Cruising to Alaska: Cruising Tips and Cruise Logs [PDF Here]

Prepared by Joe and Judy Coons, 1220 Birch Falls Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229, (360) 647-0288. Current as of May 4, 2010.

 

ESSENTIAL BOOKS

You’ll want most of these for reference both planning for, and during your trip. Call the Armchair Sailor (see below.)

Marine Atlas, Volume I, Olympia to Malcolm Island, and Volume II, Port Hardy to Skagway, published by Bayliss Enterprises, Inc. Regular charts are essential, but these are VERY good trip planning tools, you’ll use them a lot.

Sailing Directions, British Columbia Coast (North Portion), Canadian Hydrographic Service, available in Canadian Nautical shops. Used only occasionally by us, this was nevertheless a great reference for tight coves and bays, and useful for tidal range and current information.

United States Coast Pilot, Volume 8, Pacific Coast Alaska: Dixon Entrance to Cape Spencer. U.S. Dept. of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Book Shops. Also only used occasionally. Useful for tight situations and tidal/current information.

Northwest Boat Travel or Waggoner’s Cruising Guide, Directories issued annually.

The following two books are by Don Douglas, from Fine Edge Publishing: Exploring the North Coast of B.C., Blunden Harbor to Dixon Entrance, and Exploring S.E. Alaska. He avoids the beaten path, gunkholing and giving good guidance. Get both.

Charlie’s Charts: North to Alaska, Charles E. Wood, Charlie’s Charts, Publisher. Charlie’s answers a lot of questions along the way. A good addition to Woodward or Douglas.

Visit Alaska: Southeastern Alaska Harbor and Boating Facility Directory. Order from State of Alaska, Department of Transportation & Public Facilities, Southeast Region Maintenance & Operations, P. O. Box 3-1000, Juneau, AK 99802. A great atlas of all Southeast’s harbors. We used it constantly!

Cruising to Alaska: Tips & Tactics. Bob Duke, Good Enough Publishing, PO Box 2505, Bellingham WA 98227 (360) 756-8036. A fine new compilation of the preparation, equipment, and hints from 20 experienced skippers. 2004.

CHARTS: We wouldn’t try the trip without all the charts for your itinerary. Get the list from the Armchair Sailor Bookshop, 800-875-0852. They stock all charts, take your credit card order and send you the charts UPS. The good news: they’re very comforting to have. The bad news: About $1,500 (or more) for the bunch. The peace of mind was really worth it. You may be able to borrow or rent a full set of charts. If you’re like us, you’ll also want to have your own set of planning charts including Canada #L/C 3001 and L/C 3002 and U.S. 17300, 17320, 17360, and 17420 to keep a record of your route.

ABOUT GLACIER BAY: Write at once to the “Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, Gustavus, AK 99826” and ask them for this year’s boating permit application and information. Applications are accepted up to 60 days be-fore requested entry dates, and from this drawing permits are awarded, first come, first served. Give them alternate dates. Hint: We got our applications in exactly 60 days early by fax, and we got our choice of dates. You can stay up to a week; plan on at least four days to see enough! Follow the instructions they give you, etc. They enforce the regs! You can fax them at (907) 697-2654

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO TAKE: Take your passports, these are the best photo ID. If you’re a single parent or grandparent with kids along, bring a notarized letter of permission from the other parent(s) to bring the kid(s) for Canada & U.S. Customs.

Bring a good set of raingear. We were frugal, and in the long run spent as much as if we’d gotten a good set in the first place. Bring warm clothes. Plan to wear layers. Joe has had his shirt off about six times on each trip, for maybe a half hour each time. But we had woolies on a lot! By the way, we took too many clothes: You’ll wear long johns and jeans a lot, and nobody cares. Downtown in Juneau and Ketchikan we usually wore the nicer pair of jeans! And bring hiking boots for muddy trails. Consider buying a compact video camera, you’ll want to video much of your trip. And bring a lot of film! (We made a picture of the two of us in red jackets with a beached iceberg and it was our Christmas card.) Bring warm bedding! We had a down comforter and sometimes an extra blanket. Perfect! Bring one of those folding 2-wheel shopping­

Be sure to bring one of the inexpensive little wheeled shopping-bag carrier to take to the market; it will save aching arms. Also belts, impellers; all the usual stuff that a good, well prepared, boater carries. A radar is a great idea, but ours was mostly just “for the fun of it”. We were in 1/4 mile visibility for about 30 minutes on the first trip, about three hours on the second. A GPS is essential. If you fish, bring your gear. Our group caught several BIG halibut, and a number of salmon. And bring a good crab pot and a shrimp pot, too, the latter with at least 400′ of non-floating line. We have NEVER eaten so much crab! A Diesel furnace or electric heat is pretty valuable for a chilly evening.

WHAT WON’T BE A PROBLEM: There is lots of water for boats in Alaska, if you are reasonably frugal, and it is better than in B.C./Desolation Sound, for instance. We got a little watermaker and didn’t need it. We never had any trouble getting moorage in each town and city. The Harbormasters are pros, and expert at utilizing every empty slip. The old adage: If you’re gracious to them, they’ll be gracious to you. Moorage was cheap. In a few cases, we were moored on breakwaters, or rafted, etc., but we felt accommodated and well treated. Provisioning was never a problem, nor was fuel. Alaskan prices are not outrageous. You will need 200nm range, at least!

We found Alaskans to be tough, independent, and frontier-ish; but generous with time and hospitality.

We got to know some wonderful people!

There are three crossings, and the first one, the Straits of Georgia, is just as likely to be the “worst”. Use your VHF, solicit information from the Coast Guard and other boats; be prudent and avoid the rough stuff.

BRING THE RIGHT ATTITUDE AND GET THE BIG PAYOFF: When it’s clear weather, Alaska is spectacular, and there will be clear weather! Don’t let the rainy or blustery days get you down; just imagine what Captain Vancouver and John Muir’s exploring was like. If you are like us, you’ll look back on your cruise as the trip of a lifetime.

