Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wrangell to Petersburg

Saturday, May 21 was another sunny day in Wrangell.  Miriam and Patrick walked the mile into town and joined the throngs of visitors from the smaller cruise ship “Seven Seas Mariner”, which was tied up at the cruise ship dock.  There were lots of small stands selling various kinds of home baked goods and a local market in the Nolan Community Center.  The longhouse on Shakes Island was open, with flags on the bridge leading to it.  People were even on canoe and kayak tours of Reliance Harbor.

The Seven Seas Mariner dominates the harbor
Cruise Sip Guests canoeing in Reliance Harbor
Shakes Island Longhouse all decked out.
Downtown Totem Park

By 4 PM most passengers were back on board and the ship departed for the next stop.  The food stands disappeared and the town appeared almost deserted.  We had intended to go to the Stikine Inn for dinner, but it was closed for an outside catering event.

May 22, 2016 - Wrangell

Clouds had moved in overnight and the temperature had dropped by 10 degrees.  In the afternoon, after getting the salmon gear ready, Patrick and Rick Lennon took the Lennon’s Stabicraft tender fishing, waiting until the afternoon when the rain became steady.  Like most people that day they returned empty handed.  We went to the Stikine Inn for dinner with the Lennon’s and also met the people on the Seahorse 52 “Pacifier”, who also keep their boat in Wrangell year round.  The specials included a duck confit “Po’ Boy” and a BBQ Pork sandwich, both delicious.

May 23, 2016 – Wrangell to Petersburg

The tides are still large and high slack tide in Wrangell Narrows is at 1530, so that dictated we leave Wrangell shortly after 1100.  There had been light mist earlier in the morning, but we left under partly sunny skies and 10-15 knots of wind from the SW, saying goodbye to the Lennon’s until later in July when we begin our trip southbound.

The trip from Wrangell to Petersburg was totally uneventful, and one we have done countless times.  Our first trip we had the paper charts out and counted each marker as we passed.  Now we do not even get the chart out of the storage drawer, but still count the markers.  At 1630 we shut down the main engine in North Harbor, slip 35, close to where we have been before.

The main navigation computer started resetting again, and we found the CMOS battery had failed after seven years.  The local hardware store had a replacement, and by 1830 everything was back running normally, or so we thought.  Then the computer started resetting again, this time from power failures.  The UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) which supposedly provides for time for a graceful shutdown of the navigation computer and several other devices was itself have intermittent shutdowns, cause unknown.

As the sun set we feasted on a variety of leftovers from previous meals, making space in the reefer for more fresh foods for the next week as we head for Sitka.

Random Drone Shot of Spirit in Foggy Bay courtesy of Peter Geerlofs

May 24, 2016

Update, the local marine electronics store had a new UPS, it has been running all day normally, so we seem to be back in business.  We stocked up on fresh produce and are preparing to leave in the AM.  We will be out of contact until we arrive in Sitka in a week.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Ketchikan to Wrangell

May 15-18, 2016

After arriving in Ketchikan on May 15 we spent the remainder of the day cleaning some of the salt from Spirit and laying out our plans for the next few days.  The rain intensified as the day progressed.  As a celebration for a smooth crossing of Dixon Entrance we went to the new Bar Harbor Restaurant in a drenching downpour.  Even with a taxi it was wet.

On Monday Patrick went to the post office and picked up the parts we had shipped in, including the new Tecma toilet seat which had failed.  The main navigation computer had also failed in heavy seas in Johnstone Strait and we had been using a laptop as a stopgap.  We had a mixture of sun and showers as the weather front began to move onshore.
Midday we met the crew of Seaducktress at the Cape Fox Lodge for lunch and found that the funicular to the lodge was broken, so we had to hike up “married man’s trail” from Creek Street to the lodge to enjoy the views of downtown Ketchikan and Thomas Basin.  Patrick found a new power supply at a local computer store and by the end of the day we were back in business.
Hiking up Married Man Trail to Cape Fox Lodge

The trail has 150 vertical steps plus gravel paths
The view from the dining room was worth the hike
Salmon Sculpture alongside Ketchikan Creek

The weather continued to deteriorate and the predicted gale began on Tuesday, with cold temperatures, wind and rain.  Even the eagles looked bedraggled as they fought over food on the boat launch ramp close to our slip.  That evening we shared dinner on board “Misty One”, a custom Rayburn that also moors at Anacortes Marina.

