July 24, 2014
It has been 10 days since we have posted, primarily since we were back in Bellevue for a visit with family, routine medical appointments and checking on the house.
We carried some of our processed fish home as baggage and filled both freezers with 175 pounds of salmon fillets, halibut, prawns and crab. We may have to buy a third freezer if the remainder of the trip is as successful fishing.
We had great visits with our granddaughter Josie, and her parents, son Sean and daughter-in-law Margaret. One of the highlights was spending the day watching the West Seattle parade, where Josie was fascinated by the motorcycle drill teams with the flashing red and blue lights.
|Josie at the Hiawatha Park wading pool|
|Sean and Josie|
|Getting ready for the West Seattle Parade|
|Margaret and Josie watching the motorcycles|
Our older son, Cameron is well into his new assignment as the store manager of the Helena, Montana Safeway, a great promotion for him. We hope to visit Cameron in October.
We arrived back in Sitka on July 23, but by the time we had re-provisioned with fresh food it was too late to depart, so we spent a final night in Sitka Harbor.
Heading out of Sitka at 0710 for the last time in 2014, we headed towards Cape Edgecumbe, stopping at Vitskari Rocks to troll for a while. In just a few minutes we had landed our last King salmon of the 2014 season, filling our licenses and then in another few minutes landed a nice Coho. Within 30 more minutes we had another fish alongside the boat, but since it was a King, we had to let it go. It was now only 0930, so we altered our plans and headed away from Cape Edgecumbe and north up Sitka Sound through Hayward Strait into Krestof Sound, then through Neva Strait and on to a Halibut hole on the way to Peril Strait and Sergius Narrows.
The Halibut ate the bait and ignored the hooks, so after a few rockfish were landed we pulled the anchor and transited Sergius Narrows, bucking a 4 knot ebb current for a mile or so and then anchored for the evening in Deep Bay. Deep Bay was a maze of commercial crab pots, making anchoring a challenge, but we found an open area just behind Grasstop Rock in 50 feet of water. By the time the anchor was down, the rain had returned as we processed our catch for the day, saving a filet of Coho salmon for dinner.
July 25, 2014
The rain continued all night and was still raining hard when we pulled the anchor at 0640 and continued eastward in Peril Strait, catching a boost from the flood tide. The wind was initially light, but continued to increase to 27 knots as we exited Peril Strait, now bucking the flood tide and turned south into Chatham Strait. The wind was blowing in excess of 20 knots, with 3 foot seas as we passed another potential Halibut location, much too rough for safe anchoring in 200 feet of water.
We continued south in increasingly rough seas which were coming out of Frederick Sound, ending up in Takatz Bay, where we still had cell phone coverage. As we turned into the bay the seas rapidly subsided and the wheelhouse windows were no longer being drenched with salt spray from the wind waves. The windows were now just drenched with driving rain. There was one other boat in the inner basin of Takatz Bay when we arrived, anchoring at 1440, but by late afternoon the Krogen 48 “Salty Dawg” had arrived, and later the brand new 131 foot Delta yacht “Onika” also anchored nearby. We found out from Salty Dawg that our other potential destination, Warm Springs Bay several miles south, was full of anchored boats as well as a full public float. The weather forecast deteriorated and small craft advisories were now posted for Chatham Strait through Saturday evening.
|Megayacht "Onika" from the wheelhouse, in the rain|
Spirit has now covered 96.5 nautical miles since departing Sitka yesterday, nearly 10% of the distance back to Anacortes.
The rain continued, often heavy, with visibility often only ¼ mile throughout the night. The sound of the rain against the hull even drowned out the sound of the waterfalls we were anchored in front of.
July 26, 2014
With the rain and wind continuing, we stayed at anchor in Takatz Bay, where even in the innermost corner the wind and waves were creeping in, gusting to over 21 knots, and driving sheets of rain against us. We are glad to be at anchor.
The only upside we see is that with the heavy rain we are seeing more and more waterfalls appear, cascading down the hillsides.
July 27, 2014
The rain quit sometime overnight, to be replaced by light fog as we depart Takatz Bay, headed south out of cell phone range for the next several days. We should arrive in Petersburg by Wednesday.