Monday, July 5, 2021
After a leisurely morning, saying goodbye to friends, doing last minute shopping and paying the moorage bill, we slipped the mooring lines at 1050 for the last time in Sitka this season. Our departure time was set to hit slack water at Sergius Narrows in Peril Strait. The weather was initially overcast with occasional rain, but as soon as we entered Peril Strait the clouds cleared and we transited Sergius Narrows under sunny skies.
Since the day was still young, we passed by Baby Bear Cove (our initial destination) and headed for False Island public dock. The dock was full, so we headed across Peril Strait to Appleton Cove, where we were invited to raft alongside the Selene 62 “Saltheart” at 1800. We shared cocktails with Dean and Theresa Klein and caught up on our cruising stories and then retired for the evening under sunny skies.
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Spirit cast off from Saltheart at 0900, after finding our main battery charger was inoperative, an apparent internal failure since all fuses were good, but the unit will not power on. Heading out of Peril Strait we motored south to Takatz Bay, anchoring at 1345 under sunny skies. Johnson’s went fishing outside of Takatz, picking up 7 nice sized black rockfish, but no salmon.
Wednesday, July 7, 2021
Raising the anchor at 0850 we motored out of Takatz Bay and trolled for salmon. We were rewarded with 1 coho, 2 rockfish and a pink salmon which was released. Continuing down 4 miles towards Warm Springs Bay we anchored Spirit in 225 feet of water and began fishing for halibut. Harry and Teri took their boat so we would have room for 4 rods. Patrick and Miriam caught a 43 and 50 inch halibut in less than 45 minutes. Harry and Teri caught a 41 inch and a 9# halibut in the same amount of time. We returned to Takatz Bay for the evening, anchoring at 1530, and then beginning the lengthy process of filleting and freezing our catch.
Thursday, July 8, 2021
Our target today was both halibut and Coho Salmon. Departing Takatz Bay at 1005, with windy conditions, fishing was difficult and we only landed pink salmon, which was released. We decided to see if the weather would improve and anchored in the south arm of Warm Springs Bay at 1235, at first for a lunch hook. Since the anchor was well set, Patrick and Harry then decided to go out in the Johnson’s boat and fish for halibut. Patrick hooked a small 6 pound halibut and Harry and Patrick wrestled a 97 pound halibut on Harry’s rod into the boat, no easy task. After dinner both halibut’s were filleted and frozen.
Friday, July 9, 2021
We anchored for the night in the south arm of Warm Springs Bay, after catching more halibut in our favorite spot. The next morning we headed back out at 0735 and within minutes of putting our lures down had another 37 pound halibut landed on Spirit. We decided we had enough halibut for the year and headed down to Gut Bay for the evening, anchoring in a new location at 1235.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
Our target today was Coho Salmon. Heading out of Gut Bay at 0900 to our favorite spot, we trolled and picked up Pink Salmon, King Salmon, rockfish, but not Coho. Heading down to Mist Cove, we trolled again and only got Chum and small shaker King Salmon. We noticed the water was cold, only 48 degrees, and suspected the Coho were still offshore. We headed back to Gut Bay and anchored for the evening in the same location at 1745.
Sunday, July 11, 2021
Today, after a relaxed morning at anchor in Gut Bay, at 0950 we headed out across Chatham Strait for Kingsmill Point in search of Coho Salmon. The weather gods did not cooperate, and the seas and winds did not allow fishing. There were no other boats there anyway, a good sign the fish were also not there. Continuing up Frederick Sound, we headed to Pybus Bay and Henrys Arm, occupied by one other boat, a Krogen 48 named Spirit Journey. Harry and Teri set out two crab pots.
We anchored at 1555, and at 1800 the Selene 55 “Rendezvous” arrived and rafted to us. We shared a spaghetti dinner together as the rain began to fall.
Monday, July 12, 2021
The rain continued all night and the weather report was predicting high winds gusting to 35 knots and 4 foot seas in the morning. Reading the actual weather conditions at Five Finger Islands Light, we decided to leave at noon. The morning check of the crab pots yielded no crab. We did notice a lot more sea otters in Pybus Bay. Sea otters are good at decimating the crab population. At 1200 Rendezvous cast off the lines and at 1215 Spirit departed Henrys Arm in moderate to heavy rain. The anchor was set very well but came up after using Spirit’s forward motion to break it free from the bottom.
Heading out for Portage Bay across Frederick Sound, the winds were only 10-15 knots, with 2-3 foot seas. The rain continued and visibility was down to 1/2 mile at times. We spotted several Humpback Whales, but none close enough to photograph.
Rendezvous was well anchored in Portage Bay when we arrived and rafted alongside them for the evening at 1710. We shared appetizers on Spirit and dinner on Rendezvous cooked by both Montgomery’s and Johnson’s. Miriam did well stepping across the gap from one boat to the next.
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Waking up at 0730, Patrick checked the current tables for Wrangell Narrows and realized why most of the other boats anchored in Portage Bay had departed. In a rush, we started the engine and were underway at 0800 to minimize the currents while docking at Petersburg. We missed slack water by one hour and had to make two approaches, casting the Johnsons’s boat free with Harry driving their boat for the second approach, which was successful. We finally docked in rain at 1120, having now covered 1800 NM this trip.
Patrick modified the wiring to enable the inverter charger on the L1 leg, solving the charger failure until we get back to Anacortes.