Sunday, May 22, 2011

#5 – Ketchikan: Eavesdropping on the Cruise Ships

For the last several days we've been tied to the dock here at City Float in downtown Ketchikan. With our rent-a-wreck, we've driven the entire coastal roadway, from the hydroelectric plant at the southern end, through most of the downtown Ketchikan streets, to the last fishing lodge/marina at the north end, about 25 miles or so. It's a great town, but we've pretty much run out of things to do.

So with our spare time, we've learned to listen in on the crew conversations aboard the cruise ships. Today we watched the Disney Wonder dock while we monitored the ship's bridge officers on the their semi-private radio channel. Most boaters know that ships communicate to shore and other ships via the standard marine VHF frequencies, the 150-170 megahertz band. But it turns out aboard the big ships, there's a separate set of Authorized UHF Maritime Channels in the 450-460 megahertz band for internal communications. Many tanker, cargo, utility, large tugs, ferry and cruise ships use the Maritime Channels. There's a website that lists the channels known to be used by certain ships. See to see the list.

We found the Disney Wonder maritime channel, and tuned our Icom IC-7000 ham SSB and all band receiver to the specified frequency of 467.750 mhz. We set the the receiver for FM-TONE reception, setting the tone squelch to110.9 hertz as called for by the frequency list. Then we listened to 20 minutes of docking and tie up commands and responses issued by the Disney Wonder bridge. It's great entertainment. Many cruise ships use multiple maritime channels for say the hotel, engineering, bridge and entertainment. So if your around big ships, and run out of entertainment, tune into live shipboard conversations using the maritime channels.
The Disney Wonder.  We no longer wonder what they're saying aboard this ship.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#4 Prince Rupert, BC to Ketchikan, USA

Monday through Wednesday, May 16th–18th _ Ketchikan

On Monday we prepared to leave at 4:30AM once we had digested the 4AM BC weather Forecast for Dixon Entrance East. Dixon Entrance is the exposed ocean area between BC and Alaska. At times it gets pounded by large seas as a result of strong currents and high winds. Today the wind forecast is 5 to 15 knots and seas are 1 meter (3 foot) seas. Just in case, we time our crossing to be in the center of Dixon Entrance at slack current, which means we need to leave Prince Rupert at 430AM. After about 10 hours we should be in Ketchikan.

It's still dark with a hint of sky light, just enough to see the logs, tree stumps, small timber, kelp patches and crab pot buoys that can pop up in front of the boat. We turn off all the pilot house lights, and dim the displays and instruments, and close the laptop to enhance our night vision. Pat is fully prepared for any excitement, sportingly clad in her thicker morning robe and warmest slippers as off we go.

Cruising north across Prince Rupert Harbour is simple enough as we make sure to dodge the PR airport shuttle boats that approach us on a reciprocal course to ours. We then make our way through winding Venn Passage. Although the Passage is well marked, it's narrow and shallow. Even in broad daylight we pay close attention to our chartplotter, so this mornings darkness is no hindrance to this snaky passage.

Once through Venn we turn northwest up Chatham Sound. The seas are just a bit rolly, about 2 feet or less. So far so good, except for one thing: there is loads of floating obstacles that require us to concentrate on the water ahead. Every so often, we turn the boat, zigzagging through more sea junk, and this keeps us on our toes. By 7:30AM we begin our crossing of the Dixon Entrance, with light rain, calms winds and little seas. It turns out to be a comfortable day for crossing into Alaska , or as our old salt friend Dick Squire would say: “Piece of cake!”

Our route from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan.

Wild Blue leaves Canada in it's wake.  Hello USA!

Just about noon or so, Pat gets dressed for the outside. We arrive in Ketchikan at 1PM local time, or 2PM PDT. After tying up at City Dock next to the Selene 55 Spirit, the US Customs Agents board and administer a very pleasant customs experience. The Harbor Staff has all our info from our 2009 stay, and an esay check-in occurs aboard the boat. We relax and then are greeted by Patrick and Miriam, the Spirit crew, who invite us for dinner at the Cape Fox Lodge with the crews from Sea Jay and Raindancer. A nice end to an nice arrival back in the USA.

