Tag Archives: Dixon Entrance

DIXON ENTRANCE, PRINCE RUPERT AND MAKING OUR WAY SOUTH

We have cell service so let’s get caught up.

After sitting in Craig for a WEEK (sigh) we were finally able to shove off to make our way to Dixon Entrance. Craig was a great stop but a week was about 5 days more than we needed to be there.

First stop after leaving Craig, a one nighter in Hydaburg. This is a small Indian Village where we were able to tour a carving house.

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Russell getting tips on how to carve a totem pole just in case he plans to one day carve a totem pole.

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Bentwood Boxes in progress and to the left one nearly finished.

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Bentwood coffin with the tribal symbol.

An early morning departure from Hydaburg, we had hoped to make it to Nichols Bay but after poking our nose out in Dixon Entrance the crew voted to abort and return to Narrows Cove to spend the night. There was a slight swell from the west off Dixon Entrance but mostly we had a calm night.

We left early the next morning with, again, hopes of crossing Dixon Entrance but it was too rough for our liking.  Instead of heading across we made our way up the coast eventually taking a break from the rough seas in Nichols Bay.  After lunch and a brief nap the seas were slightly calmer so we set out for Judd Bay where we would spend the night and attempt to cross Dixon Entrance the following day.

Judd Harbor was a calm and welcome relief. Also in this bay were the folks from the SV Bannister that we met in Craig. They too were staging in Judd Harbor to cross Dixon Entrance.

No pics were taken in Narrows Cove, Nichols Bay, and Judd Harbor. These were VERY early starts to unpleasant days. Taking pics were not first on my mind.

Bannister left about 30 minutes before we did and reported back that they had calm seas.  Finally we were crossing Dixon Entrance to Prince Rupert, BC.

PRINCE RUPERT. Once again with the weather determining our schedule we spent a week in Prince Rupert, BC. If you’re going to be stuck somewhere waiting out weather Prince Rupert is a pretty good place to be.

Seafest was going on when we arrived in Prince Rupert. One of the activities was a boat parade which we watched from our front row seat on Sweet T.

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Any day is a good day for a parade, even a rainy day.

While in Prince Rupert we hooked up with new friends from Bannister for various activities such as Thai Food for lunch, a night at the movies (Wonder Woman), a most excellent dinner out, and one evening we even worked (really, we did) at a local Wheelhouse Brewery sticking roughly 1200 labels on bottles in a span of three hours. We were paid for our work in “free” beer

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Russell and Hendrik

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The labels we used.

We made the most of Prince Rupert going through the museum, several trips to the local bakery, numerous trips to Safeway, the yarn store, and a couple trips to Walmart. (The second trip to Walmart was unplanned, but a certain crew member broke the zipper beyond repair on her soft crate with one too many escapes. She now has a brand new hard crate which she is NOT happy about.)

The best part of Prince Rupert was spending time with and getting to know new friends Hanna and Hendrik from Holland, SV Bannister. We so enjoyed spending time with them and thanks so much for sharing your movies!!!

Our original plan was to then cross Hecate Strait over to the Queen Charlotte Islands but after sitting out a week in Prince Rupert and with all the unsettled weather we keep having we decided to abort our plan to visit the Queen Charlotte Islands and start heading south taking our time to explore the Northern portion of BC. (head south to explore north – whahhh?  If you look at a map it makes sense)

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The screen shot is north of Cape Caution which is northern BC. We will be exploring the southern part of northern BC. Makes perfect sense.  p.s. The push pins are places we have stopped. 

Our first stop when we finally left Prince Rupert was Kelp Bay which was just an overnight stop. We didn’t see tons of kelp but in the entrance there were roughly 50 bald eagles on shore watching us.

WATTS NARROWS AND BAKER INLET. Watts Narrows is the entrance to Baker Inlet which is a deep, but narrow, and beautiful entrance. And we mean very narrow; definitely have to wait for slack water to go through.  But worth it. This made our top favorite anchorage list. It’s not a well kept secret so there were 4-5 other boats with us, which we’re still trying to get used to. In Alaska we got used to being the only boat in most of our anchorages.

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Watts Narrows – See how pretty?

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Beautiful backdrop in Bakers Inlet

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Taken from the bow before anchor up.

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A tranquil evening

EAST INLET IN KLEWNUGGIT. This inlet should be RE-named Jellyfish Inlet. Everywhere you looked – jellyfish. While not a spectacular anchorage Russell did catch a halibut and a rockfish, or as I like to think of it, dinner for two night!

