South Sawyer Glacier was Incredible!!!!!

(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.

Valley that was carved by glaciers many years ago...

Valley that was carved by glaciers many years ago...

Wow, absolutely incredible to be here and the weather lifted so we could enjoy the amazing views...

Wow, absolutely incredible to be here and the weather lifted so we could enjoy the amazing views...

It was hard not to take photo after photo...

It was hard not to take photo after photo...

Glaciers, Icebergs and Bergie Bits at Tracy Arm and Whales!!!

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...

Our 1st Glacier in Stephans Passage on the way to Tracy Arm.

Our 1st Glacier in Stephans Passage on the way to Tracy Arm.

Then the Icebergs and bergie bits started to appear in the water.  These are birds hitching a ride...

Then the Icebergs and bergie bits started to appear in the water.  These are birds hitching a ride...

The current was sending out a parade of icebergs when we approached the entrance to Tracy Arm.  It was a spectacular sight!!! 

The current was sending out a parade of icebergs when we approached the entrance to Tracy Arm.  It was a spectacular sight!!! 


Misty Fiords - Where Are All The Cruisers?

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.

Red Sky at night, sailors delight....

Red Sky at night, sailors delight....

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.  

Wow, the walls are stunning and it is straight up...

Wow, the walls are stunning and it is straight up...

We could only see a small portion of the lake, so we decided to borrow the USFS "Goat" for a trip out on the Lake.

We could only see a small portion of the lake, so we decided to borrow the USFS "Goat" for a trip out on the Lake.

Don't try to use a boat that leaks water....

Don't try to use a boat that leaks water....

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.

Let's go check our email as the Lodge has free WiFi.

Let's go check our email as the Lodge has free WiFi.

Welcome to Yes Bay.jpeg
Thanks for an amazing dinner at our private table by the roaring fire.

Thanks for an amazing dinner at our private table by the roaring fire.

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!!!

Why is it always too much wind or not enough wind or not in the right direction???

Why is it always too much wind or not enough wind or not in the right direction???

We started hearing firecrackers as we watched the evening sky... Happy 4th of July!!!!

We started hearing firecrackers as we watched the evening sky... Happy 4th of July!!!!

Looking North towards Wrangell and Petersburg...

Looking North towards Wrangell and Petersburg...

Arctic Loon Arrived in Ketchikan Alaska on Saturday June 28th

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 must have arrived at rush hour for the seaplanes as it was one after another and they all looked like they were going to hit our mast.

We must have arrived at rush hour for the seaplanes as it was one after another and they all looked like they were going to hit our mast.

Bears, Bears and More Grizzly Bears

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.

I hear that sailboat Arctic Loon has vegetarians from Seattle aboard, do you think they would still taste good?

I hear that sailboat Arctic Loon has vegetarians from Seattle aboard, do you think they would still taste good?

Mama Grizzly and her two cubs leisurely eating grass...

Mama Grizzly and her two cubs leisurely eating grass...

The baby cubs are so cute and look so harmless....

The baby cubs are so cute and look so harmless....

These two cubs lost their mom just over a week ago.  Everyone at the Bear Sanctuary hopes they can survive the winter.  Looks like they learned how to dig for clams and we saw them eating grass, let's hope they also learned how to fish for salmon and stay away from the male grizzlies...

These two cubs lost their mom just over a week ago.  Everyone at the Bear Sanctuary hopes they can survive the winter.  Looks like they learned how to dig for clams and we saw them eating grass, let's hope they also learned how to fish for salmon and stay away from the male grizzlies...

Leaving Canada for Ketchikan, Alaska via Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary

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????

I hope the seas calm down so we can get a good night sleep!

I hope the seas calm down so we can get a good night sleep!

Where are the whales???  Not enough whales so we are off to track down Grizley bears...

Where are the whales???  Not enough whales so we are off to track down Grizley bears...

We saw one whale and then we came upon 39 fishing boats who all had their gill nets out everywhere, and of course they were right in front of the Passage where we were heading.  It was exciting trying to figure out where the nets were as it is hard to see the white floats.  

We saw one whale and then we came upon 39 fishing boats who all had their gill nets out everywhere, and of course they were right in front of the Passage where we were heading.  It was exciting trying to figure out where the nets were as it is hard to see the white floats.  


Every Day Gets Better and Better...

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...

Diana took this photo early in the morning in Codville Lagoon.

Diana took this photo early in the morning in Codville Lagoon.

Diana captures a great photo of a bear as we enter the channel to Ocean Falls.

Diana captures a great photo of a bear as we enter the channel to Ocean Falls.

This eagle watched over the Marina at Shearwater not caring about the people walking by.

This eagle watched over the Marina at Shearwater not caring about the people walking by.

Eagles Greet Us After Rounding of Cape Caution

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!

Looking for the Weather Window for Cape Caution

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...  

Looks calm now, but 5 minutes before we were surfing in on the big waves...

Looks calm now, but 5 minutes before we were surfing in on the big waves...

Friday the 13th, Arctic Loon Heads for Seymour Narrows

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...

Should we go?  Should we wait?  When is too early?  When is too late?  Ok, Let's Go!!!!

Should we go?  Should we wait?  When is too early?  When is too late?  Ok, Let's Go!!!!

Arctic Loon Goes Off the Grid

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.

I love updating the blog, just wish we had good internet access while in these remote locations...

I love updating the blog, just wish we had good internet access while in these remote locations...

Our Journey Begins...

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.  

Sunset at Shaw Island after our 1st day...

Sunset at Shaw Island after our 1st day...