Mary Island Lighthouse in Revilla Channel.  These US light houses are just not maintained like those of Canada.

The Mist Cove on her way to Alaska.  This is a moving fishing lodge, complete with sport fishing boats and staff that follow the salmon runs around Alaska.  High paying guests arrive by float plane.

Since we'll be in Ketchikan for almost a week, on Tuesday we decide to rent a car. With time, Alex decides to “shop it”. He canvasses all the local car rental companies. Most range from $350 to $400 for the week, all except for Southeast Car Rental. For $250 we get the equivalent of what Juneau calls a “Rent A Wreck”. Wow it's a chore to crank up windows and manually lock each car door. Pat doesn't like waiting in the rain when Alex forgets to manually unlock the passenger door.

Spirit leaves Ketchikan for points further north, being careful to not sideswipe the cruise ship.

Alex began working through the boat's To Do list. The inverter temperature sensor faulted and the spare part was waiting at Frontier Shipping. The inverter was dissembled and the sensor was replaced. The noisy Bosch washer was fixed when three coins were removed from inside the pump impeller housing. An additional AC receptacle was installed in the salon to insure that our guests have enough outlets to charge all their electronic cameras, phones, computers, etc.

Every boat, small and large, has maintenance and repairs.  Here two divers prepare to dive the hull of Celebrity Millennium,  a cruise ship docked next to the Wild Blue.  They examine an area of the starboard hull just below the waterline, between the thruster and stern.  Maybe the ship tapped a Glacier Bay iceberg just a bit too hard and the engineers wanted to check it out? They must be pretty concerned to wear wet suits in this 40F degree water.  Most everybody these days wears a dry suit.  The facial expressions of the divers after their 15-minute sea hunt told the story:  they were frigid!

Celebrity Millennium divers prepare to dive the hull.

These wet suits are better suited for the Caribbean!

We've toured the City, saw the tallest totem poles, visited the hydroelectric power station, dined out, and visited the Walmart. This helps prepare ourselves for integration back into the SLO life. The cruise itinerary is below. See you after the horse, house, book club and wedding breaks. Alex and Pat.


1. MON, MAY 2 SIDNEY, BC TO TUE, MAY 10 PORT MCNEIL, BC. This leg is complete.

2. WED, MAY 11 PORT MCNEIL, BC TO SUN, MAY 22 KETCHIKAN, AK. This leg is complete.

Alaska Northbound: Ketchikan, Thorne Bay/Snug Anchorage, Coffman Cove, Roosevelt Harbor, Wrangell, Butterworth Island Bay, Petersburg - 8 days.

4. MON, JUNE 20 PETERSBURG, AK TO MON, JUNE 27 JUNEAU, AK. Alaska Northbound: Note: Call Juneau IVF 907-321-0429 to verify June 26-28 reservation. Petersburg, Ideal Cove or Thomas Bay, Five Fingers Island-Windfall Cove, Tracy Arm Cove-Dawes Glacier, Tracy Arm Cove-Sawyer Glaciers, Juneau, Auke Bay 8 days

5. TUE, JUNE 28 JUNEAU, AK TO TUE, JULY 5 SITKA, AK. Alaska Westbound: Juneau, Funter Bay, Tenakee Springs, Peril Strait, Sitka. - 8 days (4 cruising, 4 in Sitka). 

6. THU, JULY 7 SITKA, AK TO FRI, JULY 15 CRAIG, AK. Alaska Baronof Island Southbound: Sitka, Kliuchevoi Bay-Goddard Hot Springs, Herring Bay, Scow Bay, Still Harbor, Reannes Relief, Port Alexander, Egg Harbor, Craig - 8 days, remote cruising with water limitations.