ALASKA CRUISING LOGS Following are logs from two round trips to Alaska made by Joe and Judy Coons in 1992 and 1996 (They have also done three more quick trips delivering boats.)

THE BOAT: The Coonses’ boat was a 43′ Tollycraft tri-cabin cruiser, twin engines, kind of an American copy of a 42′ Grand Banks classic. Although it can run 15 knots, Joe and Judy typically run at about 10 knots; you’ll see settings for most legs in the logs that follow. Specs are: 1700rpm= 5.5gph = 10 knots. Running faster, 2100rpm = 9gph = 12 knots. The Tolly carries 400 gallons of fuel.

FUEL: There is plenty of good fuel in B.C. and Alaska, but you’ll certainly want the range and reliability of a Diesel boat, in our opinion, for this trip. Taking a gas boat north would cost a lot! Use the big fuel stops: Our favorites: Bellingham, Campbell River, Port McNeill, Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka. Next, Elfin Cove, Hoonah, Peters­burg, Wrangell, Alert Bay, Skagway and Prince Rupert, all less “plush”. At the lower end of the list would be Bella Bella and Klemtu, somewhat less desirable. Alaska prices are like the “lower 48″, B.C. prices are much higher!

EQUIPMENT: The boat’s navigation equipment includes a good radar (which they only needed for three hours or so on the combined trips although they often had it running); a GPS, and in 1996, a laptop computer with the Nobeltec Visual Navigator software and CD-ROM charts. There are two VHF radios on the boat, plus a hand­held VHF. A full complement of paper charts is carried for easy reference when planning, and for detailed harbor information. The computer and electronic charts are a nice luxury, not a necessity.

SAFETY: During operations with only two aboard, they wore small whistles around their neck in case they needed to get the other’s attention. In case they must abandon ship, there is a 10′ hard-bottom Avon inflatable dinghy with oars and a 15hp Honda outboard. In addition to the usual life jackets and life sling/rings, they each have a Mustang inflatable life vest that is slightly larger than a pair of suspenders when uninflated that they wore if out on deck in heavy weather . . . perhaps worn once or twice on the 1996 trip.

FOOD STORAGE AND SUPPLY: The boat has a Sea-Freeze slightly-larger-than-standard Norcold two-door boat refrigerator plus a small deepfreeze, about 4 cubic feet. We never needed an ice chest, but had one that we could have put glacial ice in. It has an electric range and microwave, a propane barbecue outside, and a Webasto furnace system that heats the boat either with Diesel when moored, or with heat off an engine when underway. We carried a bread maker, which required running the generator but enjoyed it. Stores are in all the main towns with good food; outlying locations may be pricey or out of stock, or have only basics.

WATER: Although they had a small PUR watermaker in 1992, Joe removed it when he realized it was little-used. The water tanks held 140 gallons in 1992, 235 gallons in 1996; 140 gallons was plenty!

LAUNDRY: The boat has no washer or dryer. We enjoy the laundromats as a “visiting with the locals” experience, and prefer saving the boat space, power and water to carrying these appliances.

GROCERY/LAUNDRY CARRIER: Making trips to laundromats and/or stores easier, we carry a standard wire folding shopping-bag cart such as folks use in cities, and it was useful and convenient: it stows flat and is tucked away in the engine room or lazarette hold.

 

 

THEIR GENERAL TRAVEL CONCEPT: Each trip followed the same general scheme: “Hustle” to Prince Rupert, then take it easy until through with touring Alaska, then hustle back, perhaps taking some extra time at the end of the trip. While in the towns in Alaska, allow some time for shore-side excursions, dining, and provisioning.

LOG OF THE MOTOR YACHT “SKYLARK II”- 1992 TRIP

Date/Times Engine Hours RPM ——Tank Levels—— Run Origin-Destination ß Heading on each paragraph

 

05/23/92 Sat 1300-1730 1900 Bellingham-Bedwell-Glenthorne Passage OFF TO ALASKA! We were both tired and stressed from all the preparation, but a few hours out of the harbor we could feel the stress draining away. No problems at customs. Bellingham Bay and Georgia Straits were a little choppy, so of course we got some spray on the boat, but otherwise very nice! At Glenthorne Passage, we rafted to Evelyn and David Heaps and Gordon and Sandy English for supper of Margaritas, Rock Crab, Smoked Salmon, Salsa and Chips. Very nice time with these four great friends. Dick and Mary Jane Vetter came aboard and met Englishes and Heaps — they are on Alaska boat “MARICORK”. Very quiet night, lots of eagles.

05/24/92 Sun 0930-1740 2305.6 2247.7 1750-1400 35.0 13.2 8.0 79.6 Glenthorne Passage – Harmony Islands We got started after a relaxing breakfast with our friends, then had an absolutely wonderful passage across the Straits of Georgia via Porlier Pass, around the south end of Texada Island, to Agamemnon Channel. Sea was rippled, day was warm, we all got slight sunburns. At Harmony Islands, the water looked scummy, later decided it was some kind of logging operation runoff. Our fuel tanks are feeding from the right only — caused us to leak a little fuel from the vents, I believe. Boat really listing — but a super trip.

05/25/92 Mon 0930-1515 2311.3 2253.3 1500 22.0 11.5 23.5 51.0 Harmony Islands – Squirrel Cove Light drizzle was enough to get boat wet but not clean! But it was a nice passage with calm water all the way. Evened up the tanks, boat list is gone, Mirabile Dictu! (Crossfeed was open at Racors.) Practiced with the radar. Judy’s first breadmaking, using generator. Breadmaker wouldn’t run on inverter. (Later called Trace, discovered that breadmakers have SCR’s which cannot process a non-perfect sine wave.) Dinghy is down, have placed order with Cinnamon Bun guy here at squirrel cove. Interesting chap, had nice visit.