LOWE INLET, VERNEY FALLS. On our way in we made a stop to drop our shrimp pot in.

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Ready to put the shrimp pot out!

We arrived early but the “spot” Russell had picked out was taken with two other boats. (I hate when that happens.) He surveyed another spot nearby but wasn’t especially comfortable with the depth so decided to explore near the shore on the opposite side of the bay. Nope…but he found a spot slightly off to the side of the falls he liked. We don’t normally anchor in front of falls but when you do anchor in front of falls the water coming from the falls creates kind of “current” which holds your bow into the falls so you don’t move…..in theory. That is unless you have a STRONG wind come through in which case it can (and did) turn us around. Our well set anchor held but we did do a 360° swing. When the wind laid we were back where we were supposed to be; bow into the falls.

We did enjoy our view of the falls.

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The falls at low tide

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The same falls at high tide (and a sunnier day)

On our way out we stopped to pick up our shrimp pot. We have been putting our pot out with minimal success so far, but we finally got a decent haul…decent enough for us anyway. Fresh shrimp and pasta for dinner!

HARTLEY BAY IN DOUGLAS CHANNEL. This is a small Indian Village with boardwalks running throughout the entire village. No vehicles, only ATV’s.

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Can emergency vehicles be cute?

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YES. THEY. CAN!!  Village Fire Trucks.  I guess that’s the fire Chiefs ATV.

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Very small harbor in Hartley Bay.

After we fill up with water tomorrow we’ll make our way up Douglas Channel, Devastation Channel (hoping it doesn’t live up to it’s name), Gardner Canal, Ursula Channel…eventually working our way to Shearwater, our next BIG town. But we have a lot of ground to cover before then (and several hot springs to soak in).. We’ve updated our page with our cruising plan with all of our “planned” stops.

All is well.

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PORT MCNEIL TO KETCHIKAN

I’ve condensed all the stops from Port McNeil to Ketchikan into one (long) blog.

You’re welcome!

30APR SATURDAY-Fury Cove. As we mentioned, Cape Caution can be nasty. For us, the crossing wasn’t too bad – approximately 5 ft swells with 10-12 second intervals. Not bad. However, once we rounded Cape Caution we took the swells on the beam and it was…less pleasant. We had some corkscrewing going on. Most of the crew did well.

Fury Cove was our first stop after the ten hour run from Port McNeil. As we were starting to make our turns towards Fury Cove Russell spotted a whale! It was pretty far off and was traveling alone so we we suspect it was a humpback and only surfaced a couple of times…but it was a whale! Whale spotted – check! 

Fury Cove is exposed to Queen Charlotte Sound and is a little weather beaten.  But the beaches are pretty, and after a long day it really doesn’t matter. You just want to drop the anchor and call it a day. Which is what we did. But look – are those white beaches? Break out the flip-flops!

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Fury Cove – Is that a BEACH?

We went to bed early, just Sweet T, in Fury Cove. We woke early to head out and when I looked out I saw a anchored across from us our little sailboat neighbors from Port McNeil. They left when we did but they go slower than we do which made for a very long day for them.

01MAY SUNDAY-Codville Lagoon Marine Park. A bright sunshiny day. We arrived at Codville around 1300 leaving us time to enjoy this beautiful cove. There isn’t any logging back in this large cove; it’s undisturbed, quiet, and quite lovely. (Tammy’s favorite anchorage) 

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Fitzhugh Sound before Fisher Channel on the way to Codville

Around 1730 – 1800 we noticed a little sailboat coming in. Yep, our neighbors again!

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Codville Lagoon Marine Park

02MAY MONDAY-Bottleneck Inlet. Before we left Codville, Russell started the generator. He starts it in the morning to charge the batteries. Shortly after he started it the gen shut down. Restarted it, shut down again. This isn’t good. But off we went and the main engine will charge the batteries.

Bottleneck Inlet has a very narrow entry and and the cove is shaped like a long-neck bottle, hence the name. There were beautiful tall granite walls in this cove. A serene anchorage with a “shut-off from the rest of the world” feel to it. (Russell’s favorite anchorage)

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Bottleneck Inlet with a narrow entry

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Bottleneck Inlet

03MAY TUESDAY-Coghlan Anchorage. Another early morning departure…and the gen shuts down. Again. Ruh-Roh.