7. SUN, JULY 17 CRAIG, AK TO WED, JULY 27 KETCHIKAN, AK. Alaska clockwise around Prince of Wales Island: Craig, Cyrus Cove-Orr Island, El Capitan Cave-Hamilton Island Cove, Point Baker, Red Bay, Meyers-Chuck, Ketchikan - 11 days.

Alaska-BC Southbound: Ketchikan, Pond Bay-Duke Island, Morse
Cove-Judd Harbor, Foggy Bay-Very Inlet, Nakat Harbor, Port Tongrass, Prince Rupert - 8 Days. 

British Columbia Southbound: Prince Rupert, Captain Cove, Ire Inlet, Emily Carr Inlet, Mary Cove, various northern BC ports, Shearwater - 10 Days. 

Central BC Southbound: Shearwater, various Central BC ports, Port McNeil - 10 days. 

Southern BC Southbound: Port NcNeil, various Broughton Island marinas and anchorages, various Desolation Sound anchorages, Princess Louisa Inlet, Vancouver, Anacortes - 11 days. 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

#3 The Inside Passage along BC's Coast

Monday Afternoon and Tuesday, May 9th-10th - Pruth Bay, Calvert Island, then Codville Lagoon.

First it's great to know that so many people are enjoying the blog.  For those of you (about 80 or so) that inadvertantly received that "Reply All" email response, and are wondering........ Ken's gall bladder surgery was a success!  He will only miss one week of poker......

On Monday afternoon we launched the dinghy and motored over to the Hakai Beach Institute. The Institute, which previously was an upscale fishing lodge, is now a nonprofit learning/research center. The resident chef give us a tour of the facility, which includes lodging, conference center, dining hall, and ocean research capabilities. Pat and I took a short trail across an isthmus to the beach, which opens to the Pacific Ocean. There we admired the various float'sem and jet'sem which is discarded or lost, then drifts across the Pacific to end up on the Hakai beach.

 Wild Blue anchored off the Hakai Beach Institute dock.

 Lodging is upscale at the Institute.

Pat hikes the beach trail. 

Basketball court in the wilderness? Good place for Kobe and the Lakers to practice, out of the spotlight!

The Hakai Beach is open to the Pacific.

Tranquility arrives in Pruth Bay.

Late this afternoon Z-Worthy and another Selene named Tranquility made it around Cape Caution arriving in Pruth Bay. As the wind piped up another coast guard ship and the yacht Spirit of Endeavor anchored here, seeking shelter from the forecast high winds.

Sometimes the anchor can be a drag. Such was the case at 1 am when the "beep beep beep" of the anchor alarm sounded, interrupting our snores. The wind had increased to a steady 18 with gusts of 25 or so, causing the anchor to drag.  This shouldn't happen, but that night it did. The alarm uses the GPS to alert you when the anchor is slipping. The chartplotter showed we had dragged about 100 feet. To correct the problem Alex let out another 50 feet of anchor chain and reset the anchor alarm. After that we slept soundly.

On Tuesday we met Rick and Pat from Tranquility over fresh baked cinnamon rolls aboard their boat. They too are headed for Alaska for the 4th year.  We will follow them for a couple days.

In the afternoon we pulled  anchor and headed north up Fitz Hugh Sound, then Fisher Channel to Codville Lagoon. Screw the cod, once inside the narrow entrance we set our prawn trap then anchored at the head of the Lagoon. This was a scenic and calm place.  

The Pilot House is all lite up on the way to Codville Lagoon.

Wednesday, May 11th - Ocean Falls

Today we celebrated Bonny's (of Z-Worthy) birthday aboard the Wild Blue with the crews of Z-Worthy and Tranquility. It was a surprise party and we had a surprise chocolate-chip cake that Pat prepared, candles and all. We also had a surprise in our trap, about 30 good sized BC prawns.

