May 19-26: Shearwater is the half way point to Ketchikan on the "Inside Passage". We arrived here on Sunday expecting to leave on Tuesday. However, Environment Canada says there is a storm coming. South winds on the coast: 25-30 knots Wednesday, 30-40 on Thursday. So, we could go to Bottleneck Inlet on Tuesday but we would be stuck there for three nights. Even though we are on the inside and not the coast the long channels we follow run north-south, more or less, with the wind. So, we elected to stay in Shearwater until Friday AM. Good thing because it howled for three days. Our rigging sang for hours on end and the boat jumped around at the dock endlessly. We were glad we were not out and about. It was nasty.
But, Friday dawned calm and clear and we were off at 07:15. Our course took us around Dyad Point, west on Seaforth Channel, north via Reid Passage and Mathieson Channel to Jackson Passage. Then west through Jackson to Finlayson Channel and north to Bottleneck Inlet. About 7 hours overall. We spent a quiet evening with one other boat in the harbour.
|Shearwater to Bottleneck Inlet|
We began winding our way north with the intention of over nighting at Coughlan. Then trying to make Greenville in one day instead of two. We passed Butedale Bay on Fraser Reach, the sight of an abandoned salmon cannery. Like others on the coast, the owners left all the machinery and walked away. Cheaper than hauling it all out. Gradually, the buildings rotted into the bay. Lou Simoneau still lives there alone. Over the years he has devised to ways to make a life. For example, he built a flume to carry water from the falls to a turbine that spins an alternator from an old truck. That charges some batteries which give him rudimentary power. We saw our first humpback whale of the trip outside Butedale and three more in Wright Sound. One of those came up about 50 yards off our port beam.
|Bottleneck Inlet to Kumealon Island|
Sunday, May 25 - The weather today looks passable and Monday still looks good but thereafter, not so much. We will cross the border into the US today. But first we must cross Dixon Entrance which is open to the Pacific. And, it is illegal to touch shore or the bottom in the US without first clearing US Customs in Ketchikan. Ketchikan is too far for most boats to make from any anchorage on the southern side of Dixon. So, we have two choices. We can anchor in Whales Harbour in Portland Canal. The border runs down the middle of Portland and Whales is spitting distance south of the border. From there we can make Ketchikan. The other option is to cross the border and anchor in Foggy Bay. Foggy is the designated anchorage for boats that can not get to Ketchikan in one day. We have to call CBP prior to crossing the boarder and obtain permission to pull up short of Ketchikan. We will head for Whales Harbour and see what develops weather-wise.
We monitored the weather broadcasts almost hourly as we passed out of Arthur Passage into Chatham Sound. If the weather takes a turn for the worse we will go into Hunt's Inlet at the top or Porcher Island to wait it out. But the weather was OK and even though the forecasters kept saying it was going to deteriorate we couldn't see any evidence of that out the window. Plus, we had a great following current so we kept going. There was an hour of close swells on our nose as we passed east of the Dundas Islands but it was OK. So, we kept going. The wind was predicted to be light Monday morning then get stronger in the PM. Rolynn decided we should get closer to Ketchikan so we called CBP for permission to anchor in Foggy Bay and just kept going. So, here we are, 9 hours later tucked away in the back corner of Foggy, bobbing in the evening sun with two other boats that were waiting out the wind with us in Shearwater. Tomorrow, we will make the 5 hour run into Ketchikan in the morning before the wind comes up.
|Kumealon Island to Ketchikan|
We do not need to be in Petersburg until the 3rd so we will stay here for a few days - a little shopping, site seeing, boat work, etc. Probably leave on Friday for Meyers Chuck then onto Wrangle. We may skip Wrangle and just anchor for a day or two before heading up Wrangle Narrows to Petersburg.
|Intrepid in Ketchikan (We are the smaller one)|