The bedraggled eagles fighting over a fish

Wednesday was just as bad from a weather standpoint, so we stayed in Ketchikan and hoped the weather would clear, although a few boats were arriving from Prince Rupert and asking for slip assignments.

May 19, 2016

The rain had stopped and the wind had shifted to the northwest, so at 0715 we cast off the lines and said goodbye to Ketchikan until we are headed south across Dixon Entrance later in the summer.  Proceeding north up Tongass Narrows we had hopes of a smooth day in Clarence Strait and that was the case until we got to Ship Island, south of Meyers Chuck.  Then the flood tide combined with NW winds to 30 knots created conditions just like Johnstone Strait.  There were short, very steep seas and Spirit put the anchors on the bow pulpit underwater on several occasions.  We slowed down to keep from pounding to avoid a repeat computer failure.  Once again, even though the rain of the past few days had washed off the salt, in in a few minutes we were covered once again.  Passing Meyers Chuck we could see that the dock was full so we continued past Misery Island (well named), since the seas were the roughest right off of the island, and then turned into Ernest Sound.  The wind continued to blow for another few miles, but now on the beam, and the seas gradually calmed.  Once past the tip of Deer Island, the wind and waves both disappeared and we had a flat calm approach into Santa Anna Inlet.
The view out of a placid Santa Anna Inlet
Remains of mining machinery in Santa Anna Inlet

Spirit was the only boat in the inlet, so we anchored at the head of the inlet in 50 feet of water at 1435.  Patrick and Miriam got the prawn pots ready and by 1530 three pots were set at our favorite site near the opening to the inlet.

We spend a peaceful night at anchor trying to watch a movie, but either the movie was boring or we were actually too tired, so at 2100 we turned out the lights after watching a nearly full moon rise over the trees.

Bald Eagle

Full Moon rising over Santa Anna Inlet

May 20, 2016

With no particular schedule, Patrick checked the prawn pots sometime after 0800 and brought back our limit of spot prawns plus a number of squat lobsters.  After cooking all of them, we pulled the anchor at 0925 and headed up Seward Passage, past Thoms Place and into Zimovia Strait.  Regardless of the tide, the current seems to always run towards Clarence Strait down Seward Passage.
Some of our spot prawns

Entering Zimovia Strait we saw something in the water and it turned out to be two deer out for a mid-day swim.  As we passed by they turned around and headed back to shore.  It is not the first time we have seen this behavior.
Deer in Zimovia Strait out for a swim

Approaching Wrangell from Zimovia Strait

By 1435 we were moored at Wrangell’s Heritage Basin, having covered 90 miles since leaving Ketchikan.  That evening we shared the spot prawns with Pat & Rick Lennon on the Selene 53 “Tranquility” along with another apple pie baked by Miriam.

A ridge of high pressure is predicted to build over the Gulf of Alaska over the next few days, so we should continue to have clear but somewhat windy weather.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pruth Bay to Ketchikan

May 12, 2016 – Pruth Bay to Bottleneck Inlet

The sun was shining and the wind had shifted to NE overnight.  We pulled the anchor from the good holding and headed up Meay Channel, across Hakai Pass and into Ward Passage.  Exiting into Fitz Hugh Sound via Nalau Passage we bucked a 1.5 to 2.0 knot ebb current all the way to Lama Passasge.  Entering Lama Passage the current was with us and we quickly passed New Bella Bella, bypassing Shearwater. We photographed Dryad Point lighthouse on the way, even though we have seen it many times.   Heading into Seaforth Channel we passed Ivory Point Light at 1505 and entered Milbanke Sound, which only had a low westerly swell.