After prawning and partying most of the day we left at 630 pm for ocean falls, a 3-hour run, leaving the other 2 boats behind in Codville for more fishing. It was still quite bright at 930 pm when we pulled into the Ocean Falls dock.  Pat prepared those fresh caught prawns, and we stuffed ourselves with their sweet taste!

Yum these prawns are tasty!

During the peak of the tourism, lumber, and fishing booms in the 1950-1970s, as many as 5000 persons resided in Ocean Falls. Today the city is a ghost town with just about 30 year-round residents. We wandered the town, noting some fine architecture and taking a few photos.  Then we topped off our water tanks for the rest of the trip north.

 The courts do need resurfacing after 40 years.
 This home has a nice design, but needs some work.

Oceans Falls hospital, or was it the hotel?

The Wild Blue is the only visiting boat in this quiet ghost town.

Thursday, May 12th - Rescue Bay

This morning we left the ghost town behind and headed through Gunboat Passage, west in Seaforth Channel and then north up Mathieson Channel.  We hoped to make contact with our boat friends and watched for them on the AIS. You can think of the AIS as a "facebook" for cruising boats.  The chartplotter shows the names, size, location, speed and course of all the AIS boats within 10 to 20 miles.  You just "friend" another boat by calling him on the VHF. At about 8 miles away we saw Z-Worthy in Oliver Bay on our chartplotter. Shortly thereafter Ron saw and called us to say we should meet them at Rescue Bay. The three Selenes dropped anchor in a quiet bay just off the Inside Passage. Due to Rick's (of Tranquility) fishing prowess and prolific catch, Ron prepared fresh crab-prawn cakes and we all enjoyed the bounty of the BC sea.

 Anchored with Tranquility in Rescue Bay

The view from rescue Bay.

Friday, May 13th - Hartley Bay

Just after first light today we left Rescue Bay, Z-Worthy, Tranquility, and entered Jackson Passage. This is another narrow, shallow passage that connects to Seaforth Channel and points north. After a couple hours we stopped just off the Boat Bluff lighthouse north of Klemtu and attempted to connect to their usually speedy wifi internet. Unfortunately the wifi was turned off or maybe is no longer offered. We continued up Finlayson Channel and Princess Royal Channel. We passed an old cannery town called Butedale, but after 8-hours, only a very few fishing boats as we approached Hartley Bay.

Just one of the many scenic waterfalls along our route today.

Once the queen of the fishing canneries, Butedale continues its deterioration. 

Hartley Bay is a small native peoples village with a nicely protected harbor. We tied up for the night at no charge including free electricity. This compares to a typical charge of $100 a night. Of course there is no wifi and no night life, just many friendly native fisherman who wish to chat. The town is famous for rescuing 99 passengers and crew aboard the sinking Queen of the North, a BC ferry, in March, 2006. After touring this boardwalk village,  we spent a restful night. 

Pat strolls along the main boardwalk.  This is NOT your Monopoly Game Boardwalk!

Saturday and Sunday, May 14th-15th - Kluenuggit Inlet, or Baker Inlet, or Kumealon Inlet, or Prince Rupert

It's difficult to make up your mind to stop for the day when the weather is so great.  Sunny skies and a favorable tidal current pushed us north along Grenville Channel.  This channel is a 50-mile long, nearly straight canal.  It's so straight that it seems man-made!  

We had timed our departure to take full advantage of the tide push leaving at 8:45 am from Hartley Bay. We expected to stop and spend the night in Kluenuggit Inlet, but the the sun and current egged us on.  We have spent many days hunkered down in a cove or tied to a dock, waiting for decent weather to continue our journey.  I remember waiting out three stormy days in Prince Rupert where the crew threatened to fly home!  We continued on and decided to look into Baker Inlet.  

Peeking into Baker Inlet via Watts Narrows.

