Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Back in Alaska

After our return from England on May 2, we quickly turned our attention to getting ready for our cruise (the ninth, Yikes!) to Alaska.  Once again, an astounding amount of stuff found its way from grocery shelves to our lockers.

A predawn start on May 15 allowed us to maximize the benefit of currents and arrive at Reid Harbor on Stuart Island mid-afternoon.  The next day we went to Port Sidney where we cleared customs, ran an errand in Victoria and did our Canadian provisioning of fruits and vegetables we aren’t permitted to bring across the border.

2019-Cruise-040 one-halfxThe next day we motored over to Tod Inlet then dinghied to the boater’s entrance for Butchart Gardens.  They were lovely as always and we enjoyed a high tea meal at the restaurant (they should provide more clotted cream with the scones, IMHO).  It was early enough that we decided to pull anchor and spend the night at Montague Harbor to better position ourselves for slack water at Dodd Narrows the next day.

2019-Cruise-042xThe trip up to Port McNeill went smoothly with generally smooth waters (Lasquiti Island, Gowlland Harbour and Port Harvey).  While at Port McNeill, we took part of a day to visit the U’mista Museum in Alert Bay.

Rather than stay in Port McNeill while waiting for suitable weather to round Cape Caution, we headed into the Broughtons for a couple of nights (Waddington and Turnbull) then positioned in Blunden Harbor.  Conditions were pretty good around Cape Caution and we ended up not putting the stabilizers in the water (but the poles were out and the stabilizers were ready to be dropped overboard).

Unlike in past years, we decided to try our luck with fishing in BC on the way up rather than race through.  We did pretty well with prawns in Fish Egg Inlet but struck out with salmon fishing in Hakai Pass.  After three night’s in the Fitz Hugh Sound area (Joe’s Bay, Lewall Inlet and Pruth Bay) we decided to keep heading north.  Fishing attempts were made in Laredo Channel and Otter Channel but no luck.

2019-Cruise-055xThe next area we tried was in Chatham Sound west of Prince Rupert.  On the final troll through the area and minutes before we were going to call it quits, Marcia felt the tug on the pole and reeled in a lovely chinook salmon.  Within a few minutes of bringing the fish on board, a Canadian Fisheries patrol boat came by and inspected our fishing licenses.  I think they were impressed with the efficiency Marcia presented them with the just caught salmon already recorded.  The winds and seas were calm so we drifted in the channel and rain while Marcia cleaned and fileted the fish.

We tried for a repeat success in the same area the next morning but to no avail.  We headed north and with the permission of the CBP we crossed border to spend the night in Foggy Bay before arriving and officially clearing in Ketchikan the next morning, June 4.

We’re going to do a short trip around Revillagigedo Island (the island on which Ketchikan is located) then return to Ketchikan for a day or so.  After that we’ll start heading towards Sitka.

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