Catch up photo of dandelion at Shoal Bay

Shoal Bay was full of photo ops.

Eagle outside of Port McNeill

Dryad Point Lighthouse

As we passed Vancouver Rock the winds built from the NE to more than 30 knots.  At 1615 we turned the corner into Finlayson Channel and headed for Bottleneck Inlet, our destination for the evening.  We passed through bands of wind to 32 knots, but found a calm patch just outside the entrance to Bottleneck Inlet.  Pulling the Grady White alongside we entered the narrow and shallow entrance and anchored in 32 feet of water just past the only other boat.  There was no wind inside and glassy water.

We watched the season finale of “Big Bang Theory”, since the TV satellite dish was still picking up local Seattle stations.  Miriam had prepared some stuffed bell peppers for dinner and we enjoyed them in the 70 degree temperatures in the inlet.

May 13, 2016 – Bottleneck Inlet to Lowe Inlet

We pulled the anchor from the sticky mud in Bottleneck Inlet at 0558, following the only other boat out of the inlet and headed for Hiekish Narrows to minimize the effects of the ebb tide.  The currents can run up to 4 knots on large tides, which occur this time of year.

As we entered Princess Royal Channel we decided, based on the morning weather forecast, to bypass our traditional stop in Khutze Inlet, giving up the crabbing, and instead pushing north to hopefully cross Dixon Entrance on Sunday before a predicted SE gale comes in on Monday afternoon.

Heading up Graham Reach and into Butedale Passage we diverted slightly to see the state of Butedale.  Every year more of the old cannery buildings fall in and the docks are now reputedly closed to visitors.  We did see that an aluminum gangway is now back in place between the docks and shore.
Butedale continues to deteriorate

Leaving Butedale behind we continued into Fraser Reach.  The calm water was covered in streaks of yellow pollen, reminding us of our 2010 trip, the first on the Selene.  The snow on the hills was nearly gone and there were only the larger waterfalls lining the shores, not the constant waterfalls we saw in 2012.

Rounding Kingcome Point at noon we entered MacKay Reach and finally picked up a small boost from the ebb tide, and the wind picked up from the north to 25 knots.  Exiting Princess Royal Channel and MacKay Reach we entered Wright Sound at Point Cumming and we set a direct course for the entrance to Grenville Channel.  The gusty northerly winds were replaced by constant NE winds at 10-15 knots.  Since we departed Bottleneck Inlet this morning the only other vessels we have seen are “Aquila”, who was also anchored in Bottleneck, and one water taxi heading to Hartley Bay.

Spirit headed up Grenville Channel and after some discussion, the decision was made to stop at Lowe Inlet and anchor in Nettle Basin.  There was one other boat anchored, “Seaducktress”, from Nordlund, Washington.  We had met Peter and Glenda for the first time in 2007 and then occasionally since then.  Miriam baked an apple pie and we all gathered on Spirit for dessert with pie and ice cream and a time of catching up.  By the time twilight arrived there were five boats anchored in Nettle Basin.  The evening ended early since both vessels plan on getting underway at 0500.

First Brown Bear on the beach

Verney Falls in Nettle Basin

Our view up Grenville Channel

May 14, 2016 – Lowe Inlet to Foggy Bay

Spirit did not make the 0500 departure, although Seaducktress was already gone at 0500.  We departed Lowe Inlet at 0550 as the sun was rising and headed back into Grenville Channel, riding the flood tide towards the top of Grenville.  The winds were calm and the skies mostly sunny as we powered towards Foggy Bay, some 104 nautical miles away.

Exiting Grenville Channel, Spirit proceeded up Arthur Passage and turning slightly west headed into Malacca Passage past Lawyer Islands and Client Reefs out into Chatham Sound.  There was now a low swell left over from last night’s winds and rippled wind chop on top.  Spirit is part of a parade of US boats headed for Ketchikan.

At the top of Grenville we regained cell phone coverage and checked in with US Customs in Ketchikan, receiving permission to stop in Foggy Bay this evening.