05/26/92 Tue 0930-1300 2315.0 2256.8 1500 20.5 10.5 22.0 33.3 Squirrel Cove – Campbell River We got a fair night’s sleep, but anchor chain noise woke Joe up a few times. We had the cinnamon rolls from Bill Randall, a real treat! (We ate two today, two Wednesday, gave two to Ligons.) Then an easy cruise to C.R. via Lewis and Sutil Channels, around Cape Mudge to Chevron Docks, Discovery Marina. Met Cindy there. Joe and Judy shopped all afternoon for screening, Velcro, shopping cart, hose clamps, food, etc. Judy made raisin bread for Ligons, then had excellent dinner at Charron’s [now closed]. Long debate with Grover regarding next day’s schedule. Decided on early start with no side route to blind channel.

05/27/92 Wed 0715-0600 2324.0 2266.0 1500 27.0 14.5 28.0 Campbell River-Port McNeill Got up early, showered, filled water tank, pulled away from dock without enough preparation, **BANG**, right into TOUCAN. About $100 damage to my boat, same to TOUCAN. UGH! Awful way to start the day, took Joe a while to get his composure back — about two days! Through Seymour Narrows with 2.5 knots on stern, no problem. Nice cruising, drifted waiting for near slack at Race Passage. Then good steady run in drizzly but easy-riding weather to Port McNeill. A great day except for hitting TOUCAN. At Port McNeill, we got some fuel and a good moorage. The Watermaker works fine!

05/28/92 Thu 1245-2045 2332.9 2274.2 2100 21.5 12.5 23.0 77.0 Port McNeill-Pruth Bay After a great night’s sleep, we awoke to rain on the roof and sounds of a floatplane getting its floats pumped, an old Beaver. Joe worked on planning route while Judy did chores, then set out with grey overcast and patchy fog, radar on, then heard from Grover and Cindy who were having good passage on east side of Queen Charlotte Straits. We then cut across direct to Pine Island, had a great run with improving weather all the way, 2-3′ swells but no waves. Fine trip, then into this well-protected, long-entranced anchorage. Rafted with TOUCAN for drinks, then moved to anchor separately. Nice supper, then to bed!

05/29/92 Fri 1050-1700 2339.5 2280.6 1500 19.0 13.0 21.0 56.5 Pruth Bay-Oliver Cove Nice easy cruise after a walkabout to “West Beach” at Pruth Harbor. We went through woods past neat Indian mask carved into a tree, then found a huge, white, pristine beach where a kayaking couple were camped. We enjoyed chatting with them, then returned to the boat and headed out. Easy run, during which we saw enormous barge pulled by seagoing tug bound for Alaska, as well as numerous ocean-liner-type cruise ships. Buoys in Seaforth Channel were confusing, noted them on charts, had some swells just before turning into Oliver Cove. Oliver Cove is a nice little harbor, with good protection yet plenty of light. Joe got some of the salt off.

05/30/92 Sat 0845-1600 2247.6 2288.4 1500 17.0 13.0 18.0 68.1 Oliver Cove-Butedale Rainy day, but mostly drizzle. We saw some beautiful waterfalls, had a visit from a small school of porpoises in our bow wave, saw some nice vistas. Grover had a water pump bearing freeze up and disintegrate, so he’ll run on one engine as far as Ketchikan before getting a replacement sent in. Butedale is an abandoned cannery, awful that there are so many such places, and the docks are all gone and the bottom is very foul with cable and other junk. Anchoring was not easy! We wound up with an anchor set (fouled on cable, we learned on Sunday), and a stern line to a nearby piling. Dismal place.

05/31/92 Sun 0845-1430 2353.6 2294.7 1600 14.0 12.0 15.5 Butedale-Klewnugget Inlet Well, the anchor held, but we re-secured it during the night—it got too tight, then at 0630 is got too slack and we were nearly into the piling. But the trip today featured whales about 1/4 mile away, spouting (Orcas) and a lot more porpoises with Judy getting them on video for five or 10 minutes. This afternoon, we happened upon AWAKENING, with Glenn and Lynn Sorenson, and BOHAMA IV, with Bill and Nancy Hammond. At lovely Klewnugget, we had a party in the pouring rain for 4 from BOHAMA, 2 from AWAKENING, 2 from MARICORK, 2 from TOUCAN, and 2 from SKYLARK. It was fun, and we all started to get to know the new faces. Crab pots out — no luck yet.

06/01/92 Mon 0750-1300 2359.4 2299.8 1600 11.5 10.0 13.0 Klewnugget Inlet – Prince Rupert Another misty, drizzly day, but still less rain than yesterday. Following tides gave us 10.5kn speeds most of the way. Discovered Bob Allard (FAWN BLUFF) and Dave Kreiner (SEA WAGON) along route. Dave is Rotarian from Sandy Point and was running right in front of us, Bob is an old Harbor Airlines pilot. Our boat running fine, but there is a little antifreeze drip from port engine (it stopped on its own two days later). Lots of current getting into the Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club, but we got a decent spot next to the Indian fisheries dock. Downtown for laundry and groceries, dinner with Lynn and Glenn Sorenson at “Smiley’s”. Grover got two full pots full of crabs off the end of the dock, plus another partial pot, kept 18, gave away 12! Judy cooked ours right away after I split and cleaned them, and they’re in the fridge.

 

066/02/92 Tue In Prince Rupert. Visited railroad museum, visitors’ center, had cocktails on Bohama.

 

06/03/92 Wed 1400-1730 2363.9 2304.2 2000 9.0 Top 11.0 36.8 Prince Rupert-Brundage Inlet, Dundas Island Sunshine at last! Left at about 1400 to get more water under us in Venn Passage, then enjoyed smooth cruising all the way to this magnificent, sheltered inlet, the last harbor in Canada before returning to America, in Alaska. Before leaving I oiled the port rail, added oil to the engines (93 hours since change, first addition!). No special sights today except for our alone-ness as we travel. Eagles and crabs in Prince Rupert were amazing! Put our shrimp pot out tonight for first time ever, nearly lost it!

