Oliver Cove was perfectly peaceful last night. The heavens put on a show, shooting starts and galaxy’s galore. Makes the planet earth seem very insignificant – is there life out there?
After lifting the anchor this morning, I moved south through Reid Passage before heading east up Seaforth Passage to Bella Bella for a fuel and provision stop. Bella Bella is convenient as the store is close to the fuel dock. The store has a good selection of groceries, the liquor store is on the first floor. There was some stress at the fuel dock, a guy on a motorboat cut in front of me to take the only vacant space – the first discourteous act I have seen this trip. Then another guy in a motorboat started shouting at a fisherman for blocking the dock. There are many more boats around now and it seems these are the city people on vacation, still carrying their city stress. They should relax, there is no hurry in life.
I topped up with diesel, groceries, beer and water. I tried to use the Wi-Fi at the library but the lady switched it off and went for lunch, informing me it costs $2.50 an hour. Last time I was here it was free, just like everywhere else in Canada and Alaska. Well, it is the height of holiday season.
After departing Bella Bella I headed down a route less travelled. First down lama passage then Sans Peur passage, Cultus sound, Spider channel, Spitfire channel and across kildidt sound to Bremner Bay on Hunter Island. Spitfire channel was even narrower than I had imagined, the rocks clearly visable each side, the overhanging trees almost touching the rig. Exciting stuff.
This evening I had trouble finding an anchorage, the water here is deep and rocky. I managed to get a spot on a ledge in twenty meters. I laid out all the chain in the locker and hope for a quiet night. Total voyage distance 618.3 miles.
As I departed the anchorage this morning it was just getting light and still a bit chilly. The early start was to catch the ebb through Hiekish Narrows – which we did but it wasn’t very exciting. The day brightened up as we travelled down Finlayson Channel, nice crisp air and bright sunshine and great scenery. Humpbacks were feeding again, I saw two groups, so many around now.
We branched off Finlayson Channel and ducked into Jackson Passage to take us across to Mathieson Channel. Jackson Passage has tight narrows at the end, we went through just after low water and had two meters underneath, it would be very tight on a minus tide. Once through Jackson Mathieson opened up and it was a nice motor down to Perceval Narrows where the tide rips twisted Truce around, but this time no knocking noised from the propeller strut, the splint is working.
After heading across to Reid Passage I have anchored in Oliver Cove, a small pool off the side of Reid Passage. The sun continued to shine until sunset and I sat in the cockpit fishing and enjoying the last of the Alaska Icy Bay IPA from Juneau. I caught a couple of flatfish, don’t know what they are so back they went, just fishing for fun.
Tomorrow I will refuel in Bella Bella and see if I can get some fresh food. I stopped at Bella Bella on the way north, it’s a convenient stop and the library has WiFi. Total voyage distance 575.5 miles.
Wonderful, it stopped raining – just a light drizzle now and again. Slowly the damp from the last few days is drying up.
John, Jennifer and Hillary came over this morning with some fresh date and walnut muffins which we had with tea and coffee – very nice. Whilst I had extra hands around I volunteered them to help me turn the boat around. I am now facing outward for an easy exit tomorrow.
Last chores today before heading off to Ketchikan, topped up the fresh water tanks, did the library visit to get WiFi (so slow), Safeway’s for groceries and chandler for some rope and essential boat things.
I also called ahead to US Customs in Ketchikan to give them all details required for pre arrival. Apparently I need a different visa if entering on a pleasure boat, the regular tourist visa is not good enough. I asked why it was not publicised and the customs guy indicated that a lot of people were unaware. Oh well I will plead innocence and act dumb as usual – it comes easy.
The evening was spent on a neighbouring boat which I last saw at the Bella Bella fuel dock. They are also headed for USA tomorrow and we had a drop of red wine. The wind blew during the night, not hard just from a funny angle and it pissed down with rain again.
The forecast for tomorrow is for winds from the south, just what we need. Let’s hope they arrive in force to speed us into the USA.