Friday, August 22, 2014

Whipping through Port McNeill and then home.

Friday August 22

We arrived in Port McNeil on Friday August 15 after motor sailing across Queen Charlotte Strait from a little one boat cove we found on our travels last year. It is the perfect little spot, out of the wind and chop and with a nice sandy beach, and you know what that means...


The docks and harbour in Port McNeill were jammed and as we found out the next morning, they were getting set up for their annual Orca Festival, the biggest event of the year in Port McNeill. After getting a few groceries, we headed back to the boat, and then got in the line up for fuel which took us nearly an hour. But sometimes good things come to people who are patient. One of the bigger fish boats tossed 4 big sockeye over to the sailboat ahead of us (why, we do not know!), and after getting tied up at the fuel dock, the sailboat owners brought us one of the fish simply for letting them get in ahead of us. You never know where your next meal will come from!...

Fresh sockeye salmon and corn on the cob! 

"By-the-wind sailors", moves over the surface by means of a "sail".

We saw thousands of these little "jellyfish" on the west coast of Price Island. With the sun reflecting off their sails, they looked like soap bubbles all over the surface of the waves. 

Evening view, anchorage east of Bella Bella, with fog moving in.


Back at the dock in Ladysmith on Wednesday August 20. It usually takes us 3 or 4 days to get the boat cleaned out, laundry done, inside washed and vacuumed and then everything put back in it's place. This is not the fun part.

So, our journey ends for another year. No plans yet for next summer, but we have tossed around the idea of spending it at home (akkkk!!!) and doing a sailing adventure either in the spring or fall. 
We'll see! 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Back in Canada... checking in at Prince Rupert.

Wednesday Aug 6
The last few days in Alaska were absolutely beautiful. We had sunny hot weather, so nice in fact we decided we would go for a swim! Very refreshing!
Of all the on shore walks we took in Alaska, we found very little garbage, unlike our last trip in 2007. Maybe people are cleaning up the beaches as they go there and hopefully everyone is getting the message that you just can't throw this stuff out in the water. All the news about the Japanese tsunami probably helped to open peoples eyes to the problem.

A fish net hooked onto an old barge on Tongass Island.

Warm Beach Bay, the water was a pleasant 17 degrees! This spot is just inside the Alaskan border.

We will be leaving Prince Rupert either today or tomorrow, but unfortunately the forecast is for wind from the SE, blowing 20-30 knots. If that pans out, we will wait somewhere until it is over, could be a few days. 

These are some interesting fossils we picked up on a beach. Anyone know what they are from?

Just hanging out!

Our next contact will be when we get to Port McNeil. That might be 10 days or so, depending on the weather.
Cherrio!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Craig on Prince of Wales Island

Wednesday July 30, Craig Alaska

We arrived in Craig on POW today, after a beautiful sunny morning of motoring through intricate channels and islands. This is an area where you really have to pay attention otherwise you will end up on the bottom or hitting a rock. And after all the rain we have had, it was really nice to finally dry out.

Fishing trawler at anchor on west coast of Baranof Island.

Our trip from Sitka around the west coast of Baranof was not as exciting as we had hoped. The weather has not co-operated for us, we mostly had rain or showers and light wind, but the chop was just the kind that makes for an uncomfortable ride. 

Merganser with her chicks.

Fortunately we have found some very nice anchorages, little nooks of calm. We have seen lots of wildlife (sea otters galore, sea lions, whales, seals, bears and so many different birds) and absolutely beautiful scenery. The creeks and waterfalls are spectacular (because of all the rain), and pictures really don't do them justice. 

This is Maggie when she gets on shore!

On our way south out of Chatham Strait, we encountered humpbacks by the dozens, all doing their bubble-net feeding and completely out of the water breeching. The first time we actually heard the sound a humpback makes after such a breech was when we were sailing slowly along and all of a sudden just off the port side a whale did a total body slam! The sound was unlike anything I have ever heard, a big KABOOM! Scared the s**t out of me. I think they do this to stun the fish, making them easier to catch. At least that is my theory, I really don't know for sure.

West coast sunset.
Goodnight!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sitka.... & our first day of rain in 4 days!


Thursday July 17, Sitka
Well, we are back in Sitka, one of our favourite towns in Alaska. Unfortunately, it started to rain late today, but we are hoping it won't last too long since we plan to do some biking around town tomorrow. We will stay here two nights and then head south along the west coast of Baranof Island. Once we get around the southern cape, we will decide which way to go depending on which way the wind is blowing... hehe... we might be heading north again!!

Some of the boats in the harbour in Sitka.

On our way yesterday, we came across this colony of over 100 sea otters, just hanging.

That little boat in the centre is Splendid Mane at anchor in Kalinin Bay, Baranof Island.

The two waters in Glacier Bay ... one full of glacial silt.

Ice berg, unusual colour, and unusual shape.


Reid Glacier, Reid Inlet where we anchored for two nights.