06/04/92 Thu 0620-1300 2370.3 2310.5 1700 5.5 12.5 7.0 57.5 Brundage Inlet-Ketchikan ALASKA AT LAST! Awoke around 0430 to see and video-record a spectacular, tranquil sunrise, then woke again at 0610 to see everyone gone except the Vetters. Took off right away — shrimp pot empty — and had an absolutely tranquil trip across Dixon Entrance to Ketchikan without even any swells! Bright, glorious sunshine. Just before Thomas Basin at Ketchikan, we hit a log with port prop, big bang, but only moderate vibration over 1200 RPM. Fortunately, there was a prop shop at the head of the dock, and a tide grid nearby. Oiled the other rail, had Ligons and Vetters for cocktails, Judy made cinnamon rolls for tomorrow breakfast, and everyone promised to come at 0600 to stand on side of boat as tide goes out.

06/05/92 Fri In Ketchikan This was the tide grid day! Exciting process, tide dropped 40 inches in one hour! Boat was dry at 0740, afloat at 1440, and the work was done quickly. Picked up props at 1600, they were pitched wrong the whole time! They look great. We couldn’t have been luckier than to have that happen right here. Back at dock, thoroughly washed boat. 06/06/92 Sat In Ketchikan Spent day on boat projects and sightseeing and shopping.

06/07/92 Sun 1000-1500 2376.4 2316.3 1700 28.5 8.3 29.0 Ketchikan – Bailey Bay Got up, and after calling Dave, Cathy and Dee Billingsley left for fuel dock. Diesel squirted out of vent, got all over Joe, his clothes, and his face. Ugh! Judy spent first 90 minutes underway cleaning boat and clothes. Awful start. Drizzly day, but easy cruising up the Behm Canal to this quiet bay. We got a forest service buoy, invited sailboat ATLANTEAN to raft up with us, nice people, but quiet — stayed to themselves. AWAKENING took the other side of us. Took dinghy and Lynn and Glenn to shore, saw lovely wildflowers, but trail to hot springs was impassable after about a mile, blocked by stream which had left its banks. Lynn and Glenn aboard for wine and snacks.

06/08/92 Mon 1130-1500 1600 Bailey Bay – Naha Bay/Loring Hauled the crab pot, got 2 little spider crabs. Shrimp pot had about 20 shrimp, our first ever! We had a great night’s sleep, and after hauling pots and coffee with Lynn and Glenn, set out for this great anchorage/moorage. The cruising was great, good weather, calm seas, lovely settings, and this little bay has a wonderful state dock although the deck is a little tarry. We took a walk on a wonderfully-maintained and improved trail around a lake near the dock, then back in time for TOUCAN and MARICORK to tie up. Cocktails on the dock with much joviality, and fish-stories. Grover and Cindy’s new guests are Pete and Wendy Van Zandt. Then dinner and bedtime.

06/09/92 Tue 1045-1645 2387.1 2326.7 1600 25.0 8.5 25.5 55.0 Naha Bay – Canoe Passage Took the dinghy into the lake at Loring, had fun going up and down through the rapids! Didn’t see anything, but rest of gang did when walking before we went, seeing a bear! Then what seemed like a long run to Canoe Passage, a little choppy, but we were visited by a big school of Doll’s Porpoises near our destination, lots of excitement! Lot of trouble and >>tension<< anchoring, and setting shrimp pot; it cast a pall over the evening. Anchored at a waterfall. Judy saw an eagle’s nest, watching mother eagle protect her little one was fun.

06/10/92 Wed 0745-1330 2392.9 2332.4 1600 23.0 7.0 23.5 49.9 Canoe Passage – Wrangell Retrieved the traps: Crabs = 0, Shrimp = 13 + a bottom fish! Dick Vetter had snagged his pot, and watching him try to get it loose was an experience! It was sacrificed. Easy run on Judy’s course planning to Zimovia Straits, along the way saw three or four orca fishing along the shore. Narrows in Zimovia Straits were interesting, but not difficult at all. It was very warm (for Alaska) today, I even had my shirt off for a while! Heard from another boat we were expecting, DIXSEA’S DREAM, they’re ahead of us by a day at Petersburg. On arrival at Wrangell, harbormaster David Mork and assistant Shelly were most cordial and helpful, only cost $3.21 for first night, and that was for power! Ron Henry, a fisherman on MISS TAMMY gave us nine dozen big prawns! And we had already given some of his largess to Vetters! Visited this little town, saw some Indian petroglyphs with the TOUCAN crew, but they left (from loading dock) to anchor out. Joe serviced the seawater strainers. We used the bug screens for the first time, worked great!

06/11/92 Thu 0900-1715 2399.2 2338.4 1600 21.0 6.5 21.5 49.9 Wrangell-Petersburg After another trip to the store for fishing supplies, motored to a bay just NE of Wrangell for fishing, crabbing, shrimping. Trolled 1000-1145, fish, zip. Crabs, zip. 10 little shrimp, threw ’em back. Then, after lunch at anchor, took off across Sumner Strait to Wrangell Narrows and Petersburg. Great fun run! Narrows were very interesting, seas were smooth, sunny and warm day. We both got sunburns. Dinner at the swankest restaurant in Petersburg, in Scow Bay. Good salmon! Then to boat for bed.

06/12/92 Fri 1215-1515 2402.0 2341.2 1100 20.0 13.5 21.0 Petersburg-Thomas Bay Judy did laundry and food shopping, Joe replaced the CB (turned out it was OK), took some oil stains (from Ketchikan fueling fiasco) off hull, and filled water tanks. Then slow cruise out of Petersburg to big, beautiful Thomas Bay. We dinghied near to the glacial river at the north end, but not very pleasant, although we did see an interesting seal and some arctic terns. Then back to the boat for cocktails with Ligons and Vetters who rafted up with us. Delicious fresh snapper (from Vetters) for dinner. Pleasant, relaxed, day. Crab pot is out following instructions of crabber in Petersburg: 20-30′, near fresh water stream.

