Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Where we were

The map below shows all of the locations at which we stopped overnight.  If you click on one of the place marks, more information (distance, engine hours, anchor chain) will pop up. 

View Cruise 2014 in a larger map

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Back on the Dock

2014-09-011xAfter passing the last of the rapids, Yuculta, that separate the Broughtons from the Desolation Sound area, we were anxious to get across the Strait of Georgia.  We went first to Cortes Bay, then traveled down Malaspina Strait on the east side of Texada Island to Pender Harbour.  From there we headed across the Strait of Georgia but not before encountering a pod of a half dozen orca near Thormanby Island.  We entered the Canadian Gulf Islands via Porlier Pass, anchoring for the night on the north side of Gray Peninsula by Montague Harbour. 

Other than strong opposing currents in the Boundary Pass area, crossing the border was straightforward. Our first port of call was Deer Harbor Marina where our yacht club has dock space.  The only other club boat there was Sea’s the Moment owned by Chris and Sandy Benson who winter moor in Winslow directly ahead of us on the dock.  We spent our first evening back gabbing for several hours with them catching up on travels.

Some winds were forecast on the Strait of Juan de Fuca the next day so we spent a second night at the dock.  An early start on Tuesday, September 9, got us across the strait in time to catch the start of the flood current down Admiralty Inlet.  We wanted to add some fuel in our tanks to get us through the winter so we headed to Poulsbo for the night with the intent to go to the fuel dock first thing the next morning. We took advantage of the reciprocal dock at the lovely Poulsbo Yacht Club marina for our nights moorage.

After taking on 300 gallons of diesel at the Poulsbo fuel dock, we headed to our winter spot on the dock in Eagle Harbor.  We arrived at 1130 on September 10, 20 weeks after departing on April 23.

During the 140 nights we were away, we anchored out 86 nights, moored at public docks (i.e., no services) 7 nights, and paid for moorage 47 nights.  Using my navigation program’s trip log as the arbiter, we covered 4052 nautical miles during that time.  Our main engine operated 720.8 hours including 48.5 hours spent at idle fishing or taking photographs.  Subtracting those idling hours, we averaged 6.03 nm/hour which is our normal speed.  This average speed includes the time spent anchoring and docking at the begin and end of each day’s travels.  Fuel economy calculations will have to wait until next Spring when we fill up ahead of our trip north.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Three Weeks in the Broughtons

The fog lay thick the morning of August 12 as we departed Fury Cove and it remained thick for next nine hours.  Electronic charting, radar and AIS were how we navigated and avoided other vessel traffic in the less that 1/4 mile visibility.  We put the stabilizers in the water less than an hour after we left the anchorage.  With the visibility as poor as it was, we didn’t want to have to worry about sea conditions on top of our other concerns.  The anchorage for the night was Carriden Bay, about 68 miles from our starting point.

While in Alaska, we arranged for my brother Mike and his wife Jo to join us in Port McNeill for a weeks worth of cruising later in the month so we had some major inside & outside boat cleaning to do before their arrival.  In addition, we wanted to insure that some of the destinations we were going to take them still had the prawns we were promising them.

After visiting Sullivan Bay Marina, we headed to Port McNeill for fresh water, provisioning and the first round of cleaning.  While there we crossed paths with Doug and Cathlyn MacQuarrie from our yacht club.  In 2012, we sublet the slip at Shilshole Marina where they live on their Nordhavn 46.  They offered some suggested destinations in the Broughtons that we had not visited before.

The cruising in the Broughton archipelago is far more intimate than what you encounter in Alaska.  The channels between the many islands are numerous, intricate and well protected from the outside waters.  In addition, there are a half dozen or so small family operated marinas catering to pleasure craft.  They provide an opportunity to socialize with other boats at the organized evening happy hours or dinners. During the three weeks we were in the area, we stopped at Shawl Bay, Sullivan Bay, Echo Bay, Kwatsi Bay and Port Harvey.  We also stopped at the docks of the closed Greenway Sound Marina.  The docks are showing the wear of several years without maintenance and we chose to anchor in the cove behind Broughton Point on our subsequent visits to Greenway Sound.

2014-08-054x2014-08-028xWe had regaled Mike & Jo with the bounty we had pulled from the waters on our cruise so we were determined to produce while they cruised with us.  The prawn gods were smiling on us and we were able to feature prawns several nights.

After Mike & Jo left us, we made one more pass through the Broughtons then headed south.  We elected to take eastmost route which necessitates timing five rapids, Whirlpool, Green, Dent, Gillard & Yuculta.  We hadn’t been this way since our 2007 trip in our first boat.  We split the rapids in two by stopping for the night at Cordero Lodge which is a few miles after passing Green Rapids.

In contrast to the rainy Alaskan weather we experienced June and July, the three weeks we spent in the Broughtons were almost uniformly sunny.  According to the marina operators, they had only a few days of rainy weather all summer.  We made a conscious effort to try new places, anchoring in five new locations, and found several new spots for prawn fishing.