HEADING NORTH, AGAIN

This morning we departed Sitka after a good 3 night stay.  The day started overcast, low cloud and wet from overnight rain.  By mid-morning the rain started again and has lasted all day and into the night.  The sun didn’t show up today.

A wet morning in Sitka harbour. Photo Ray Penson
A wet morning in Sitka harbour. Photo Ray Penson

The wind was from the south so we got a bit of sailing but bit was quite a miserable affair in the rain.  The tide pulled us through Neva Strait in the early evening and we anchored in Kalinin Bay on Kruzof Island for the night.

There is a strong wind warning in place for tomorrow.  If it’s still windy in the morning I will stay in the anchorage.  If the weather looks good I will head up the coast a bit further.  Total voyage distance 1,256.1 miles.

Logged 25th June 2016

PULLED A SICKIE TODAY.

I woke up this morning not feeling too chipper.  A blinding headache and lethargy.  I had a cup of tea and lay down on the salon settee and slept for another two hours.  Last night I cooked up a concoction of pasta, pizza topping and salami (sounds awful but tastes quite good).  The salami was on special in Craig supermarket, I reckon it did me in.  I had dreams last night and that is a sure sign that I have ingested Monosodium glutamate – must have been in the bloody salami.

Anyway it was raining and miserable so I decided to have a day off.  Not had a sick day yet.  Turned out to be a great decision.  By lunch time the sun was out and all damp oilskins, boots and stuff was drying off nicely in the cockpit.  I was a cleaning machine in the galley and all is sparkling again.  I took a late lunch in the cockpit, wearing not much as nature intended in brilliant sunshine and flat calm.

The forecast is for westerly winds so in the afternoon I moved anchorage to a position where we should have more shelter from the west.  The place I had selected turned out to be rocky with numerous uncharted shallow patches.  We came quite close to the bottom.  A little further down the coast I found a small indentation that looked calm and sheltered.  After some sniffing around and numerous turns to find the shallow spots and rocks I dropped anchor.

Happy in the new anchorage and enjoying the warm sun I set about changing out the main halyard.  I spliced in a thimble into the new halyard and after measuring the old halyard (twice) cut the new line to size.  Its all rigged now and awaiting its first trial.

What a beautiful spot I am in.  Sheltered from the west but looking out to the east at a tremendous view of sea, islands and snow capped mountains in the distance.  Sunrise should be good.  Wow, I had dinner in the cockpit at eight this evening in warm sunshine and a picture postcard setting, in total silence apart from the animal noises from the forest and sea otters crunching shells.  Dinner was washed down with a couple of Alaskan Icy Bay IPA’s (how bizarre drinking India Pale Ale in Alaska).  I am feeling quite healthy again and really enjoyed my ‘day off’.

In the morning I am planning a transit of Rocky Pass (unless I see a big closed sign).  According to my chart the controlling depth is 4 feet.  As we are drawing 6 feet we will need to go through with some tide underneath us.  Should be fun.  Total voyage distance 1,037.3 miles.

Logged 13th June 2016

A PLEASANT SURPRISE!

Weather turned out well today, a bit of rain and drizzle in the morning but then it cleared up and I could feel the suns warmth through the clouds.  The sun didn’t get to be serious or cast any shadows but it was there in the background, behind the clouds.  The forecast wind didn’t arrive and it was a flat calm, glassy sea all day.  We motored on, Mr Yanmar doing a fine job again.

Not much wildlife today apart from Dalls Porpoise – the most boring of animals.  It’s dolphins that are fun but I haven’t seen any so far this trip.

Coffman Cove Harbour. Photo Ray Penson.
Coffman Cove Harbour. Photo Ray Penson.

The destination today was Coffman Cove, it looked a decent anchorage on the chart.  Surprise, Surprise.  It’s actually an inhabited place and I tied up at the dock on the third attempt after someone took my lines as I kept being blown off the dock.  The population of Coffman Cove is about 150 but this swells during the summer months as tourists and holiday makers come in.  They get a monthly ferry call.

An exploration ashore discovered an ATM, Post Office, Store and Bar.  Yes, a real bar complete with pool table and tap beer.  Bar population included fishermen and loggers.  I am learning a whole new language, quite difficult when I only understand one word in three and every second word is a swearword.  Style here is ZZ Top beard, baseball cap and serious braces (Suspenders) to hold pants up.

So far I am liking this place.  The people are friendly and open and this is my first experience of the real Alaska.  I may stay another day to soak up the culture.  Total voyage distance 819.1 miles.

Logged 4th June 2016