Friday, July 29, 2011

More Broughton Archipelago Photos

Dinner in Sutherland Bay

On the flybridge of Seventh Wave

Linda Collier's Paella

The Raft Up!

All 13 people fit on the flybridge of Seventh Wave
Eagles nest in Acteon Sound

Allyson reading a Cajun fairy tale after the Cajun Dinner
Jennis Bay Marina

The Roche Harbor Yacht Club member (less Patrick)
at Jennis Bay

The Jennis Bay staff as the blessing on the food is asked.
The view entering Turnbull Covre

Turnbull Cove
Shawl Bay Marina

The shelter where pancakes are served in the morning.

Departing Shawl Bay under sunny skies

Broughton Archipelago Interlude

On the Move Cruise North

July 23, 2011

We departed Port McNeill and headed for the Broughton’s, destination unknown. 

After several hours regretting our choice of directions around Malcom Island, we motored up Fife Sound and ended up in Shawl Bay, a delightful destination. We were sandwiched in at the dock, but met several other boats we had seen in previous years.  After appetizers on the dock, we returned to the boat for a baked chicken dinner.

July 24, 2011

Shawl Bay serves pancakes on the dock every morning and under overcast but dry skies we enjoyed both the pancakes and the camaraderie on the dock.  After breakfast we cast off the lines at 1030 and by 1250 we were anchored in Turnbull Cove under now sunny skies.  The cove is very quiet and none of the 7 boats made any noise.  Patrick put out the prawn pots, but only got about one dozen before taking the pots in for the evening.

July 25, 2011

We departed Turnbull Cove at 0930 and headed for Drury Inlet and Jennis Bay, hoping for dock space for the Cajun Feed the next night.  We could see Sea Jay on AIS and found out Jim Matheson had managed to finagle reservations for both of us.  We had timed our arrival at Stuart Narrows for slack water and after idling around outside of Jennis Bay waiting for dock space to open up finally rafted alongside Sea Jay under sunny skies.

The prawn pots were placed and then we participated in potluck appetizers on the dock followed by singing with Allyson Major Allo, who runs Jennis Bay but is leaving the end of the week for a new life in Wyoming.

July 26, 2011

We had moderate success with the prawn pots and awaited the arrival of four more Roche Harbor Yacht Club vessels, “Crescendo”, “Seventh Wave”, “Reflections” and “Mirage”.  We decided we could be the “On The Move Cruise North” similar to the informal club cruise taking place this next week in the San Juan Islands.

Tuesday was “Cajun Night”, with gumbo, dirty rice, and dessert supplied by Jennis Bay and all the side dishes supplied by the visiting vessels.  This is a popular event and there were seven boats anchored in the bay as well as the double and triple rafted boats at the dock.  The evening concluded with movies on “Reflections”, watching an episode of “Pillars of the Earth”.

An evening check of the prawn pots added several dozen more to the larder.  Patrick also placed two crab pots out in the evening.

July 27, 2011

The morning check of the pots brought more prawns and 8 nice Dungeness crabs, which were shared with Mathesons.  We decided to stay in Drury Inlet and the whole RHYC flotilla headed to Sutherland Bay where all 6 boats rafted together with stern ties to shore.  Crab and prawn pots were placed and an evening check of the prawn pots yielded 3 dozen more nice spot prawns.

Dinner was potluck in the sun on the flybridge of “Seventh Wave”, Ray and Sue Biggs.  Linda Collier on “Reflections” produced a delicious paella which we all shared.  Popcorn and another episode of “Pillars of the Earth” rounded out the evening.

July 28, 2011

The rain returned overnight, but it is calm.  The prawn pots continued to produce small quantities, with another three dozen today.  With the rain continuing and slack water at Stuart Narrows very early in the morning we all decided to go to Claydon Bay, outside the narrows before moving to our respective destinations.  By 1830 we were again anchored, rafted together and stern tied to trees on the shore.  The bay was full of commercial crab pots, but our pots came up empty.  Dinner was spaghetti, salad and freshly baked garlic bread on “Mirage”.  Stewarts and Driscolls cooked the meal and the brad was baked on “Reflections.  We watched episode five of “Pillars of the Earth” on “Sea Jay”, with “Spirit” supplying the popcorn.

July 29, 2011

The sun returned this morning as we said our goodbyes and left the other RHYC vessels to head back to Port McNeill for supplies before heading south.  By 1300 we were tied to the dock, having now travelled 550 nautical miles since leaving Ketchikan.

More pictures when we have a faster internet connection.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ocean Falls to Shawl Bay

July 20, 2011

The rain continued overnight with winds to 34 knots as we stayed safely at the dock in Ocean Falls.  The rain was heavy and we now know why the local residents call themselves the “Rain People”.  We checked the prawn and crab pots before the wind really increased, and had moderate luck in the prawn pots.  It was movie night on Sea Jay, but I doubt any of us can even remember the title.
July 21, 2011

The rain decreased overnight and the wind also subsided, so Patrick pulled the prawn pots, which had nearly 4 dozen nice prawns.  We decided to head out, with Duncanby Landing in Rivers Inlet as our goal.  The weather cooperated, and by 1715, after going down Fisher Channel into Fitzhugh Sound and then across Rivers Inlet to Duncanby Landing, we were tied to the dock and ready for someone else to cook dinner.  We joined Jim and Cheryl for a good dinner at the resort.
July 22, 2011