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On the way to Coghlan Anchorage

We went through Hiekish Narrows to Graham Reach, McKay Reach, Wright Sound toward our anchorage at the south end of Grenville Channel.  Russell worked on the gen as soon as we got the anchor set. We lucked out and got a brief cell signal at which time he fired off an email to the Nordhavn owners email group. As luck would have it Sweet T’s former owner saw the email and told him to check the coolant high temp shutdown switch, as did a couple other members. He bypassed the switch to see if that was the issue. It was. Once we get settled in Ketchikan he can replace the switch. Thanks Ian and others!

We started out with rain and a bit of bumpy anchorage but shortly after bedtime it settled down.

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Coghlan Anchorage

A couple nice shell beaches in this anchorage.

04MAY Wednesday-Kumealon Island Cove. The majority of today will be Grenville Channel. As we rounded the corner to start our journey up Grenville Channel we got to observe helicopter logging. That entertained us for a while.

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Pick up a log or two, drop it in the water, then back for more; at most a five minute turn around.

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Splash Down! 

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A freeloader who wanted to do his Titanic impression

Grenville Channel is beautiful. One of the prettier channels we’ve been through. All kinds of waterfalls, rivers, creeks emptying into the channel with no logging scars, which makes a huge difference. In the distance beautiful snow capped mountains.

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Beautiful Grenville Channel

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Grenville Channel

Kumealon is a beautiful anchorage, albeit deeper than we normally anchor. I used the entire 100 ft. of line for my “friend”, the anchor ball. At high tide we had a depth of 90ft. This may have been the prettiest entry into an anchorage we’ve ever had.

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Entry to Kumealon Island Cove

Early to rise again, 0500 for an 0600 departure. Aren’t we retired? Anyway, Russell went to take the snubbers off and reported back that we had ICE on our trunk (the sticky-up part of the bow for you non-boaters). It was cold that morning. Off we went…and what’s all that white stuff in the water? Foam from the fast flowing water at Kumealon Narrows, either that or someone threw a box of soap suds in the water.

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Kumealon Narrows foam – I missed taking a pic of the majority of it! 

05 MAY Thursday-Foggy Bay. Our original plan was to stop in Brundige Inlet, then cross the Dixon Entrance back into the states on Friday. But what a beautiful day, not a lot of wind, and calm seas. The next day was supposed to be nice but why chance it when we knew what today was like….we opted to cross while the gettin’ was good.  We kept going and crossed Dixon Entrance, back in the USA. (BTW, the next day ended up not being as nice, good call on our part)

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Green Island lighthouse and weather station in Chatham Sound before we left BC 

It was a long day, 81.67 NM – 12.5 hrs. As we were crossing Dixon Entrance we spotted another whale! Foggy Bay is a common overnight stop for those entering Alaska. We phoned in to Customs and got permission to anchor. Going on to Ketchikan would be an additional 38 nm (6 hrs). It would have to wait one more day.

We entered Foggy Bay at a +1ft tide, Russell had me on bow watch for a reported uncharted rock off to the port and….FOUND IT! Noooooo, we didn’t hit it, it was underwater and we were a little close for comfort. We left at a -2.85 tide and Russell gave a wider berth to the rock on the way out which clearly could be seen.

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Under water when we entered – barely, clearly seen as we left.

Foggy Bay is a rough, rustic looking bay. I thought this bay had all kinds of places for bears to hang out…not that we saw any. Although we did have a sea otter swim by to check us out.

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Foggy Bay – I thought for sure I’d see a bear here! 

06MAY Friday-Ketchikan. Land of cell phone coverage and Internet. Another early morning departure – 0600 wake up call for a 0730 departure. (We’re sleeping in once we get in Ketchikan) These guys greeted us, there were probably 15 of them – something good was in the water!

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Just a few of the bald eagles feeding on something in the water – the one in the middle/bottom is likely an adolescent that hasn’t got the white yet. 

Rainy and windy as we pulled in, but at least we arrived at slack tide.

There is 20 foot tide differential.

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At 0830

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at 1515

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0830 – The blue ramp from the docks to land. My wagon full of groceries could seriously get away from me coming down this at low tide!! 

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1515 – This is when I should manage my wagon full of groceries.

This is definitely a fishing marina probably because it is a fishing town, duh. Our friends from Seattle, Lynn and Neal, arrived in Ketchikan the day before we did so we went out for a most EXCELLENT dinner. Hopefully we’ll cross paths again before they head back to Seattle in the fall.

It only took us seven days to reach Ketchikan from Port McNeil, which is the fast track. We averaged 55.99 NM a day since leaving Port McNeil. It’s not that we were in a particular hurry, but when the weather is good, you go. We do want to get to Glacier Bay well before June 1 though.

We’ll have a few days to check out Ketchikan before we head out again. I’ll report back.

All is well.

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