Monday, September 8, 2008

Ketchikan, Alaska to Prince Rupert, Canada

Hello from Canada! Yes, that's right folks (esp. those we talked to last night and this morning - god, was that THIS morning!?!) Ketchikan to Prince Rupert in one day! 80-90 miles! 15 hours! yikes! But the weather was great! Smooth sailing. Well not actual sailing we averaged a little over 6 knots with the iron genny at 22rpms. Our knot log is STILL not functioning so we're not for sure on the exact miles. But man...BEAUTIFUL! Calm waters, not much rain (per our usual, poured down right as we approached the docks!). We just kept moving. We had to navigate Venn Passage (Wally and Katy - remember that passage with all the marks when we left Prince Rupert?) in the dark after 14 hours underway. Very exciting. Ron and I bit a couple times but made up quick - by the next mark :) Something that took us three days heading north, done in one heading south. Not bad. We're getting pretty good at this cruising thing, I must say. Anyway, it's late, I'm spent and Ron's got brie, olive bread, beer and a fire going! Yeah baby! Goodnight. I'll continue the lower blog tomorrow....

It's been quite the adventure and I'm sad to be saying goodbye to Alaska. But it's all for the best, winter is approaching. Ron and I are hoping someone out there will be sending us to Mexico for Christmas (this is the Internet after all).

We left Craig after a nice little (steady 40 knot winds!) storm passed through and made our way North thru El Capitan Passage. Day 100 was a beautiful day as we wove our way through the islands that fill the north area of Sea Otter Sound. We saw numerous sea otters but they're nervous little buggers and won't let you get very close. However, Ron did get fairly close - almost running it over - to a deer swimming across one of the channels. We set our shrimp pot outside of Devilfish Bay and as we were making our way into the bay, the rain started. It wasn't a very hard rain and the clouds were beautiful. There were a few evening sun breaks and we had a beautiful rainbow. A very pleasant evening all to ourselves in this quiet bay. The next morning started with a hazy 1 mile of visibility. The white noise of the countless light raindrops on the calm waters in the bay was enough to brush over the drone of the engine. We had a nice pull of prawns, 35. Mid morning we pulled onto the USFS dock on the southern flank of 2,500 foot El Capitan Peak. We climbed a steep trail of over 360 stairs to one of the deepest caves in the US. Unfortunately, there were no tours being held and the small entrance was pitch black! No light, no go. But the hike was good for our out of shape bodies and our calfs were sore for at least a week!
We made our way up Sumner Strait on a beautiful afternoon with Mt. Calder out along with a few humpbacks. As we turned into Port Protection the rain started in earnest, trying to make up for the rest of the day. By the time we were tying up to the public float in Wooden Wheel Cove the sun was back out. I don't know what the people made of us suited up and soaked under clear and sunny skies. We ran into Johnny, who we met in Wrangell on the 4th of July and he took us in his motorized skiff :) over to explore the miles of boardwalks winding through Port Protection. Unlike Elfin Cove and Pelican this boardwalk town wound through the woods rather than being confined to waters edge. It was beautiful, with lots of blueberries ready for pickin'. Johnny joined us for dinner and it was fun to have company on the boat.

A couple long days on the water brought us back to Meyers Chuck. The only bit of repeat waters after 2 months in Southeast Alaska. What a treat to see 'Patsy' Steve (remember him?). After our morning coffee, complete with sticky buns!, we answered an invite over to Steve and Cass' place. The day turned out to be beautiful and the visit took up more than a few hours laughing at Steve's stories and ticking off the countless jobs Cass does around The Chuck - from postmistress to weather reporter to NOAA, to her beautiful artwork (woodworking, fish prints and stained glass just to name a few) and helping to run and stock the local art gallery. She stays very busy. We followed her down to the Post Office, just down the path from their house at the top of their boat ramp, while she sold fishing license and deer tags. We met Gregg, another resident of The Chuck, and he offered us some Geo Duc. Neither Ron nor I had ever tried 'em so we took Steve up on his offer to ride us over to the Back Chuck to get our Geo Duc cleaning and cooking lessons. The day kept getting more beautiful and warm by the minute and Ron and I decided it was well worth a day to hang out with the locals of Meyers Chuck. We spent the afternoon chatting with Steve on the dock, with other locals stopping by throughout the afternoon.
.....whooo. past midnight. i'll have to catch you up on the behm tomorrow.....

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