UPDATE: We had an amazing 10 week journey from Poulsbo to Alaska and back to Poulsbo again. Words can not describe how incredible it is to wake up every day wondering what adventures the day will bring. The blog is not complete as internet access was limited and then my Macbook Pro died. I have now been back in the Seattle area working as a charter Captain and teaching sailing for San Juan Sailing in Bellingham. Now heading for Base Camp Mt Everest with Global Adventuress and Grand Asian Journeys. The blog will get updated on the long cold winter days when I return to Seattle in December. Come back if you want to see more photos of Alaska and a few of our 14 trek from Lukla to Base Camp Mt Everest. ~ Captain Anne
(We have incredible photos but the blogging software won't let me upload :-(. My Macbook Pro laptop got fried and no longer turns on???? I am using a Windows PC but it does not like the blogging software. Why can't blogging be easy?) UPDATE: Thanks to Jeff, it was a sizing issue. All the things I have to re-learn after being an Apple user for 2 1/2 + years.
Missing our crew mate Kyle, Arctic Loon left Wrangell under partly sunny skies heading for Wrangell Narrows. Along the way, we met 2 Alaska State Ferries and watched a helicopter logging operation, as we out ran the rain coming up behind us. We have heard from other cruisers following us that they have had 2 weeks of rain. The rain finally caught up to us in Petersburg. Travelling between 45-55 NM per day, we arrived at Hobart Bay which had an old partially submerged State maintained 100' dock. We were glad that no one else was there when we arrived. As we were using my fishing jig to measure the depth under the boat, S/V Snow with David and Ann arrived to share the dock. We were concerned as a minus tide was expected at 6am. David and Ann shared their local knowledge for the Westside of Prince of Wales Island. Both boats left at 4:45am just to be safe. Destination: Tracy Arm and the Sawyer Glaciers...
Arctic Loon picked up a new crew member, Kyle Lukins on Monday June 30th. We left Ketchikan with sunshine and some high clouds for our journey up Behm Channel, only seeing a couple fishing boats and one tour boat bringing tourists back from Misty Fiords. 1st night at Shoal Water Pass was very quiet as we anchored off an unoccupied USFS rental cabin. The absolutely incredible sunset was enjoyed by all.
Leaving at 6am, we arrived early the next morning at Punch Bowl, tied up to the only mooring ball and had blueberry pancakes. Once again we were all alone except for the USFS volunteers who have been working to repair the Punch Bowl Lake trail since April. We hiked up the at times challenging and very muddy Punch Bowl Lake trail gaining 600'. Thankful along the way for the volunteers who were re-building boardwalks across the mud and blasting rock to fill in holes. The workers had a shotgun and we only had our bear bell, but no bears were seen… It was a beautiful day, almost summer like. We kayaked in our t-shirts watching the Alaskan bush pilots bring tourists via the numerous seaplanes, where they would touch down in front of the waterfalls so the tourists could take photos.
We got up early to go to Walker Cove thinking we had to get there early, as there was again only one mooring ball and limited options to anchor. Not only did we get the only mooring ball, spotted a mother with 2 cubs and Diana spotted a large bear on the point. Later Kyle and Jeff took the kayaks out to take pictures of the bears...
Once again we were under way early Thursday morning, and we got to see why it is called Misty Fiords....
Our destination on Thursday afternoon was the Yes Bay Fishing Lodge for dinner. We went on a hike and picked blue huckleberries, before returning to the main lodge for appetizers and wine. Dinner was Herb Crusted Halibut with a lime cilantro sauce. We met very interesting people and enjoyed a lovely evening.
Happy 4th of July!!!!! We headed off to Thorne Bay via Clarence Straits (also known as the Whale Highway). This was our 2nd opportunity on our trip to sail as the wind was finally in the right direction. However, once the sails were out the wind began to build along with the seas... It was a very exciting day all the way to Thorne Bay. We even saw a few whales!!!
We made it to Ketchikan Alaska 19 days after leaving Poulsbo Washington. Our journey across Dixon Entrance was uneventful partly because we were coming from Khuteymateen which shortened our time on the open water. Ketchikan is the land of fishing boats, fishermen and lots of fish (King Salmon started running a few days ago) which means eagles are everywhere. There are also huge cruise ships, tourists, lots of rain (Ketchikan gets 12 FEET of rain a year), low hanging clouds and today Diana spotted a Humpback whale in Tongass Narrows when we were walking to town from the marina. Oh, did I forget to mention SEAPLANES...