06/13/92 Sat 1345-1900 2407.5 2346.4 1700 18.0 11.0 19.0 47.8 Thomas Bay – Entrance Island After a rocky night (Joe got up at 0230 to adjust lines, slap, slap, slap) we slept until 0800. Joe got crab pot with two HUGE crab! After breakfast, we hiked up the Canyon Creek Trail and then over to the beach and USFS cabin. That was a long trail, not too easy, but interesting. Judy got a dinghy lesson and went off alone to video our scenery along the Canyon Creek. Joe gave Dick Vetter a docking lesson — he was a good student! Then set out on five-plus-hour run to this lovely cove. Lot of swells after we rounded Cape Fanshaw, then a following sea. Rafted to Howard and Vi Zebell’s KATRYNA, another 43′ Tolly! Dinner of shrimp cocktail, followed by huge, excellent crab salad, without the salad! Then Milky Way pieces — decadent! Gastronomic heaven for Joe. Danced, then to bed!

 

06/14/92 Sun 0900-1900 2417.0 2355.6 1700,2400 13.0 11.5 14.2 78.3 Entrance Island-Sanford Cove Leaving Entrance Island, we hauled the shrimp pot out, zip. Nice run with only 3 or 4 miles visibility to Sanford Cove in Endicott Arm off Holkham Bay. There, MARICORK anchored and Vetters came aboard for long round-trip cruise to Dawes Glacier. Lots of icebergs and pupping seals. Icebergs were huge, and were all different shapes and sizes. Neat trip. Judy made sticky buns, we shared with Ligons, Vetters and guests. They were delighted. Dinner was fresh salmon from Ligons and stuffed baked potatoes from Costco! Great, with music from Roger Williams, Liberace, and Floyd Cramer. Cleaned decks a little — and to bed.

06/15/92 Mon 1015-1730 2424.8 2363.2 1700 10.0 10.5 11.5 67 Holkhum Bay – Tracy Arm What a day! Sunny and bright until 1630, then overcast. Started with a beach walk and photos with Ligons and Van Zandts, then onto boat picking up Vetters and Sorensons at anchorage on Tracy Arm side of bay. Cruised up Tracy Arm, even more spectacular granite walls, waterfalls, and calving glaciers. When you think you’re close, you’re not, they’re so huge! Saw seals, beautiful mountain tops, and lots of icebergs. Spectacular! Then back to windy anchorage for drinks, snacks, and pasta dinner. Onan impeller failed again tonight!

06/16/92 Tue 0800-1200 2428.1 2366.8 1700 8.5 9.7 10.0 26.9 Tracy Arm – Taku Harbor A changing day, rain, sun, cloudy, broken, scattered, each in turn and again. Tried fishing, no luck, decided it’s not my bag, at least this year! Crab pot is out in the water, however! A nice harbor with some nice boats and folks here. MOLLY BEE from Friday Harbor, rented by Anita Niefert. Gary Coy was the charterer. APLYSIA, a 42 Westsail (the name is a genus of Sea Slug) with Bob and Stephanie Harvey, beginning a world cruise. KATRYNA (again), and ESCAPE, with some nice Juneau people, especially the lady whom Judy chatted with. Dinner and bridge on MARICORK. Nice, early evening. Judy baked a delicious apple pie for dessert.

06/17/92 Wed 1100-1330 2330.9 2369.5 1400 7.5 8.5 9.0 20.7 Taku Harbor – Juneau A little drizzle here and there, but it started well with an interesting beach walk through the cannery ruins at Taku Harbor. Then, I hauled 1 very large and 1 medium crab! While Judy cooked them, I gossiped with Gary Coy (MOLLY BEE) and visited Howard and Vi’s KATRYNA. Then underway for a slow and lovely cruise to Juneau. Docked there with TOUCAN, APLYSIA, MARICORK, and AWAKENING … BOHAMA IV joined us later on. Shopping, then beer and smoked salmon at the famous “Red Dog” Saloon, then to see exciting Patriot Game movie. Then, apple pie with Grover and Cindy, then Stefan Grappelle and Marian McPartland on FM until we watched a cruise ship depart the docks at 11:30 and to bed.

06/18/92Thu In Juneau Shopped, found an impeller, did boat errands, etc.

06/19/92 Fri 0640-1755 2441.8 2380.1 1700/2200 15.5 12.0 25.5 Juneau-Skagway via Auke Bay Up at 0600, under way at 0640. Fuel dock on east side of Gastineau Channel closed, so went around to Auke Bay to top tanks. On the way around Douglas Island we had about 30 minutes of real fog and the radar was fantastic. Both Judy and I have gotten a lot of confidence in it! After fueling, back under way up the Lynn Canal to Skagway. Lots of pretty sights, especially glacier-loaded valleys, pretty islands (some with lighthouses), a lovely artist’s home, and good weather. Then, much to our surprise, we beat the ferry by about five minutes into the pleasant harbor! We ran at the higher throttle for the last three hours to get there quicker. Then, drinks in Vetter’s room at hotel, then back to boat to bed. Great, fun day!

06/20/92 Sat In Skagway Took the train ride, went to the “Follies”, shopped, saw tourist movie about Skagway in World War II, fun!

06/21/92 Sun 1715-1845 2443.7 2381.9 1900 24.5 10.0 25.0 Skagway – Haines Very windy last night and today, cruise ship cancelled visit here and the ship that was already in stayed an extra twelve hours! So we stayed, too. We walked thru a cemetery, had pancakes, etc. Then, when it seemed to have let up, we headed into it, right on the bow. Other than a lot of spray, ride was okay except about 15 minutes when we took it broadside going into Haines. But then, a snug harbor, good berth, washed down the boat, walked uptown to find friends — didn’t, so rented a video (“White Fang”) and ate crab cocktails, salmon salad sandwiches, drank white wine, and had frozen yogurt desserts — YUM. Turned out we had seen it after all. And so to bed.

06/22/92 Mon 1000-1740 2450.6 2388.6 1600 22.0 13.5 22.5 62.7 Haines – Auke Bay This was another beautiful, calm day, perfect for the run back to Juneau from Haines! Temperatures around 65-70 degrees. Perfect ride, lots of fishing boats and nets to make it interesting. Moored on the main ramp at Auke Bay, surprisingly quiet, but no power. Took a bus to “Intermediate Dock” in Juneau proper, then after cocktails on BOHAMA, bussed to Fred Meyer’s for food shopping (2215-2315) then bus to boat, ready to go! Dinner was at Juneau’s MacDonalds!