Monday, July 14, 2014

Ticking off the list...

Monday July 14, Pelican Alaska
Internet at the library in Pelican. This town of 80 residents has no roads, only boardwalks. People get around on quads or bikes or on foot. 

Well, we "did" Glacier Bay, and I would have to say we were disappointed, but only because of the weather. The first day was fine, but the next 4 it rained or was foggy and we couldn't see much. I am sure we missed some beautiful scenery but what can you do? 

Sea lions in Glacier Bay, part of a colony of about 1000.

Reid Glacier, in Reid Inlet where we anchored. This glacier is only partly tidal, meaning most of the time it is not in the water. The chunks in the middle of the picture would be about 20' cubes. 

Momma bear in Reid Inlet.

Momma with her two cubs from this year.

Our next port of call is Sitka, if all goes as planned. Our favourite little town from our last trip here, we are looking forward to visiting again. If the weather co-operates, we will stay on the "outside" and travel down to the southern end of Baranof Island. 

Maggie on one of her shore leaves. She gets her business done and then wants to get back to the boat.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Juneau on the 4th of July

Friday July 4
We arrived in Juneau earlier today. We thought we would be here and enjoy July 4th fireworks, but seems they have already had the display... it happened last night at midnight. :-(

Jerry hanging the laundry out to dry on a warm sunny day!

We have settled into a new weather pattern... one day of mostly sun and then next day mostly rain. But that's okay, as long as we plan accordingly. Tomorrow in Juneau it is suppose to be only a slight chance of rain, so we are taking the bikes and riding to Mendenhall Glacier.
Maggie enjoys this special spot on Jerry's lap while we are sailing, she has her life jacket on.

After almost a full day of sailing, we anchored in Oliver Inlet on the north end of Admiralty Island. It was a little difficult to get into, on high tide slack we only had 4.5' under our keel through the entrance. So we knew we would have to leave on a high tide (this morning) and it was 2' less, so as we slowly motored out, in two places we had as little as 2.5' under our keel. White knuckles and sphincter tightening! :-)

This is the railway tram used for portaging a canoe or kayak across a muskeg bog from the end of Oliver Inlet on Admiralty Island about half a mile to the end of another inlet on Admiralty. This was way too much fun!! Worth the visit for sure!

Alaska brown bear in Tracy Arm Cove feeding on grass.

We anchored in Tracy Arm Cove with the brown bears and ice bergs. Last trip to Alaska we ventured up Tracy Arm to see the glaciers but couldn't get close because of too much ice. This trip we were going to go up Endicott Arm but decided to visit Glacier Bay instead. Talking to other boaters, we have learned there is a lot of ice in both arms and we would not be able to get close anyway. 

Ice berg in Tracy Arm. 

We learned that ice bergs are blue because the colours in the light from the sun are all absorbed by the ice except for blue. When the bergs are first formed is when they are the bluest, but as they age, they then to become white. The intense blue colour is hard to capture with a camera, there is something about seeing it with your own eyes that makes it so special. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Petersburg Alaska

Friday June 27

Maggie in her Buddy Rider for a bike tour of Petersburg. 

We have arrived in Petersburg, and the trip so far has been quite an adventure. We have been trying to explore some places we didn't get into last time we were here. Petersburg wasn't one of them, but it is such a quaint town, we really couldn't pass it up.

Alaskan sunset in St John Bay, Zarembo Island

We have finally had a couple days of no rain, the last week has been hard to take with all the rain we had. If it wasn't raining, it was spitting or misting. We only just yesterday got dried out. But it really is amazing what a few days of sun will do for your spirits! 

Distant rain, coming our way...

Dungeness crab season opened here on June 15th so just about all the anchorages have a gazillion crab traps and mostly in the depth of water we need to anchor. So it does make things a bit more interesting when putting down the anchor. 


Marina/Cruise Ship madness Ketchikan 

We enjoyed our time in Ketchikan (except for the rain, which was one downpour after another), but we were glad to move on. Originally we were only going to stay one night, but the next day's forecast was completely miserable, so we decided to hunker down and have a popcorn day.

Margie enjoying her morning cuppa coffee on Fancy Free, Quotoon Inlet BC

Truly the most beautiful spot on our trip so far was the end of Quotoon Inlet off Work Channel just northeast of Port Simpson. And we had the pleasure of sharing that time with Margie and Al on their boat. We will definitely visit this area again.

Pair of grizzly cubs, Work Inlet BC. You can almost expect to see bears everywhere you stop.

