FAREWEL PRINCE RUPERT

My intentions for an early start evaporated when John produced a pot of fresh coffee and muffins straight from the oven.  We sat in the cockpit of Caro Babbo chatting and eating happily until late morning.  It was almost mid-day by the time I heaved the anchor from the mud and motored out of Russell Arm.

As I departed from the harbour I had one last look back at Prince Rupert.  I don’t suppose I will ever be back.  I first visited Rupert when I was at sea as second mate, back in the pre GPS days.  Rupert was a regular port of call as we were in the Pacific run taking Canadian grain to China and a welcome stop after the rigours of the North Pacific and Bering Sea.

Once out of the harbour the forecast wind didn’t show up so I motored and caught the tide down Arthur Passage and into Grenville Channel.  I hadn’t really wanted to go down Grenville Channel again but the weather really made the decision for me.  This is the classic inside passage route and I suppose I will meet some commercial traffic taking this sheltered route north and south.

This evening I have anchored in Kumealon Inlet, just off Grenville Channel.  Tomorrow if the wind and tide is complaisant I will try and transit the channel without another stop.  I think I will try a little fishing tonight.

GOOD TO BE BACK IN BC

This morning started with flat calm and brilliant sunshine.  I had breakfast in the cockpit in T shirt and shorts.  Thirty minutes after departing the anchorage we ran into thick fog, visibility less than two cables and it persisted all the way down Chatham Sound to Venn Narrows, the northerly approach to Prince Rupert.

The fog was shallow and the sun could be seen overhead like a fried egg nesting in a sky of porridge.  The air was cool and damp with water dripping from the rigging and sails.  No mariner likes fog, thanks to the radar I was able to spot other vessels early and take avoiding action when needed.

As we were approaching Venn narrows I heard the yacht Caro Babbo calling on VHF.  They were coming down from the north and if they hadn’t slowed down we would possibly of hit each other.  All through this trip north to Alaska and back south we have met at various places on the way – very uncanny as we have both been following different interties.  I first saw Caro Babbo on my first night out of Canoe Cove back in April.  We met up again in Desolation Sound where we shared an anchorage in Squirrel Cove.  Later we met up in Prince Rupert, then again in Glacier Bay and finally in Prince Rupert again.  On the 30th May I followed them out of Venn Passage and this time they followed me in.

Once alongside in Prince Rupert I checked in with Canadian Customs.  A friendly Customs Officer checked me in over the phone and allocated me a clearance number that I need to display in a window on the boat.  So simple.  My dealings with Canadian Customs have always been pleasant and it feels good to be back in BC.

John on board Caro Babbo is an excellent cook, he actually enjoys it!  Last night we rafted up in Russell Arm, on the north shore of Prince Rupert harbour and I joined Hillary and Jennifer on board their boat for for a lovely meal.  Tomorrow I will get an early start and continue my southward passage, not decided my route yet, tide and wind will decide for me.

FAIRWELL ALASKA

Last night I didn’t anchor, I found a nice bit of empty sea and drifted for a few hours. The sky was clear again, magnificent stars, shooting starts and the northern lights came up behind the mountains.

Today I crossed Dixon Entrance, a sometimes tricky stretch of water that is open to the pacific Ocean swells and seas. For today it was warm and sunny with great visibility. Unfortunately, the forecast twenty-five knot north west wind didn’t show. I waited until three in the afternoon and then gave up and motored the remaining distance into Dundas Island, rolling heavily in the ocean swells. The sails were up for seven hours today and we made about fourteen miles, pretty miserable but the weather was beautiful and the scenery fantastic.

At three twenty-five this afternoon we crossed out of US waters into Canadian territory. The time changes by one hour from Alaska and my iPad did it automatically when we crossed the line. How did it know and how did it do that?

This evening I have anchored in Brundige Inlet on Dundas Island. Tomorrow I will work my way down to Prince Rupert to clear into Canada. It seems a long since I left Prince Rupert heading north.