Grenville Channel was lonely today. We saw only 3 small boats and a tug with log tow in 60 miles.  We made it to Baker Inlet, peeked inside the skinny entrance, noted the sunny skies, good current, lack of wind, and pushed onward to Kumealon Inlet.  It's been a confusing BC weather forecast calling for 25 knot northwest winds, but it's nearly calm. The barometer is almost steady, just ever so slowly falling.  We get to Kumealon and, well it was just too nice to stop!  We entered Prince Rupert harbor at 6PM and anchored in the still waters of Pillsbury Cove, on the north side of the Harbor.  Glassy water, clear blue skies and bright sunshine ended the near perfect cruising day.

 The Port of Price Rupert is unexpectedly busy.  Could it be because it's two days closer to China?

This newer China Overseas Shipping Company (COSCO) vessel is equipped with a breakwater to keep the forward most containers from being washed away by ocean waves.

On Sunday, we moved the boat over to Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club.  No worries, yacht club membership is not required, but Canadian dollars are!  Normally we would stay anchored, but the lazerette is full of trash and recyclables looking for a bin.  Plus how can Pat stay away from the shopping bonanza offered here in PR.  We enjoyed our first breakfast dining out at the Cow Coffee Cafe, and had a late lunch at Smiles Seafood restaurant.

Wild Blue on the end tie at Prince Ruppert Rowing and Yacht Club.

It been another good week of cruising north.  We are ahead of schedule and the weather continues to hold.  We'll try for the United States and Ketchikan early tomorrow, leaving at 4:30AM's first light.  Until Ketchikan......

Monday, May 9, 2011

#2 The 2011 Alaska Cruise Starts

We've been cruising to Alaska on the Inside Passage for a week now and we've passed the northern tip of Vancouver Island arriving yesterday in Pruth Bay on Calvert Island. The weather's been pretty nice for British Columbia in May: bright sunshine, clouds and rain, then sunshine again almost everyday. The ocean has been cooperating as well with light winds and flat seas until Cape Caution and then only 3 foot rollers, well spaced apart. However tonight will be a different story as gale force 40 knot winds are predicted on the BC Marine Weather Forecast. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Easter Sunday, April 24th - A Key Lime Pie To Die For

This year's cruise began on a Key Lime Pie high in Anacortes, Washington. Pat had not yet arrived at the boat so Alex was invited to Jay and Micky Field's home for Easter dinner.  Micky, Chef and co-owner of the Village Pizza in Anacortes, served the traditional roast lamb Easter fare, which was quite tasty.  However Alex's tastebuds came alive when Micky brought out her home made key lime pie!  Awesome would be in understatement. Let's just say Alex enjoyed more than one piece.  After savoring every morsel, heaping praise upon the chef, and swearing never to share it, Alex was able to negotiate just one handwritten copy of the recipe.  We have hidden it aboard Wild Blue and Pat agrees to only break it out when any crew brings along a good-sized bag of fresh key limes.

In the days just after Easter, Alex completed final boat preparations for long term cruising. The canvas top was installed, new equipment installations were completed, the engines were serviced, another coat of varnish was added, and the dinghy was readied for operation. Pat joined the boat on Tuesday and completed the food and beverage provisioning in one long day of visits to Trader Joes, Fred Meyers, Costco, and the Red Pie Barn. Lastly a large tanker truck with 1200 gallons of diesel fuel was delivered to the boat and the fuel was purchased at the highest possible price point. Ugh!

Thursday- Saturday, April 28-30, The Selene Rendezvous, THE Wedding, and THE Crown Succession Prediction

On Thursday we cruised from Anacortes to Roche Harbor San Juan Island for the 10th Annual Selene Rendezvous. The Rendezvous is a gathering of Selene owners and their boats. 30 boats and owners showed up to share ideas and enjoy camaraderie, but this year's event was less about the boats and all about THE wedding. 

The boat portion of the Selene Rendezvous

At 2 am friday morning 3 pajama clad women joined Pat in the salon of the Wild Blue to watch THE wedding live from London. Pat served english tea and fresh baked scones, while Alex enjoyed sweet dreams.