The further we got out into Chatham Sound the larger the swells became, growing to 4-6 feet, but very short period.  Since there was very little wind, even though Spirit pitched a lot the windows stayed dry and few waves came over the bow.  The closer we got to Green Island and Holliday Passage the calmer it got and as we passed Holliday Island light at 1527 the seas became glassy smooth.  Still riding a favorable current we set a direct course for Tree Point, in Alaska.

Green Island Lighthouse - last view of BC

Tree Point Light, First landfall in Alaska

Totems in Foggy Bay

Spirit anchored with Seaducktress in Foggy Bay

Sun setting over our last day of good weather

Spirit crossed the US/Canada boundary at 1506 AKDT (we set the clocks back one hour for Alaska) and at 1720 we were anchored in Foggy Bay.  We enjoyed the warm sunny weather and watched the sun set through the gap in the trees looking out into Dixon Entrance.  We have covered 103 nautical miles today and 342 nautical miles since leaving Port McNeill 4 days ago.

May 15, 2016 – Foggy Bay to Ketchikan

With daylight time it was light by 0330, but we waited until 0550 to leave Foggy Bay.  The conditions had certainly changed since the previous evening.  It was overcast, the wind was blowing 15-20 and there were 4-6 foot waves on our quarter as we headed up Revillagigedo Channel past Mary Island and Hog Rocks towards Ketchikan.  The seas calmed down, but the wind persisted as Spirit approached Tongass Narrows.  We were cleared into the US by phone with our Nexus cards and then stopped at Petromarine for fuel.  Fuel is basically the same price as in Anacortes.

Topping off the fuel tanks we called for a moorage assignment and by 1115 we were tied up in Bar Harbor in the middle of a rain squall, a typical Ketchikan summer day.

Spirit has logged 718 nautical miles since Anacortes and 380 nautical miles since Port McNeill on May 11.

We will stay in Ketchikan until the gale passes and we get our spare parts from Seattle.  We plan on departing either May 18 or May 19.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Port McNeill to Pruth Bay

May 11, 2016 – Port McNeill to Pruth Bay

0500 came all too soon and in the predawn light we prepared to depart.  At 0536 the last line was brought aboard Spirit and we backed out of the slip, careful to not use noisy bow or stern thrusters since we saw no lights on the other boats in the marina.

Putting the tender in tow we headed across Neill Ledge and out past Pulteney Point lighthouse where we set a course for Ripple Pass.  The light breezes in Broughton Strait were soon replaced by 15-25 knot northwesterly breezes which kicked up a 3 foot chop on top of the low westerly swell.  Spirit was soon covered in salt spray, undoing all the work that Ted Marx had done the day before.

As we continued across Queen Charlotte Strait the wind gradually abated to 10-15 knots, but now the swell increased to 6-8 feet from both the offshore effects and the 3 knot ebb tide in Ripple Pass.  We had to slow down to keep from going airborne in the larger swells.

After several miles of sloppy water we passed through Ripple Pass and set a course for Cape Caution.  The Cape was abeam at 1115, with 5-10 knots of wind and a 6-8 foot swell at 7 seconds period on the port bow.  We had occasional light mist/rain as we passed Egg Island and then the sky cleared.

 The swell stayed with us until we were in the lee of Calvert Island and entering Fitz Hugh Sound, where the wind dropped to 3 knots and the seas were glassy.  We saw only one other pleasure craft crossing Cape Caution, “Salpare”, a Catalina 400 sailboat from Roche Harbor Yacht  Club.

When we turned the corner out of Fitz Hugh Sound into Kwakshua Channel the wind picked up, but fortunately subsided as we approached Pruth Bay.  Along the way we saw an interesting  rock formation.  Can you see what we saw?

Egg Island Light from 3 miles

The rock formation reminded us of a ???