06/23/92 Tue 1310-1600 2454.0 2391.9 1500 21.2 11.8 21.4 Auke Bay – Funter Bay More easy cruising — this is amazing good luck as far as the weather goes! Changed the Onan oil before leaving, and once under way, loafed along into Funter, a lovely bay. Stopped at state float, but it was creosote-laden, and full of rather noisy boats from Maple Bay. So we left the dock and anchored in “Coot Cove” on the west side. Quiet night. MARICORK joined us — and we had excellent salmon from the barbecue.

06/24/92 Wed In Funter Bay Joe got up early to deliver sticky buns to Vetters, then we did nothing for the rest of the day. Read, checked pot — no crabs — drinks on MARICORK, dinner was a stir fry.

06/25/92 Thu 0915-1550 2459.9 2397.6 1500 19.0 12.0 19.0 Funter Bay – Glacier Bay/Bartlett Cove No crabs in pot, up at 0630. Decided at last minute to try for early entry to Glacier Bay. We were able to change reservations, nice lady (Bobbi) at USFS Ranger Station. Nice lodge, too, but pricey. Weather today was windy, rough turning corner into Bartlett Cove. Had trouble anchoring, so Judy took over and did very well! Judy baked bread. Upon arrival here, washed down boat — it needed it!

06/26/92 Fri 0900-1215 1200 23.7 Bartlett Cove – N. Sandy Cove First thing, checked pot, 1 small crab. Then to shore to dump garbage. Back to boat, had trouble with dinghy painter fouled in prop, Joe went swimming in Glacier Bay! Then underway at last with relaxed cruise past some puffins, then after anchoring we watched two bears on the shore for a long time. Judy put the crab pot out. Nice day after all, even with the dinghy hassle!

 

06/27/92 Sat 1015-1930 2472.7 2409.9 1500 15.5 10.0 15.5 N. Sandy C. – Muir Inlet – Blue Mouse Cove Happy Anniversary to us! Up at 0700, checked pot, got 10 crab with 9 keepers! All ten were male, WOW! Judy cooked while I got boat ready. We ate on way to Muir Inlet off Glacier Bay, beautiful trip. Saw all stages of nature from glacial-barren to verdant hills and meadows. Muir Glacier was calving small pieces, we also saw McBride and Riggs glaciers. Many birds, got an iceberg in the ice chest for our return. Then to Blue Mouse Cove for overnight. Our anniversary dinner was a crab feast, cold, with cocktail sauce, wine, buns, and fig newtons!

06/28/92 Sun 0915-1845 2480.5 2417.4 1500 13.0 9.0 13.0 55.0 Blue Mouse Cove-Reid Inlet Blue Mouse Cove anchorage was a little “lappy”, and close to shore, so Joe was nervous all night and didn’t sleep well, but after we survived the 0649 low tide, he slept like a log until 0800. Breakfast just before we got underway, then toured Reid Inlet, looking at Reid Glacier, then Johns Hopkins Glacier (the inlet was only open halfway, since seals were pupping and the park service wanted to protect them) then we went over to Marjorie Glacier to linger and watch the calving. Both of the park’s ranger boats looked in on us, very nice and helpful people, we felt so privileged to be here! Then we went over to Russell Island, and tried to anchor in a nice cove, but couldn’t get secure and Joe was especially wary after Blue Mouse Cove experience. We did, however, see an eagle family on the rocks at Russell Island enjoying a fresh fish! So we went back to Reid Inlet, and had a lovely anchorage for the night. Just as we arrived there, Reid calved a big iceberg with a giant bang!

06/29/92 Mon 1040-1705 2485.3 2422.0 1500 11.5 9.7 11.5 33.7 Reid Inlet – Fingers Cove We had a fantastic beach walk to Reid Glacier where we had the spectacular calving last night. We walked almost right up to it, perhaps 200 feet away! We also saw oystercatchers feigning “nesting” in order to distract us. After we got under way, we went to Tidal Inlet, and saw a pair of humpback whales which we watched for 20 or 30 minutes. Then we saw our first mountain goats, eventually seeing a total of 19! AWAKENING joined us there, and we rafted together in the inlet and drifted while we had lunch, which Judy prepared and served. Glenn and Lynn are interesting people. During lunch we did have a fly invasion, caused, we believe, by the warm weather. Then we motored to Fingers Bay for cocktails on our boat with Ligons and Grover’s sister Liz and brother-in-law Charlie, followed by a sumptuous anniversary dinner served to us on TOUCAN. Great day!

06/30/92 Tue 0810-1345 2491.2 2427.8 1600/2100 28.5 10.5 30.0 Fingers Cove-Elfin Cove Breakfast included Judy’s sticky buns, with Grover, Cindy, Liz, Charlie, Joe and Judy on SKYLARK at 0730. First I had changed engine zincs. Then underway about 30 minutes when we had fine whale show by humpbacks, including breaching! Then, when we got underway after watching for 30 minutes, more whales, both humpbacks and Orcas. After leaving Glacier Bay, we had high winds on our bow in Icy Strait, a little uncomfortable, and between the winds and currents we were making only five knots, even at 2100! Then, right after going through South Inian Passage, it all died down … amazing! Here at Elfin Cove we got fuel, and Judy made great fish chowder and herb bread and apple pie and salad for everyone. Another entry to end: Great Day!

07/01/92 Wed At Elfin Cove Joe cleaned and scrubbed and worked on little projects, while Judy baked, and we toured Elfin Cove. This was after it became clear that weather would prohibit the “outside route” south to Sitka. Meanwhile, Vetters took off early to Juneau to get generator fixed.