Thinking we would get back to the boats, surprizingly 6 more women and their husbands showed up Friday afternoon to watch THE wedding highlights. This time the husbands were compelled to watch, and most did quietly withholding critical comment. The discussion soon turned to the English crown succession. An official committee of eight Selene women, including 3 Canadians who grew up in school system that sang "God save the Queen" to start each day, was formed.  This Select Committee on the English Crown Succession, after a lengthy discussion, then developed their startling prediction: within 1 year Kate will become pregnant, and once the new royal is born, Queen Elizabeth, because of Camella Parker Bowles will skip Prince Charles, and Prince William will become King with Kate becoming Queen! There will be a new King of England by 2014!  Remember you heard it first on the Wild Blue Alaska Blog.....  Oh yes we did talk a little bit about the boats as well.

Sunday, May 1st - Butchart Garden pre-Color Explosion.

It was tulip time at Butchart Gardens again.  We left Roche Harbour and THE Select Committee on Crown Succession behind to view those spectacular gardens, just a 3-hour cruise into Canada.  This time of year 10's of thousands of tulips are usually exploding at the Gardens.  But this has been a colder than normal winter.  We anchored in Tod Inlet, dinghy'ed to and entered the Gardens though the exclusive boaters entrance.  We were early and so only every 3rd tulip had blossomed.  It was a pre-color explosion, but we did get a few nice photos and eyefuls of blooming tulips.

Monday, May 2nd and 3rd - Re-connecting in Downtown Vancouver

Today we pulled anchor and headed up Sansum Narrows against the current for Porlier Pass, the Georgia Strait (aka Salish Sea), English Bay, False Creek and downtown Vancouver, a 7-hour motor.  This favorite city port provides shopping and dining options.  We completed our liquor stocking at BC Liqour, added the final touches to food provisions at Urban Fare and the Granville Island farmers market. Alex installed a new backup battery charger as the older unit needed replacing.  West Marine and Stevestons Marine provided excellent marine parts for Alex to complete his installation.

Entering False Creek

The docks at Quayside Marina

Our choice spot Yaletown Vancouver

Wednesday, May 4th - The Secret of Secret Cove

We left the dock around 8AM under sunny skies bound for Secret Cove.  After an easy 4-hour run up BC's west coast, we tied up at the Cove.  Proprietor Scott greeted us again describing the pleasant winter he and his family had..... in Palm Springs!  We can never tell if Scott is a real Canadian, because he's always talking about Palm Springs.  Although he says he likes ice hockey, so maybe he really is Canadian.

Pretty Merry Island Lighthouse on the way to Secret Cove

At the dock in Secret Cove with Z-Worthy

Ron on Z-Worthy, a Selene 48, has been cruising along with us up the Inside Passage this past week.  He is single-handing his boat until Bonnie can join him in Port McNeil.  He says he really enjoys soloing the boat, because no crew ever questions or second guesses his commands!  Although he reaaly is looking forward to his crew joining him on May 8th.

Well it's early May in BC and that can mean only one thing: prawns (aka shrimp to non BCers).  Yes the prawns are here and we have observed many a prawn trap set.  Tomorrow the commercial prawn season opens, so get yours today, as they'll be scarcer tomorrow.  Prawns are the Secret of the Cove.

Miss Ella, a BC prawn boat, is stacked high with traps ready to stake out an area and start soaking them tomorrow at noon.

Thursday, May 5th - Gorge Harbour on Cortes Island

Our destination today is Gorge Harbour for a visit to the newly remodeled Resort.  From Secret Cove we go north along the east side of Texada Island, then northwesterly to the south side of Cortes Island.  Gorge Harbour has a narrow entrance but serene waters once inside.  We tie up at the Resort but nobody is home, yet.

Z-Worthy runs across the top of Texada Island with soloist Ron at the helm.

It's almost noon and this prawner is ready to begin littering the ocean floor with hundreds of traps.

Purple starfish march out to greet us at the Gorge Harbour entrance.

