My third night at Portage Bay was peaceful, the wind died down late last night and I was able to get a good night’s sleep. The sun tried to break through the clouds today but didn’t succeed. I could detect a bit of warmth and my solar panel registered a one-amp charge briefly. It’s no wonder the population of Alaska is so small, I mean who wants to live in a place where the sun doesn’t shine for a whole week in summer.
I sailed out of Portage Bay on the last of the ebb tide. On the east shore, by a disused logging camp I saw a Black Bear. This is the second time I have seen bears around disused buildings, maybe there is some attraction for them once the humans have departed. I suppose a disused hut may be a decent substitute for a cave in winter.
In Frederick Sound I saw icebergs again and some more Orca’s, what magnificent creatures they are. There was plenty of boat traffic towards Petersburg, fishing boats, recreational fishers, ferries and tour excursion boats. In Petersburg I refuelled, the current alongside the fuel dock is wicked, Truce is now topped up for the next part of the voyage.
Tomorrow I will head down Wrangell Narrows, it’s a twenty-mile channel and quite narrow in places. Interestingly the tide meets in the middle, the trick is to use the last of the flood to the midpoint and then ride the ebb down the other side. After Wrangell narrows I will be heading over the Wrangell town.
Truce is booked to be lifted out the water in Wrangell on Thursday. The hull is dirty and needs cleaning and a new coating of antifouling paint. Hopefully when complete she will have her speed back and won’t be using so much diesel pushing an undersea garden through the water. The growth on the hull has built up very quickly since visiting Glacier Bay, maybe there is something in the water causing rapid growth. Total voyage distance 182.2 miles. Image credit:setsaildotcom
Another night surging and straining on the anchor rode, another night of the wind howling mournfully in the rig and even more rain. Today has been much like yesterday, southerly wind, low cloud and rain showers. Wet, wet, wet and still no sun.
The forecast this morning was 25 knots from the direction we want to go with a small craft advisory. I decided to stay at anchor and get on with a few odd jobs, read a book, watch a movie, do some baking and have a leisurely Sunday. I baked bread and chocolate chip, cranberry and coconut muffins. The bread turned out well. The muffins are best described as rock muffins. They are not soft and fluffy, best eaten when dunked in tea to soften them up a bit.
Last night the other yacht in the anchorage moved up to the head of the bay to try for more shelter. It gets shallow further up and I was surprised how far he got in. This morning he came out just before low water and went aground, I watched as more of his boot topping became visible. It took the poor guy more than two hours to get free and into deeper water. He will not have good memories of Portage Bay.
There is a need to get to port soon. Last night I cut open my last lemon for a nightcap rum and coke and found it was rotten inside. That is the last of my fresh fruit apart from an onion so need to restock before I get scurvy – or drink rum without lemon.
This morning I found a water leak in the forward cabin, some water is coming in where the chimney passes through the deck. I think the chimney got a knock when I was re-stowing the pig on deck, probably cracked the seal. When we get a dry spell I will re-caulk it.
The barometer is starting to rise and I expect tomorrow will be a beautiful day to continue down Frederick Sound to Petersburg with a beam wind in glorious sunshine.
I am still anchored in Portage Bay off Frederick Sound. The weather last night was horrid with wind gusts and driving rain. The same has continued all day today. Another yacht came in after me yesterday, he is going south as well and can’t make progress either. No one in a small low powered boat is able to move south at the moment.
This afternoon I dragged anchor for a few meters. It caught again but I was getting too close to some crab pots so decided to pick up the anchor and move. The west side of the bay looked slightly better so I moved over there, it’s the same thing really but I got to run the engine and charge the batteries. I was also incredibly bored and needed to do something.
I am getting insignificant charge from the solar panel at the moment, I haven’t seen the sun since last Monday, five days ago. Usually the solar panel can keep up with my requirements for charging my electronic devices and lights.
With all this rain falling I decided to harvest some to top up my fresh water tanks. I don’t really
need fresh water but it was something to do. Truce has three scuppers on each side to drain water from the decks. These scuppers can be blocked with plugs and the collected water diverted into the fresh water tanks via the filling pipes on the side decks. The system is so simple and works wonderfully, my tanks were topped up in no time.
Another benefit of having scupper plugs arises when taking fuel. It’s quick and easy to block the scuppers to prevent any diesel release to the water in the unlikely event of a spill on deck. That simple precaution could save a lot of money in fines.
My guide book says that Portage Bay is a beautiful and protected anchorage. It’s not very protected from the south as the wind whistles through the estuary at the head of the bay called Goose Cove and then continues for three miles down the bay. All I can see is a bit of shoreline, low cloud and driving rain. I really look forward to what will be revealed when the weather clears up.
The forecast for late tonight is for thirty knot winds and rain. Tomorrows’ prediction is only slightly better so I may have another day in Portage Bay. Sailing teaches you patience.