We finally got off the dock on the 13th, if only to Anacortes, where some nitwit tried to steal our boat while we were on it. More about that on our blog:
Thursday April 13th we got to Anacortes, Friday to Annette Inlet on Prevost island after clearing into Canada at Canoe Cove Marina (I tied to their dock and then used my own cellphone to call the number on the sign. Guy asked a few questions and gave me a clearance # to hang in the window). Saturday we went through Gabriola passage on a moderate flood, then crossed the strait of Georgia on a pretty windy day. Not very pleasant. The Admiral hates the rollies. Sunday was still windy. I’d hoped Malaspina strait would be a little sheltered but it wasn’t. We put in at Bargain Bay after only two hours running on Sunday evening…and were still there Thursday night. I’ve never been on an anchor for more than two nights, so five nights was unusual. I guess these April gales take longer to blow out than the summer winds do. I did not expect to be afloat for eight days and only make it to the Pender Harbour area. Well, we did a little shopping there, ran the dinghy around, and did boat projects.
Friday dawned calm and we got the heck out of there, transiting the Yucultas at 5:50-6:40pm before landing in Shoal Bay for the night, 14.5 hours after weighing the anchor.
It was my third time through the Yucultas, but my previous times were on a turn to flood. On a turn to flood entering Yuculta early wasn’t too much of an issue – you get sucked through Yuculta and Gillard on the remaining ebb and then you get to Dent at slack pretty easily. Running them on a turn to ebb meant I had to enter Yuculta on flood a full hour before it turned, because we are slow, so we fought our way upstream behind and then adjacent to a very polite tug captain on the "Jervis King." Very polite, I mean, to the idiot in a pleasure boat overtaking him (me). He slowed a bit to let us cross his bow, and we made it through Dent about 20 minutes after Dent’s turn to ebb. Dent was still pretty slack, which was fortunate, and off we went on the ebb, dropping the anchor in Shoal Bay at sunset. If you’re nervous about these rapids, Monahan’s “Local Knowledge” and Slowboat’s videos are excellent resources. Don’t forget to add an hour to the CHS current tables for daylight savings!
Today we rode the morning ebb through Greene Point rapids (at 5kts, which was manageable for the boat) and did about 20 miles in Johnstone strait before the afternoon winds kicked up. We ducked out at Port Harvey and went through Chatham Channel as it was turning against us, and landed in Lagoon Cove for the night.
We need to be in Ketchikan by May 8th, so my goal is to get around Cape Caution ASAP, since that’s a place weather could easily delay us for a week. There may be a window to do the 9.5 hours from here to Skull Cove tomorrow, then the 5hrs to Fury Cove Monday morning, or perhaps Tuesday. If Queen Charlotte Strait is not doable, we will aim for Blunden Harbour.
The Admiral wants to see Ocean Falls, then we may stop at Shearwater to fill our water tank. Then we’ll have to decide whether to do the ditches (Bottleneck Inlet and Lowe Inlet are favorite stops) or the ‘outside inside passage,’ where we’ve never been. If we’re hard up for time, we’ll do the ditches, since running them isn’t restricted by weather as much.
Running so early has been very different than my two late-May departures. Empty anchorages, eerily empty channels, little radio traffic, few people to help us if something goes wrong. And April’s weather has been much less accommodating so far as opposed to May.