Looking east down Kwakshua Channel 5 miles to Fitz Hugh Sound

At 1610 we slowed down as we entered the anchorage in Pruth Bay, a few hundred yards from the Hakai Beach Institute.  One other boat was already at anchor, otherwise it was an empty harbor, in stark contrast to late in the summer when there can be 25 boats anchored.  By 1618 the anchor was set and the engine was off after an 82 nautical mile day.  We relaxed in the cool sunshine, protected from the wind by the cockpit enclosure.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Port Harvey to Port McNeill

May 7, 2016 to Lagoon Cove

We reluctantly said our goodbyes to George and Sabi (his dog) at 1000 and headed back towards Johnstone Strait.  We endured a few minutes of chop and wind as we turned the corner into Havannah Channel and then into calm waters.  Transiting Chatham Channel on a flood tide we arrived at Lagoon Cove via The Blowhole at 1154.  We were the only visiting boat at first and were greeted by Jean Barbour who has been operating Lagoon Cove since her husband Bill died three years ago.  By 1700 happy hour time there were 4 boats and we all gathered at Jean’s house for spot prawns provided by Jean and other snacks provided by the other boaters.  Jean is being assisted by a young couple, Dave and Jam for the time being.  Lagoon Cove has been on the market for some time and Jean has accepted an offer from a company that intends to continue the marina and fuel dock operation.

May 8, 2016 – Mother’s Day to Pierre's Echo Bay

Ted and Patrick had set out prawn pots soon after we arrived, but the wind reappeared and it was not safe to retrieve them that evening in the rain.  The next morning the winds were still more than 25 knots, but Ted and Patrick were able to get the pots up and we had more than 100 nice sized spot prawns in just one of the pots.  Due to technical difficulties, the other two pots only had a few spot prawns,

Low Tide at Lagoon Cove

The commercial season starts in just a few days, so that is probably our last prawns until Alaska.
We departed Lagoon Cove at 1102 under sunny skies, but windy conditions.  As we headed west in Knight Inlet the winds and seas continued to build, reaching more than 40 knots. 

The True Wind in Knight Inlet, moire than 40 knots

Pierre's is normally packed with yachts during the summer, not know

Spirit enjoying the solitude of an empty marina

All the work of several days ago to remove salt spray was negated in just a few minutes.  The winds, seas and currents combined to make for a sloppy transit of Spring Passage, but the seas smoothed out as we headed up Cramer Pass and docked at Pierre’s Echo Bay.  We were the only visiting boat.  The store was closed, the power was not yet on, nor the wifi.  The store has been repainted inside and a new deck extension has been added to the pavilion.  Nonetheless we were treated to a sunset bugle concert from Don and Karen, the caretakers while Pierre is in Port McNeill.  The sound of Taps floating out over Echo Bay was beautiful and haunting as Mother’s Day came to a close.

May 9, 2016 - to Port McNeill

The wind abated overnight and at 0747 we eased gently from the dock at Pierre’s and worked our way back down Cramer Pass to Arrow Passage and across to Donegal Head on Malcom Island.  The large ebb tide slowed us to a crawl for about one hour, with our speed over the ground down to 2.4 knots at one point.

After finally rounding Donegal Head and entering Cormorant Channel, our speed picked up and we docked at North Island Marina in Port McNeill at 1137.  We have travelled 338 nautical miles since leaving Anacortes.

A parade of Roche Harbor Yacht Club yachts followed us in, a separate flotilla also heading to SE Alaska.  Everyone was washing the salt off from their experience in Johnstone Strait and buying last minute provisions before heading to Cape Caution and beyond.  We chose to remain in Port McNeill at least one day longer to allow the weather to improve.

We celebrated the end of this part of the voyage with Ted and Lisa Marx at the Northern Lights Restaurant followed by an epic game of Mexican Train.

May 10, 2016 - Port McNeill

The RHYC yachts began leaving before 0700 as Ted spent the morning washing the salt off of Spirit and then all of us drove to the Port Hardy Airport so Ted and Lisa could pick up their rental car.  Miriam and I stopped at the IGA on our return and picked up enough fresh produce to last until Ketchikan.

