After a 2 month adventure in Alaska it was time to say goodbye and head south. Rumor mongers tell us that fall comes early along this coast. Based on the last two weeks we couldn’t tell. We wore shorts and short sleeve shirts, left hatches open overnight and haven’t seen rain since Petersburg. We did experience 6 ft swells and over 20 kt winds coming in from the Gulf of Alaska as we traveled from the end of Prince of Wales Island to Prince Rupert, B.C. yesterday. Oh, the old washboard feeling of the open seas once again…gunnel to gunnel rolling back and forth, back and forth. We don’t get seasick, it is just very, very, uncomfortable. We eat only items requiring no prep; beef jerky, granola bars, fruit and nuts. But, we happily made it.
Arriving back in Canada warrants of course a visit with a customs officer. We have yet to have a Canadian customs officer come calling. We tie to the appropriate dock, answer various questions about weapons, alcohol and fruit over the phone and they happily send us on our way. Like Mike said to the woman yesterday, “Sounds like you know everything about me.” as she chuckled and said, ”Just the way we like it sir!”. Yeah, they’re still friendly here.
You may wonder what we’ve been up to. Well, we have anchored in a very windy little anchorage, saw a huge black bear on shore in a nice calm inlet, dinked up the inlet to a stream where salmon were trying to head up (where we saw fresh bear scat making me very nervous), Mike caught lots and lots of rock fish (which became tacos and a huge pot of fish chowder), met some Haida natives that had engine problems and hung out at our boat to use our VHF for help and to wait for assistance, watched many hours of season 2 of the tv show 24 and rocked and rolled across the Dixon entrance. Did I mention Mike told me he read that if the seas are more than 3 ft. it is better not to make the crossing? So, hey, 6 ft must be twice as good (3x2=6), right? In the last week we have probably only seen about another dozen boats out and about. We were definitely off the beaten path.
Unfortunately, now that we are out of Alaska and back in B.C., marinas are full. There are three possibilities here and the best we could get was an invitation to raft up to some other unknown boat. Yuck! That means no power or water and climbing over or through someone else’s boat to come and go (which I wouldn’t want). So we are sitting in an anchorage across from the Prince Rupert Royal Rowing Club and picking up their wifi connection. We enjoyed lunch at our favorite restaurant here, Cow Bay Café where everything is made from scratch. It was just as good as we remembered. I ran some laundry which dried on the lifelines (looked ghetto as my kids would say). You may wonder what's up with my laundry. Well at anchor we can run our generator and the washer/dryer (all one machine) with quite a lot of laundry for one hour. If it has to tumble dry afterwards, I can only wash about half as much so there is room for it to tumble in the drum for 2.5 hours. So if the weather is good, we choose the 1 hour and hang dry method. I love our generator, "Sweet Pea" and our washer/dryer (thanks Bob).
Did I mention that Rupert Murdoch’s 182 ft. sailing yacht, Rose Hearty out of Douglas, Alaska, is anchored nearby? It is a spectacular looking yacht with uniform laden men running around and it’s so huge it filled the full frame while taking her picture. I really hope they didn’t see our underwear…..