07/02/92 Thu 0910-1800 2500.1 2436.3 1700 25.0 12.5 26.0 74.2 Elfin Cove-Tenekee Springs We were awakened early by a fishing boat taking out a charter party at 0430. Walked around Elfin Cove again, shooting video. Said farewell to TOUCAN and BOHAMA IV. Easy run today, with no seas and warm weather. Saw lots of whales, including pod of 10 or 12 Orca, plus lots of humpbacks. Tenekee Springs turned out to be an odd, idiosyncratic, tumbledown town, but we had a nice walk there, and Judy checked out the bathhouse which was, at the time, inhabited by an enormous lady in the dressing area! Tied out at the breakwater, saw MISS TAMMY, from Seattle again. Put out a shrimp pot near the harbor.

07/03/92 Fri 1600-1630 2510.5 2446.4 1600 21.0 12.5 22.3 94.2 Tenakee Springs – Sitka Today’s run was long, but pleasant! Only two shrimp in our trap, what a downer! From Tenakee to Peril Strait, through Deadman’s Reach and Sergious Narrows and Whitestone Narrows to Sitka. Doesn’t that sound ominous? It wasn’t! While going through Sergious Narrows, we came upon a USCG Buoy Tender, and at the same time a ferry passed us going north. Quite a moment, but it all turned out fine. In Sitka, we wound up tied to the breakwater, and dinghied in. Saw George and Dixie Borza on DIXSEA’S DREAM. Had dinner at excellent Channel Club restaurant, with huge baskets of boiled shrimp. We were taken there by neat lady who we were to see the next day, too. Wonderful welcome.

07/04/92 Sat In Sitka Spent the day at Sitka, with shopping in the morning including getting a Russian miniature box, visited the Russian Orthodox Cathedral, the Bishop’s House, the totem park, had lunch in a restaurant next to the Russian-American rading Company in MacDonalds Mall, and had dinner at a big salmon roast. We were going to tay up for the fireworks, but we were all walked out! While sitting on a bench, met Dale and Mary Anne Steeg of JEKELE, nice folks. This was a high exercise, interesting day. What has become of MARICORK?

07/05/92 Sun In Sitka Today was a laundry and food shopping day.

07/06/92 Mon 0805-1705 2519.5 2455.2 2000 24.0 14.5 25.0 Sitka – Baranoff Warm Springs We got up early at Sitka, and were at the gas docks by 0645, giving me time to wash the boat and fill the water tanks. Sitka is FULL of fishing boats! Got fuel, then had good cruising back through Peril Strait and to Chatham Straits, saw several more whales. Then it started getting rougher, so we came in here. Lovely place! Walked to the warm springs (a galvanized tub with a pipe, but clean) and it looked like fun although we didn’t partake, and then to the fresh water lake up above the settlement. Then we visited the big falls at the inlet’s head. We’re at a nice dock, where we’ve met, once again, KATRYNA and DIXSEA’S DREAM. Also met nice folks aboard 60′ Hatteras SNOW KIM ROSE, he is a trucking company owner from Sitka. There was also a big 90′ Westship moored here. Talked through the marine operator with MARICORK, they’ll meet us on Wednesday.

07/07/92 Tue 0820-1200 2523.3 2558.8 1450 23.0 12.5 23.5 Baranoff Warm Springs – Chapin Bay Decided to leave Baranoff since we walked last night, to take advantage of morning calm on Chatham Straits, and it paid off with only minor one foot swell or so. Chapin Bay was absolutely lovely, we had it all to ourselves, and we saw a bear on a fairly distant shore, and then another bear with her cub nearer to us. We quietly dinghied over and took a good video of them, although the flies were somewhat worse. Then Judy baked while I puttered, and we both read. Watched a video and then to bed.

 

07/08/92 Wed 0910-1430 2529.3 2464.5 1450 18.5 13.5 19.0 Chapin Bay – Farragut Bay We took showers, had a leisurely breakfast, and then had an easy cruise across Frederick Sound to this lovely bay. Joined up with MARICORK and DIXSEA’S DREAM at anchor, got our pots out. Drizzly, overcast weather but certainly not bad. Had a nice cocktail hour on DIXSEA’S DREAM and heard George’s story about his salvaging of the boat, he is amazing! First pot haul, about a dozen shrimp. More to come, we hope!

07/09/92 Thu 0705-0945 2531.9 2467.1 1700/2100 19.5 12.0 20.0 Farragut Bat – Petersburg Up early at 0600. Judy pulled the pots, about one bug crab and around three dozen small shrimp and two big spot prawns all of which she cooked at once. Then underway, hustling to keep up with Dick and George. We rushed so as to get to Petersburg at high tide so that Dick could get onto the tide grid. Found a small hole in MARICORK’s bottom next to port propeller tunnel, and patched with epoxy (it later came out again). Judy and I had a great sandwich at a “health food” store, had pizza for dinner with the group. Judy shopped, I cleaned boat, fenders, watermaker filter, etc. Good day, met neat people Dr. Norman Thompson and wife Gail who know our friend Josh Lederberg at Rockefeller University and practices at Mt. Sinai. Judy bought two generous pounds of prawns.

07/10/92 Fri 0820-1730 2541.0 2475.9 1450/1700 16.0 13.5 17.0 76.0 Petersburg – Bay north of Anan Bay We woke up at 0715, showered, filled water tanks, and got underway. Absolutely calm seas, enjoying the Wrangell Narrows again. Then into Eastern Passage via Sumner Strait to Anan Cove. It was full of anchored boats, so we went east about four miles to this spot, turned out fine. We dinghied after supper back around to Anan Bay to visit the bear observatory, and although it was getting late and we were nervous, we did see a grizzly pretty close up as he caught a fish, cleaned it, and ate it. Exciting! If he saw us, he paid no attention. Beautiful moon tonight, which Judy captured on video.