We spent two days anchored within the Khutzeymateen Bear Sanctuary. It was established in 1994 to provide a safe haven for 40-50 grizzly bears that live in the valley. We had bears 200' from where we were anchored. Almost every time you looked there would be a bear.
Happy Summer Sailstice!!!! Hope you all went sailing on June 21st.... Today we finally have internet access at Prince Rupert on Wednesday June 25th. There was no room at the inn, ie, the Cow Bay Yacht Club. Instead, they moored us on the pier in the harbor and it was big choppy seas. Now after dinner, the seas have calmed and the sunset is beautiful at 10:35pm. Yes it almost never gets dark????
Words can not describe the beauty of every place we visit... Good thing we are taking lots of photos.
NEXT UPDATE will be Prince Rupert around July 28th...
Special thanks to Jeff's co-worker who was able to get us the wind and wave height predicted for Monday June 16th. We got up Monday morning and decided to venture out of our safe haven in Miles Inlet. We each spent time at the wheel, but I think Diana had the most fun surfing the big waves. We made it safely to Millbrook Cove in less than 4 hrs. There were 12-15 eagles in the Cove to greet us!
On Sunday June 15th (Father's Day), we left Cutter Cove and headed for Miles Inlet. It started off calm and cold in the protected waters. Once we entered Queen Charlotte Straits, the wind picked up (10-15 kts) and so did the waves (1-2'). We spent the day under blue skies dodging logs and wondering what the weather would do tomorrow and if we could make it around Cape Caution. We approached Miles Inlet around 6pm with 4-5' seas and 15-20 kt winds. At first you think, there is no way we can enter that small opening.... Then you realize that others have done it before so you just trust the charts and go for it...
Photos will have to wait until we have better internet access :-).
As newbies, we headed up Discovery Passage from Campbell River to Menzies Bay an hour early so we would not miss our opportunity to transit the Narrows at slack water. Being that we were at high current flow of 14 kts, we knew that we had a very short window of 15 minutes to get through the Narrows. Should we go or should we wait a few more minutes? We watched a small cruise ship go North, followed by a small sport fishing boat that could go 30 knots enter the Narrows. Finally we decided it was our time at 25 minutes before slack. We entered at 20 minutes to 12 noon on Friday June 13, 2014. Diana was at the helm. A tug with a barge of wood chips was headed towards us in the channel. All of the sudden the barge started going sideways, but the tug pulled and pulled and was able to straighten out once it was past the rip tides on their side of the channel. Then as we passed Brown Bay which was the critical point to know we were clear of the Narrows, 20 dolphins with fins appeared. Diana got very excited thinking they might be sharks. Anne decided to take the helm so everyone could enjoy the moment. The Coast Guard had stopped to watch the dolphins at play.
More stories to come when we have Wifi again...
Clearing Customs was easy... I think it was because we sent Jeff up to talk to them with our list of veggies and our supply of wine.
Jeff, Diana and I sat with our devices on a beautiful sunny morning moored off Shaw Island knowing that in a few hours we would be crossing into Canada where internet access will be limited and expensive. We are actually looking forward to going off the grid. Check back in about a week for our next post if we get enough bandwidth to post to the blog... I can send and receive "free" text messages via Verizon if you need to reach us.
We left Poulsbo at 8:35am on Tuesday June 10th under overcast skies. Special thanks to Deb M for my ride to Poulsbo and for helping me haul all my stuff down the dock and onto the boat. Thanks to Debbie for dropping off Jeff and Diana and for the bon voyage photo as we left the Poulsbo Yacht Club. We motored past John and Dixie who waved us off on our 2 ½ month journey.
We saw seals, a couple eagles and lots of porpoises. In fact, off Pt No Point, we saw the most porpoises I have ever seen in Puget Sound. Diana was in heaven.... We travelled 58 NM arriving at Shaw Island at 7:30pm. The crew enjoyed a glass of wine and had dinner topside as we watched the sky turn amazing colors.
LEG 1: POULSBO - KETCHIKAN (6/10 - 6/30) 21 NIGHTSLEG 2: KETCHIKAN - WRANGEL (7/1 - 7/6) 6 NIGHTSLEG 3: WRANGEL - JUNEAU (7/7 - 7/11) 5 NIGHTSLEG 4: JUNEAU - SITKA (7/12 - 7/19) 8 NIGHTSLEG 5: SITKA - PRINCE RUPERT (7/20 - 8/2) 14 NIGHTSLEG 6: PRINCE RUPERT - POULSBO (8/3 - 8/19) 17 NIGHTS