned off and headed for St. Johns Harbor on Zarembo Island. There were heavy rain squalls as we approached and we could see seven boats already in the harbor, some still racing to find a place to anchor, so we did a 180 degree turn and headed for Roosevelt Harbor on the east side of Zarembo Island, on Stikine Strait. We were the only boat for a while, enjoying the milky green calm water. Later that evening, a sailboat and two gill netters came in, the sailboat anchored and the two gill netters tied to the small public dock.
We also received a phone call from Brad Downey on Moonstar that the technician in Petersburg DID find a broken and corroded ground wire on the controls which was repaired and which fixed the whole problem. A valuable lesson to keep looking and also the problem with high tech meters that indicate good circuits when, in fact, there is a bad connection, due to the low loading the meters place on the circuit!
Overnight we were awakened by the now familiar sound of torrential rain pounding down, but no wind.
July 7, 2011
By the time we got up, the fishing boats were already gone and presumably setting their nets somewhere. At 0800 we pulled the anchor and headed south in Stikine Strait, turning east into Chicagof Pass and then south into Zimovia Strait. After an uneventful transit of Zimovia Strait, which has some interesting twists and turns, we crossed Ernest Sound, down Seward Passage and anchored in Santa Anna Inlet at 1203. After settling in at anchor we launched the tender and set two prawn pots at the entrance to the inlet where we had done well almost two months ago. By 1430 there were three boats anchored in the inlet, which can hold many more.
By 2000 (8 PM) the prawn pots yielded 5 dozen nice spot prawns, which we cooked and cooled as we fixed some of our Coho salmon for dinner, with the last of our fresh asparagus.
July 8, 2011
We awakened to partly sunny skies and a check of the prawn pots showed 8 dozen more nice prawns. We put the tender back on deck and headed for Meyers Chuck at 1020. There was almost no wind as we headed down Ernest Sound and turned the corner south into Clarence Strait and then a quick left turn into Meyers Chuck, where we were lucky to get the last space at the dock. A few hours later, we had a Nordic Tug 42 "Noeta", Jim and Christie Caldwell rafted alongside. By early evening there were boats rafted all over, as well as 4 at anchor.
We ordered sticky buns from Cassie, the postmistress and purchased a beautiful redwood bowl from the small arts and crafts gallery. Dinner was a Dungeness crab and pasta dish as we try and eat up the largess from Alaska before entering British Columbia.
July 9, 2011
Cassie delivered the sticky buns, still warm, at 0700, and by 0810, boats were departing Meyers Chuck, so we followed suit and headed south in Clarence Strait for Tongass Narrows and Ketchikan. As we were entering Tongass Narrows we passed Jim and Jenna Rard on Ruby Slippers, a Jeanneau 49 which they have taken to New Zealand and Australia and return. Jim is leaded a flotilla of 9 Jeanneau's to Alaska this year and they were just leaving Ketchikan with Sitka as their eventual destination.
We were assigned a slip in Bar Harbor and were docked by 1230, in time for salmon sandwiches. We found out the weather was so bad on July 4 that the fireworks were delayed until this evening, so we are looking forward to seeing another display. The display started at 11 PM and lasted for 20 minutes. We had a clear view from the bow of Spirit, although the fireworks were about 2 miles away.
July 10, 2011
We awoke to partly sunny skies. We have some shopping/reprovisioning and maintenance to perform before we head south across Dixon Entrance and back into British Columbia. It is nice to finally be able to put the raingear away. This is the first day in six weeks that we have been able to wear t-shirts and shorts.
Patrick changed the oil on the main engine (7 gallons) and repaired the downrigger mount on the tender while Miriam went shopping in Ketchikan. We managed to get dinner reservations at the Bar Harbor Restaurant, where we enjoyed seared scallops, rack of lamb and prime rib, followed by crème brulee and coffee. We now have enough leftovers to last for at least three days!
At 10 PM, we are still in short sleeved shirts enjoying the sunset over Tongass Narrows.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
Our anchorage in Kalinin Bay
A pod of orca interrupted our fishing
Eagles feeding on the beach in Ell Cove
One of the purse seiners joining us in Ell Cove