After a burger at Gus’s Bar and Grill we said our goodbyes and returned to Spirit to finalize our preparations for crossing Cape Caution.  By 0800 in the morning we will be out of cell phone range until we approach Prince Rupert. in about one week.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Shoal Bay to Port McNeill Part One

May 5, 2016

High Slack tide at our next tidal rapid, Greene Point, was at 1552, so we left Shoal Bay at 1500 under sunny skies.  We transited Greene Point Rapids right at slack water and headed down Chancellor Channel in brisk winds.  Turning into Wellbore Channel we transited Whirlpool Rapids with a 5 knot push behind us.  The original plan was to spend the night at Forward Harbour and then on to Port Harvey the next day.  

Patrick made the call to continue since Sunderland Channel looked OK.  However, when we got to Johnstone Strait the conditions deteriorated with short steep seas and winds steady at 35 knots, gusting to 41 knots.  The seas were accentuated by the ebb tide now strongly flowing against the wind.  The tide rips in this area are well known and we endured the slamming and spray for less than one hour before the winds began to decrease and the seas calmed down.  Somewhere after the seas built up, the portside ball fender went over the side, still attached, and as the waves hit it the fender would appear airborne well above the bow rail.  By the time we reached the Broken Islands the winds were down to 15 knots and the seas were calm.  We pulled into Port Harvey and shut the engines down at 2030, with still plenty of daylight.

The wreckage from the sinking of the barge (with the store and Red Shoe restaurant) is beginning to get cleaned up and George Cambridge has a new float which will have the octagonal tent from North Island Marina as a temporary gathering place as George and Gail rebuild.

The barge has been refloated and a new float for the tent is in place

Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we had chicken enchiladas for dinner and then called it a night, saving the washing of the salt off the boat for the next day.

Even with the rebuilding, there are plenty of scenic views in Port Harvey

May 6, 2016

By sunrise the two other boats in Port Harvey had departed for Port McNeill, everyone trying to get across Cape Caution while there is relatively good weather.  The gales in Johnstone Strait do not extend to Cape Caution and yachts are crossing every day according to AIS.  The sun came out, still breezy, and we washed the salt off Spirit from yesterday’s excitement.  By early afternoon two more yachts had joined Spirit in Port Harvey.

With several more yachts on the dock we had an impromptu potluck on Spirit, with steaks, spot prawns, steamed asparagus, salad and roasted potatoes, followed by ice cream sundaes.  Meanwhile the wind continued to howl from the NW in Johnstone Strait.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Pender Harbour to Shoal Bay

May 3, 2016

Our 0500 planned departure for Princess Louisa Inlet was delayed since we were all tired and the wind and rain made a departure before daylight less than appealing.  Several hours later we checked the weather forecast, which had deteriorated.  A strong wind warning was in effect for the Strait of Georgia north of Nanaimo and was predicted to continue the rest of the week.  However, the winds were to remain light until evening.  

We scrubbed the side trip to PLI and made a dash for Gorge Harbor where we tied up at 1500 under sunny skies, but with brisk NW winds.  Gorge Harbor was not fully open, but we spent a peaceful evening playing Mexican Train.

May 4, 2016

Looking at the weather forecast, with gale warnings in Johnstone Strait, predicted to increase later in the week, we made the decision to continue immediately through the back rapids.  The high slack tides were to occur late in the afternoon, complicating planning for overnight stops.

Shortly before 1100 we cast off the lines and headed for Yuculta Rapids, circling just south of the rapids for about 45 minutes, along with two other yachts also playing the waiting game.  At 1515 the predicted currents were down to 3 knots in Yuculta, still 5 knots in Gillard, but dropping, so we headed into the rapids.  The swirls and eddies were not too bad, but we avoided Gillard, using Barber Passage instead.  Dent was nearly slack as we passed Devils Hole.  By 1640 we had tied up to the public dock in Shoal Bay, our stop for the night.

Ted Marx enjoying the spectacular scenery in Shoal Bay

We were the only visiting boat that night and after paying for moorage enjoyed a beer on the sundeck with Mark MacDonald.  Returning to Spirit we put out some crab pots and then were treated to a spaghetti dinner prepared by Ted.

