Monday, May 19, 2014

2014-10 Ketchikan to Troller Cove on Prince of Wales Island

On Saturday, after resting up a few days in Ketchikan, we decided on a short weekend cruise to nearby Prince of Wales Island.  We looked for an anchorage protected from the forecast SE winds and Kasaan Bay on POW's east coast offered several options.  Unfortunately the Douglass Guide didn't provide much info for the closer ones that looked good on the chart.  We Googled "Troller Cove" to find a sailboat blog describing a beautiful bay with a forest cabin and resident bear.  The Douglass Guide stated "Trollers Cove is inadequately charted but it does appear to offer good shelter in all weather".  Poor charts and a resident bear....perfect!

The chart shows a few rocks on the approach to Trollers Cove.
Hopefully our forward looking sonar will "paint" these rocks for
our viewing, not touching, pleasure. The line was Wild Blue's route.
While in Vancouver Pat discovered this awesome frozen croissant dough that rises to the occasion.  Of course the Urban Fare market has all the good stuff.  We put the frozen dough on a sheet for 8 hours then placed them in the oven.  Wow, light, fluffy just like fresh croissants from Paris.  (Whoops, I haven't been to Paris yet).  A little bit of Paris in Ketchikan.

Frozen Vancouver Bakery Croissants have risen.
Baked for 15 minutes become light and fluffy.
By 10am we were northwest bound in Tongass Narrows.  At Vallenar Rock we turned to port using the Inside Passage to begin our crossing of southern Clarence Strait.  The current was flooding up Clarence at about 2 knots but the 10 knot SE breeze was going the same direction, so the bump was minimal.  By 12:30 we were ready to enter Trollers Cove and consulted Coast pilot directions.  "Stay 50 yards off the S shore of the S Island....." which we attempted, but felt much safer at 100 feet.  The submerged rocks did show up on sonar and we had about 50 feet of clearance on each side of the boat at the narrowest point.  Alas, there was a single, empty, park mooring which Pat, standing on the stern swim step, threaded a line through the loop, and she walked forward while Alex backed down.  When Pat reached the bow, it was a simple task to attach each end of the line to the forward hawser cleats at each side.  The boat rode nicely for our two nights "at anchor".

Nice view from the Trollers Cove mooring looking west.
Forest cabin for recreational use by visitors.... and bears.
Sitting on the "can".
Seeing no sign of the resident bear, Alex took the tender ashore for a stroll and to experience the forest cabin. The cabin was rustic, quiet and spooky, but looked fairly comfortable, if you're the mountain man type.
A large wood stove was centered in the cabin.
There was plenty of cut wood, with kindling,
and a gas lighter.
Four twin accommodations, BYOM (mattress).
 Alex hung around the cabin then eventually returnd to the boat by tender.  Pat had previously opted out of a trip ashore based on the sailboat blogger bear "story".
Once Alex as back aboard, Pat looked towards the cabin to see a
moving black rock, a BEAR!
He waved at us from a distance.
The weekend was fun and Alex completed a lifetime first..... two consecutive victories over Pat in marathon "open dictionary" Scrabble.  Yahoo!

Earlier today, Monday morning that is, we slipped the bow line from our personal mooring for the short cruise back to Ketchikan.  This time Clarence Strait was quite bumpy with a 2 knot southerly ebb being agitated by a 15 knot southerly breeze.  The Admiral was unhappy but it didn't last as all was calm again shortly as we reached Tongass Narrows, then Ketchikan.

A troller styas out of the way of cruise ship Vollendam in
Tongass Narrows.

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