Skinny Gorge Harbour entrance looks meaner that it is.

The Resort has new docks, landscaping, outside BBQ, swimming pool, and many remodeled cottages for rent.  A small coffee house just behind Resort offers home made baked items, breakfast, lunch and special coffee in a "Jamaican" setting.  After our brief tour and forest walk, we retired to the comforts of the Wild Blue cottage.

Friday, May 6th - Lagoon Cove Prawn Feast

We left at 6AM for the Blind Channel Resort, but if the Johnstone Strait weather cooperated, we'd continue to Lagoon Cove.  Our route took us through snaky Uganda Passage, then Surge Narrows, where we expected 4 knot currents pushing us. We made our S-Turn through Uganda then approached Beasley Passage for Surge Narrows.  The current was quite pushy, so much so that Wild Blue and Z-Worthy were forced to make a sharp left turn coming out of Beasley Passage to avoid the current pushing us into the rocks! Surge Narrows was also boiling and pushed the boats around a bit as well.  Finally we made upper rapids when the current was pushing us at 5 knots, for a total speed of 13 knots. The winds and seas in Johnstone Strait were mild and with the current pushing us along we decided to stretch our day to Lagoon Cove.

The rapids were boiling today!

Seaducktress is a steel-hulled "Diesel Duck".  This Duck has cruised the Pacific from Hong Kong to Seattle.

Once out of the Strait, we headed up Chatham Channel.  Lastly we managed squeezing through the blow hole "short cut" to be happily greeted by Bill, Pat and Bob at Lagoon Cove. Bill, Lagoon Cove's owner, harvests fresh BC prawns by the bushel each day, then cooks them to perfection.  He chills and serves them each evening to his moorage clients at happy hour.  As always it was "all the fresh prawns you can eat" as we dined indoors at Bill's residence.  

Saturday, May 7th - Sullivan Bay, or Blunden Harbour, or Allison Harbour

After several mornings of 5AM-7AM starts, we slept in today leaving around noon.  The sun was out as we cruised through the narrow passages at the southern end of Queen Charlotte Strait passing the ruins of old settlements.  We decided on taking the direct route to Sullivan Bay across QC Strait in the less protected waters.  Once there, the seas were flat calm, the sun continued and the wind died, so we decided going further to Blunden Harbour, putting us closer to an easy Cape Caution rounding. After 5 hours of clear sailing, we decided to may hay while the sun shone, and continued past Blunden to Allison Harbour.  We dropped anchor in a picturesque setting with calm weather at 7PM.

Abandoned Ruins

Providence Passage to South QC Strait

Lone kayaker along rugged BC coastline.

Entrance Channel to Allison Harbour

Stay in the tree lane.

Sunday-Monday, May 8th-9th - Cape Caution Rounding to Pruth Bay, Calvert Island

At 5AM we awakened to calm weather and weighed the anchor for the rounding of Cape Caution.  The weather would be good until noon when the wind was forecast to blow.  Our anchorage at Allison put us in a great position to complete the rounding withing 3 hours and be at Calvert Island before noon.

Once outside, the ocean was rolling, but with only 3-foot, well spaced swells again, an easy ride.  The wind cooperated and no spray was aboard.  We took the inside route, cruising behind Egg, Table and False Egg Islands.  This route eliminates the ocean swell for periods, but puts us closer to rocks and reefs, and it pays to pre-route and watch the chart plotter!

Rounding Cape Caution

Soon the ocean swell dies as Calvert Island blocks it and flat water prevailed to Pruth Bay, our present anchorage.We arrived to see the Canadian Coast Guard cutter Gorden Reid anchored ahead of us with no other boats in the anchorage.  On shore we toured the Hakai Beach Institute and walked across the isthmus to the beach which is open to the Pacific Ocean. 

More later, it's time to prepare for some stormy weather.  Later.

Tree at sea.

Passing the tree at sea.

Arriving in Pruth Bay, Calvert Island