Our next leg will be from Petersburg to Juneau, probably. We will stop in Endicott Arm to visit Ford's Terror and Dawes Glacier. Then either head up to Juneau or tour around the eastern shore of Admiralty Island. We will just see where the wind blows us. Until next time! Keep the wind in your sails!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Arrival in Prince Rupert

Friday June 13, 2014
We arrived in Prince Rupert harbour yesterday afternoon. We started off motoring into 15-20 knots of wind, but then with a bit of a change in wind direction and our heading we were able to put up the sails and had a exciting sail all the way into the harbour. 
Sailing across Queen Charlotte Strait, EXCELLENT!
From Ladysmith Harbour to Crease Island in the Broughton's took us just 3 1/2 days, that is a record time for us, but we really pushed it. Normally we would take at least a week to do that distance.
Sunset, always beautiful on the west coast.
From Port McNeill to Prince Rupert, the trip has been mostly uneventful. We have seen humpbacks and dolphins, caught a nice big ling cod, and done some beach combing (haven't found any treasures yet!).
Miss Maggie... where do I go from here?
After my last post, I did promise to tell a little story and it just happens to be about Miss Maggie. We went for a walk after anchoring in a small cove on the mainland. We knew we might be in bear country, so went prepared with our can of bear spray. We walked along an old logging road for about 30 minutes and turned around and shortly after that we all three saw a grizzly come out of the forest about 150 feet in front of us. Maggie took off after him before we could do anything. So, we both ran after Maggie, shouting all the way. The bear ran as fast as he could trying to get away from this awful monster that was right on his heals and making big loud noises! She came back, after probably chasing the bear for half a kilometer, looking like she was in big trouble, but we were just so glad to see her again! So, from now on, we will have her on a leash if there is any chance bears are around. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Alaska Bound this summer!


Saturday May 31, 2014
Well, we are at it again.... we have departed on our next adventure and our most northern destination is Juneau Alaska and everything in between. We are not going to be posting as much as in the past, we will only have internet when we are in a marina or go ashore.

Bucaneer Bay, Thormanby Island, first night anchorage.

Our first day out, we were lucky to get in a few hours of sailing, but mostly the wind blew straight (NW) on our bow. All the way up Georgia Strait and up past Desolation and into the Broughtons, we had NW wind. 

On shore leave, Rendezvous Islands, Calm Channel, just north of Desolation.

Today, Wednesday, we arrived in Port McNeil to fuel up and fill water tanks. Tomorrow we will cross Queen Charlotte Strait and anchor in Blunden Harbour. On Friday June 6th, we will round Cape Caution and head up the BC coast to Prince Rupert. 

The effects of the NW wind on trees at Tuna Point, Johnstone Strait.

We have already seen our fair share of wildlife in the first few days of our trip. Just off Texada Island, we crossed paths with a beautiful large pod of orca whales. And several times we have seen single and mini pods of dolphins. And a grizzly bear! And do we have a story to tell! But I am going to wait to tell you until my next post, just to keep you hanging in there!

So off agin tomorrow. The weather forecast is for south and south east wind starting on Friday which is PERFECT for sailing up the coast. I won't believe it until it happens!! Keep posted for some exciting times!

All's well... Kathy and Jerry aboard SV Splendid Mane.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Family Photo

Inline image 1
It was next to impossible to get Maggie to co-operate! This was taken on our walk after anchoring in Becher Bay, near Sooke. Wonderful waterfront park for everyone to enjoy, with a beautiful sandy beach and lots of hiking trails and even some petroglyphs to have a look at. 
Inline image 2
Splendid Mane at anchor with the Olympic Peninsula Mountains of Washington State in the background.

Leaving the Pacific behind.


I am playing catch up on our few last days out on the water. We arrive home last Thursday afternoon. We left Port San Juan on Tuesday morning and motored about 30 miles to Becher Bay, catching another coho along the way. For the most part, the fog had left us alone, but we did not have enough wind to fill our sails.Inline image 2
Oh well, Maggie and I enjoyed the day!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Port San Juan

We anchored Monday night (Aug 12) in Port San Juan after motoring most of the day in pea soup fog. As we approached our anchorage, the fog started to lift (and we caught another coho). We watched as the fog rolled into the bay and hit the sides, but it never came close to us again.Inline image 1

Dog Fish

Inline image 1
I know, I know.... I wasn't going to make this trip all about Miss Maggie, but seriously, how can you not just love that face?!? She is waiting for her share of the salmon we just caught. Maggie likes fresh salmon, raw or cooked, but she doesn't like white fish such as rock cod or ling cod. And she doesn't like crab either. Go figure! 
When we catch a fish, she absolutely goes BONKERS, and tries to help us by biting and licking the fish once we get it in the net. Way too funny!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Inline image 1
Fog just moving in while we were anchored in Quait Bay.

Leaving Bamfield

Inline image 1
Well, today is Monday August 12th and we are just leaving Bamfield. Our original plan was to head out on Saturday but the wind decided to do an about turn. So we headed over to Bamfield and hooked up with Rick and Rosita. Yesterday Rick took us out fishing on his FAST boat and we hauled in 8 beautiful coho, 4 for each of Jerry and I!! It was unbelievably fun, especially when we scored two double headers, that is two fish on at the same time, and we landed all of them.
So, we are on our way home, today will be a long day, we might make it almost to Victoria and if not we will be in Port Renfrew tonight.