This morning Patrick got up to hear the 4:00 AM weather broadcast and it looked favorable, so at 0600 we departed and headed out Rivers Inlet and past Cape Caution in 3-5 foot swells with no wind.  The wave direction gradually moved to our starboard quarter as we headed past Egg Island and then to Pine Island, where the waves were directly astern.  The skies were clearing and the temperature was increasing so we could finally put on shorts.  By 1435 we were docked in Port McNeill, having travelled 429 nautical miles since Ketchikan.  We celebrated Cheryl’s birthday with a dinner at a local restaurant and then cake and ice cream on board Spirit.  Miriam baked the cake underway and the wave action did not seem to affect it at all.
July 23, 2011

Under overcast, but dry skies we departed Port McNeill at 1035, taking a scenic tour of part of the Broughton Archipelago.  With no destination in mind, we ended up in Shawl Bay, where we docked at 1515 under mostly sunny skies.  There is an evening potluck social on the dock, with appetizers and your own beverages.  Another RHYC vessel, “Gold Duster” was there also.  Shawl Bay has internet, but no phone service and the internet has limited bandwidth, so no pictures. July 14, 2011

Jim and Cheryl Celebrate Cheryl's Birthday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Random Pictures enroute Ocean Falls

The rain returned with a vengeance today in Ocean Falls, so we had time to download some pictures as we wait for better weather before moving on.
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

Prince Rupert to Ocean Falls

July 14, 2011

As predicted, the rain settled in as we waited for Matheson’s to arrive.  We moved from our original slip to make room for all the boats predicted to arrive, and by 4PM when Jim and Cheryl arrived, the place was full.  We had made dinner reservations for the Cow Bay Café and were joined by Jim and Christie Caldwell from “Noeta”, the Nordic Tug 42 that rafted to us in Meyers Chuck.  A good time was had by all!

July 15, 2011

The rain continued overnight, heavy at times, along with fog, but we left Prince Rupert at 0838 and had an uneventful (boring) trip down Grenville Channel to Nettle Basin in Lowe Inlet, arriving at 1630.  We anchored in the outflow from the falls and set one prawn trap.  We had hoped the Coho salmon were in, but we were a week or two early, so no luck fishing.  By 8PM there were three more boats in the basin.

A check of the prawn pot yielded just 40 prawns.

July 16, 2011

The rain stopped overnight and after checking the prawn pot (only 30 more) we pulled the anchor shortly before 9 AM and headed for Khutze Inlet, on Princess Royal Channel.  The weather continued to improve and we were able to finally put on shorts and short sleeved shirts.  By 4PM we were anchored in front of the falls in Khutze Inlet and shortly thereafter the crab pots were in the water.  We really enjoyed the sunny weather.

July 17, 2011

The sunny weather did not last, with heavy rain waking us up during the night and fog in the morning.  However, the crab pots were full, giving us our limit with enough left over for Jim and Cheryl.  We gathered for a breakfast of Biscuits and Gravy on Spirit and spent the rest of the day at anchor, going for a trip up the Khutze River later in the afternoon at high tide.  We were only able to get about ½ mile up before we ran out of water for the tender.

Dinner was crab cocktails, fresh prawns and burgers with potato salad on Spirit followed by a movie “It’s Complicated”.

July 18, 2011

The fog had returned to Khutze Inlet, but initially not heavy.  Our goal was to arrive at Shearwater, a run of over 70 miles, so we left shortly before 8AM and ran into dense fog in Princess Royal Channel.  We navigated by radar and hugged the Princess Royal Island shore for about 2 hours when the fog cleared and we had a sunny day as we headed down Finlayson Channel, out into Milbanke Sound and back into Seaforth Channel to Shearwater where anchored shortly before 5 PM.

Dinner was pizza at Shearwater.  We have now travelled 276 nautical miles since leaving Ketchikan, for a total of 2377 nautical miles so far this trip.

July 19, 2011

The sunny skies have disappeared and we are back to rain and fog as we pulled the anchor and headed into Gunboat Passage and north into Cousins Inlet where the abandoned town of Ocean Falls is slowly deteriorating in the shadow of the dam holding back Link Lake.  The mill closed in 1980, but the power plant is still operational and there is a hatchery below the dam and powerhouse.  The docks are fairly new, there is power and internet, just no cell phone service.  There is a small community called Martin River about 1 mile away, which sometimes has a store that is open.  The post office at Ocean Falls is also still open.

We hope to catch more crab, prawns and perhaps fish for the next several days here, since the weather is predicted to stay cloudy and rainy.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Dixon Entrance Southbound

Our route from Foggy Bay to Prince Rupert, who was he anyway??

The Cow Bay Cafe

Fkying Kiwi Savignon Blanc

The entrance into Foggy Bay

Our last view of Ketchikan and the cruise ships

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

Farewell to Alaska 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

Wrangell to Ketchikan Southbound

We thought a little map would add some context to the trip

Sunset in Bar Harbo, Kdetchikan

Eagle in Wrangell Heritage Harbor

Yard Art in Meyers Chuck

Logging competition in Wrangell on July 4

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.

Fire works over Wrangell

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fishing Time Pictures 1

Mount Edgecumbe on a rare clear day

Our anchorage in Kalinin Bay

A pod of orca interrupted our fishing

But the orca are spectacular!

Retrieving the crab pots in Saook Bay

Eagles feeding on the beach in Ell Cove

One of the purse seiners joining us in Ell Cove

Another Purse Seiner pulling a load of salmon aboard

Appetizers in Spirit in Warm Springs Bay

The rafting purse seiners in Warm Springs Bay

Don't Drink the Water!

But it is OK to go for a dip!

The hike to the hot pools at Warm Springs Bay is primitive!

Posing for a picture at Baranof Lake after dipping into the hot springs

Baranof Lake could be in the Cascade Wilderness

The fleet gathered in Warm Springs Bay

on Baranof Island