We are currently in Port McNeill, near the NE corner of Vancouver Island, and about 300 miles (as the boat floats) from our winter home in Eagle Harbor on Bainbridge Island. While we still expect to be cruising for another 3 weeks, it definitely feels like the home stretch.
Since we left Ketchikan towards the end of July, we’ve been focusing on filling the freezer with seafood for the winter. Marcia has done well catching silver (aka, coho) salmon. We’ll even be giving away some seafood since we only take one cooler full of frozen fish with us on our drive to Arizona.
We left Ketchikan with expectations of the usual improvement in the weather as we crossed into BC. At first, our wishes came true and we had some very warm weather (with accompanying strong NW winds). Eventually though, we ran into persistent cloudy and showery weather. It appears as though the blocking high that gave Puget Sound its dry and hot weather shifted south slightly and left the BC coast to make-do with the SE Alaskan weather we’ve experienced this summer.
One of the highlights of the southbound journey was spending an extra day in Prince Rupert and visiting the North Pacific Cannery historical site. It is the most complete remaining example of the hundreds of canneries that once operated along the PNW coast. The photo at left is a salmon gutting machine worthy of Rube Goldberg. Before the advent of inexpensive electrical motors, there was a drive belt running along the ceiling from which the machines would take their power.
Other highlights were the many new (to us, anyway) anchorages we visited. Those anchorages we’d visit again included Welcome Harbor at the NW corner of Porcher Island, Klewnuggit Inlet along Grenville Channel, Tuwartz Inlet on the south shore of Pitt Island, and Kainet Creek at the end of Kynoch Inlet (just outside Culpepper Lagoon). We enjoyed some lovely sunsets (enhanced by smoke from BC interior wild fires) and had a number of whale (humpback and orca) viewings along the way.
From here we’ll make one more pass through the Broughtons before heading down Johnstone Strait. We’re targeting crossing back into US waters after Labor Day and being back in Eagle Harbor the middle of September.