Blog Reader, Blog Reader, Blog Reader, good morning this is Tammy at the Blog with only 2 days remaining until we reach Alaska. We are nearly there!
Pictures featured today:
Picture 1: Huge tanker on the way out of Prince Rupert
Picture 2: Dickson Entrance was like glass and it was a calm day
Picture 3: Bear watchers in Dinghy
Picture 4: First Black Bear
Cloudy with showers. Environmental Canada is predicting light winds and less than 1 meter seas in Dixon Entrance East. NOAA is predicting 10 knots from the north, backing to the west and combined seas under 3 feet. This is a great forecast to make it through Dixon entrance! Dixon Entrance can be rough so we are monitoring the weather at the Central Dixon Buoy for wind speed and direction, wave height and period. Additionally we are monitoring Triple Island automated reporting station and Green Island lightstation for the same information.
50 NM day. We will exit Prince Rupert Harbour via Venn Passage, which passes between the north side of Digby and the Tsimpsean Pennisula. Venn Passage requires careful navigation and we will have to follow the charts and not cut any corners! We will head north into Duncan Bay and northwest keeping Hodgson Reefs to starboard. We will go through Oriflamme Passage, between Green Island and Gray Island and Connis Rock. The day will be an obstical course of narrow channels, range markers and channel markers and we will share the watch.
We actually had phone service again so we quickly called US Customs in Ketchikan (250-627-3003) and ask for permission to stay overnight in Foggy Bay from Prince Rupert and on the way to Ketchikan. We reached an agent and they gave accepted our request and gave us clearance for Foggy Bay for one night. If you don’t call and just stay in Foggy Bay which is actually in the US again you have broken the law and are subject to jail, fines and marks on your permanent record that could create travel issue so of course we are obeying the rules of the water and taking care of the customs business appropriately.
Orange rolls for breakfast because they are quick and make the crew happy! We passed Rivers inlet and the mountains really looked beautiful. I am so over joyed to be getting an opportunity to see the US, BC and Canada by water. I knew that these remote areas were beautiful but my imagination fell short of the actual places themselves. In fact, as capable as I consider myself with a camera, I am not sure that I have really captured the expanse and beauty of this wilderness reachable only by a smaller boat meaning a non-cruise ship boat.
9:57 AM- Passing Green Island Lighthouse. What a grand place with huge rock faces and thousands of birds! Andrew and I have added, live in a lighthouse, as caretakers, to the bucket list. (We are going to need a wheel barrel soon if this keeps up!)
11:19 AM -We just crossed into Alaska and are now at Humpy Point! We did it! For all of you who wondered if we were crazy or if we would actually make it? We made it! The crew, including Patience, did a little happy dance. It looks a lot like the crab dance because let’s face it, we got no rhythm!
For those of you who are wondering why this place is called Humpy Point? It is named after the Pink Salmon. When the male pink salmon is ready to spawn it develops a humped back.
Dickson Entrance was like a sheet of glass and could have been a really tough crossing so we are all really grateful for the smooth waters. We have been so lucky or as Dan and Eileen would say, we have been very fortunate!
12:00 we arrived at Foggy Bay to a beautiful and calm sheltered bay except for the humpbacks at the entrance to the cove. I will never get tired of seeing these graceful prehistoric elephants of the sea. I get so excited when I see a spout! They are magnificent. When you start looking at the pictures and read the materials provided by the wildlife folks in Alaska you start to recognize that they each have very unique tails and I have been going through the photos to see how many whales we might have seen. There is a line in a poem that I can’t remember all of but there is a line in it that I like, “Nature can’t help but reveal itself” (have to look it up later to be more accurate) but what I do know for sure is that I am so happy to be here to receive the gift of that reveal!
We anchored and then dropped the Dinghy and off we went. We spent about 2 hours going in and out of little inlets until we reached a Very Inlet and saw that there were rapids ahead so we decided that low tide was not the time to go through that little entrance. Andrew often wants to get a little closer than I do so I have to remind him that if he doesn’t boat safe then I will tell his mom and that usually does it! On the way back we saw several bald eagles, ducks, deer and a bear. When we got back to the boat we couldn’t believe our eyes, right there in the bay was yet another Willard! We can’t find one of these boats and then we come to Canada and Alaska and there they all are! We took the Dinghy over and introduced ourselves to Richard Packard and his friend Tom on Richard’s boat the Lilliana a 40’ Willard. The Lillian apparently spent 7 years in Mexico and Richard and his wife lived onboard. He is moving the Lilliana to Alaska and will be leaving her there as a 2nd home for his family. I love that idea! He caught a rather large Salmon that day so he sent me home with fresh Salmon which we are very excited to try.
We went back to the boat so the crew could take a little nap and I threw ribs in the oven for the last happy hour in the flotilla. While Patience and Andrew were napping I was playing with the 600mm f/4 that Andrew bought me for this trip and my birthday. I picked up the camera and started looking around and
Happy hour was great fun and we all ate and laughed and talked about this amazing adventure that we have all shared. Tomorrow we head to the fuel dock in Ketchikan where the customs officers will meet us and go through our paperwork and logs and check out our boat and then hopefully welcome us into Alaska and back into the US.
It has been a wonderfully long day filled with wonder, surprise, laughter and happiness. I watched a mother black bear not 200 yards away from the boat eating and watching over her baby (big baby). I admired a bald eagle fishing and gliding through the skies with a majesty and grace of symphony. I saw rapids in a Dinghy only feet away, hair raising and YIKES! I saw many deer, many ducks, seals, water birds and finally a sea otter. We ate ribs, and sour dough and salad and brownies. We enjoyed the company of the flotilla (better known as the fleet) and filled the evening sky with laughter, stories, jokes and unabashed joy! We were outdoors, there in the middle of it all, and did not miss a second of it or take any of it for granted. Months from now I will remember these moments and wonder where the rest of the flotilla is and why we aren’t right back here!
How can you be so bushed and yet so wide awake! Either way it is time for bed. This is the Domino on channel 68 happy, grateful and ready whatever comes our way on the next stage of this grant adventure and we are signing off for the night. (Well I guess it is night because it still looks like 6:00.)
- Left Dock/Weighed anchor: Ropes off at 6:30 AM
- Cruise Log: 50 Nautical Miles
- Weather Conditions: Cloudy with showers
- Navigational Obstacles: We always map ahead of time on the IPAD but it is a good idea to write out the channel markers and range markers and check them off as you find them to be sure you miss all the shallow areas and danger zones. We both feel much more confident with mapping and charting now and that is great!
- Wildlife Sighting: Birds, Bears, Deer, Eagles, Sea Otter, Ducks,
- Arrived Dock/Dropped anchor: Anchored at 12:00 PM
- Slip for the night: $0
- Time today Helm for TEA: 2 hrs
- Time today Helm for ACA: 3.5 hrs
- Lessons learned: Don’t let your need to use the camera ruin the view! Ok take photos but make sure you don’t miss out on the real view because you are too busy with the camera. We are considering days without a camera but that just sounds scary!
- Fun Meals underway: Orange Rolls!