Monday, April 28, 2014

Cruise 2014 - Jogging to Alaska

While describing our summer cruise to Alaska to someone, it struck me how different its pace is from most other modes of powered travel. We cruise the interstate highway's at 70 miles per hour. Jet airliners are speeding along at 500+ mph. Even the advertised "leisurely" pace of large cruise liners is in excess of 20 mph.

We normally cruise just below 7 knots. That works out to about 8 mph which means one mile is traveled every 7-1/2 minutes. As it turns out this pace is pretty close to that of a brisk jog.

As we travel to/from and within SE Alaska this summer, probably close to 3,500 miles, I'll visualize the trip as from the perspective of a persistent jogger, one with far better endurance than I ever had.


On Wednesday, April 23, the first "jog" was from our winter homeport in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island to Anacortes. The cats, Annie & Maggie, reminded us to mind the sea conditions by both throwing up within 20 minutes of leaving the dock. Fortunately, our route shortly turned north and the following seas and current smoothed the ride out pretty well the rest of the way to Anacortes.

After a few chores and final provisions, we crossed on April 25 into Canada, stopping at Clam Bay on Penelakut Island for the night. We cleared Canadian Customs at Montague Harbour easily when the Canadian Customs officials chose not to show up to verify the veracity of our declarations (we NEVER lie to customs officials).

While crossing the Strait of Georgia on April 26 was a little rolly on account of quartering seas, we got to Pender Harbour without issue. The anchoring was another issue and we ended up taking three attempts before finding a spot for the night that we like on account of wind and the moored boats.

The bad experience continued next morning, April 27, when the anchor chain jumped the anchor roller and we had to fuss a bit to get it back in the track. Fortunately, the weather improved as we continued to Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound where we shared the anchorage with one other boat (in August there will probably be 40 other boats).