Vancouver to Pender Harbor

May 1, 2016

The skies were clear and the winds light as we decided what to do.  Spirit needed rinsing from the crossing the day before, oysters needed to be purchased on Granville Island at “The Lobsterman”, and some specialty spirits awaited at the Coal Harbour Liquor Store, close to the finish of the Vancouver Marathon.  We also planned to partake of “Tappy Hour” at Provence Marinaside later in the afternoon.

The weather continued to be clear and sunny, with just enough breeze to keep the temperatures comfortable, so snagging an outside table at the restaurant was a pleasant choice.

Supper later on was in courses between rounds of Mexican Train, and we had the ray oysters purchased earlier in the day, along with shrimp and salad and a fresh baguette.

May 2, 2016

Another sunny day greeted us as we filled the tanks with water and cast off the lines at 0800.  Heading out False Creek we prepared to put the Grady White in tow outside the Granville Street Bridge and realized we had not returned the key fobs, so at 0820 Patrick ran back to the marina in the tender while Miriam, Ted and Lisa continued on course to Pender Harbour.  

Patrick’s round trip took about 45 minutes due to the 5 knot speed restriction in False Creek, but shortly after 0900 the tender was back alongside and Spirit continued north to Pender Harbor under sunny skies and calm seas.

Entering Pender Harbour we brought the tender back alongside and anchored in Gerrans Bay at 1442, having covered 46 nautical miles.  Following a tour of Pender Harbour in the tender, under warm sunny skies, we then grilled pork chops marinated in pineapple habanero sauce for our main course. 

Rainbow over Pender Harbour before the rain began

Later that evening, the wind shifted to the north and the rain began, sometimes hard.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Roche Harbor to Vancouver

April 29, 2016

With only a relatively short day ahead of us, we departed Roche Harbor at 0950 and transited the short distance across Haro Strait and into Port Sidney Marina where we cleared Canada Customs by phone.  At 1135 we cast off the lines from the customs dock and headed to Ganges.  Our plans to see Miriam’s cousin Dean Sevold were changed when he had to cancel, but since we were already close to Ganges, but too late to divert to Vancouver, we continued on.

The wind suddenly increased to nearly 20 knots as we pulled the Grady White alongside and moored at Ganges Marina.  We were pleased to see Frank and Kathy Montgomery also there on the Selene 55, Rendezvous, so plans were quickly made to share our chicken enchiladas with chile verde with them in an informal potluck on Spirit.

We did some basic provisioning in Ganges, saving the major items of produce and meats until we reached Vancouver.

April 30, 2016

We had planned for a relatively early departure from Ganges to ride the morning flood tide to Vancouver, so at 0730 we departed quietly under sunny skies.  Heading up Trincomali Channel to Porlier Pass we entered Georgia Strait at 0940.  The calm waters of Trincomali were replaced by 10-15 knot winds from the northwest and 2-3 foot chop from the same direction, putting the seas nearly on the beam for the 22 nautical mile crossing to Burrard Inlet.  The stabilizers got a workout as we altered course to stay clear of the Vessel Traffic System lanes.  With the northwest wind, Burrard Inlet and English Bay were exposed and choppy as we pulled the Grady White alongside and threaded our way through the windsurfers, sailing races, kayaks and paddleboarders and people ferries into False Creek

Spirit was alongside the dock at Quayside Marina with the engine shut down at 1339.  We have traveled 99 nautical miles since leaving Anacortes.  After checking in, the four of us walked to Costco and reprovisioned before returning to Spirit where we enjoyed the balance of the day soaking up the sun.  We capped off the evening with a Danish open faced sandwich smorgasbord, served in courses starting with pickled herring, then meats, followed by shrimp and avocado and finishing with a selection of cheeses, all done on buttered pumpernickel bread.  Each course finished with a “skol” of aquavit.  Finally, we then ended with a marathon game of Mexican Train.

Ted Marx serving the Aquavit for the first course of pickled herring