07/11/92 Sat 0840-1330 2545.5 2480.2 1600/2200 14.0 12.2 15.0 41.1 Bay N. of Anan Bay – Meyers Chuck After a good night’s sleep, we pulled the trap and got a good crab. Then underway. It was smooth early on to Lemesiere Point, then quite rough, so we followed MARICORK (though not by their mistaken, improper route) into this little safe harbor. Had a nice chat with a thirty-ish fisherman mending nets to sounds of a grand opera and turned out to be graduate food-process engineering graduate who had worked secen years in China(!), walked about, fiddled with little projects. Quite rainy here some of the time. We both got a good night’s sleep.

07/12/92 Sun 0530-1015 2549.0 2483.0 2200 Top 12.5 Top Meyers Chuck – Ketchikan We woke up early, and headed out into Chatham Strait. Much better! Kept our speed up until nearly in Tongass Narrows for MARICORK’s sake, he does like to go faster than us! Then a slow run to the fuel dock and the Ketchikan Yacht Club’s docks. Lots of rain! Enjoyed town lunch at Westward Hotel, saw Whoopi Goldberg in “Sister Act”. Joe changed engine oil, Judy baked bread, etc.

07/13/92 Mon In Ketchikan Did food shopping, watched a movie at USFS, etc.

07/14/92 Tue 0815-1300 2555.0 2489.5 1475 28.3 Top 29.0 Ketchikan – Rudyard Bay/Punchbowl Cove Woke up, decided to get underway, filled water tank while Judy showered. Had a nice cruise to this lovely setting, getting secured at a buoy. Invited a sailboat, “WINDAGO”, to raft up with us, we’re such nice guys! They turned out to be very pleasant people, Steve and Cathy Stav from Federal Way. Met a very nice ranger on our way back from incomplete hike up trail to Punchbowl Lake, too steep, Judy too worried about bears. Had Stavs over for cocktails, then we had supper and to bed. Lovely place!

07/15/92 Wed 1015-1830 2563.4 2497.6 1450 26.0 12.0 26.5 68 Punchbowl Cove – Foggy Bay We went slow and easy touring Rudyard Bay. Saw a black bear which was eating bushes down by the water, amazing that Judy spotted him! He was really a “hillside” bear! Lovely scenery all through Misty Fjords National Monument. Then, leaving Rudyard Bay, we headed south with a few rain showers to rendezvous again with MARICORK. Judy baked buns and bread, and we even played gin rummy as we ambled along! Our Foggy Bay anchorage was interesting to get into, but very quiet and secure.

07/16/92 Thu 0530-1615 2571.5 2505.5 1400 24.0 10.0 24.5 Foggy Bay – Prince Rupert We woke up at 0400, dozed a little, then got up at 0505, and as agreed with Vetters were under way at 0530. Of course, it was flat and warm all the way, we could have slept in! We got to Prince Rupert too early for current, so we drifted outside the harbor mouth for a while. Our time has changed back to Pacific! No problem with customs (she came to boat), moored very expertly in tight, short slip at Prince Rupert Rowing and Yacht Club, which is jammed! Then to laundromat, met JEKELE couple there, so we had dinner with them at a Greek restaurant, quite good! Then we visited Vetters for a little while with interesting friends of theirs who had come in a 32′ Bayliner, LORELEI. And then to bed.

07/17/92 Fri 1015-1700 2578.5 2512.2 1500/2100 28.0 13.0 28.5 59.0 Prince Rupert – Lowe Inlet Got up at 0700, washed decks and stainless, emptied trash, filled water tanks, got fuel (it was litres, not tenths) and had an easy cruise to this inlet we passed up for Klewnuggit on way up. Wind came up for last two hours in Grenville Channel, but merely an annoyance. After anchoring, we dinghied over to the falls and watched the salmon, tried the trail but it wasn’t worth the hassle, then we visited JEKELE, nice little Irwin trawler! While we were there for cocktails, I dumped my drink all over their settee. Judy made pizza for dinner, excellent!

07/18/92 Sat At Lowe Inlet Didn’t get up until 0800. I vacuumed boat, then cleaned carpet, it looks great. Caught a good crab. Went again to falls to find trail, and did!

07/19/92 Sun 0745-1230 2583.4 2516.9 1700 26.0 10.5 26.0 45 Lowe Inlet – Bishop’s Bay After the two nights at Lowe Inlet, we were ready to go, but we had enjoyed our stay! Today’s easy cruise was in sun and moderate winds. We moored to dock here, decided it was too bouncy and would be too noisy, so we moved to mooring buoy. We changed to swimming togs and went to the bath house: NEAT! We had a great bath, then back to the boat for a relaxing afternoon. In evening, over to MARICORK for drinks and crabmeat cocktails, but with all their canvas, it was hot and bugs were very annoying, so we were pretty sweaty upon return. We watched a video, and to bed. I had a hard time sleeping: hot!

 

07/20/92 Mon 0730-1230 2588.8 2522.1 1600 24.5 12.0 24.5 45,2 Bishop Bay – Green Inlet/Horsefly Cove Awoke at 0600, decided to have another bath at the bathhouse, it was just as much fun as yesterday! What a refreshing way to start the day! We had an easy cruise in moderate winds to this anchorage, enjoyed eagle in her nest, and other tranquilities. Played backgammon, read.

07/21/92 Tue 0810-1430 2595.3 2528.4 1600 22.5 9.3 22.5 50.0 Green Inlet – Oliver Cove Calm seas, easy running. Near Oliver Cove we watched three groups of Orcas browsing along the shorelines for about 45 minutes. Closest they’ve come to us, seemed oblivious of our boat. Oliver Cove as tranquil as on the way up. Put out the crab pot, then had Canadian Fish & Wildlife people come and check for our licenses, and then MARICORK’s. But they were nice, and patient while Dick searched and then, finally, Mary Jane found it in her purse! Our anchorage was quiet and secure.

07/22/92 Wed 0700-1400 2602.6 2535.5 1600 19.5 8.0 19.5 66 Oliver Cove – Safety Cove Left early to avoid seas due to high NW winds predicted. Instead, calm seas, easy passage. Absolutely uneventful! I’ve started my harmonica self-lessons. Judy read, then baked sandwich buns. Safety Cove is a little breezy, but easy anchoring, though busy.

07/23/92 Thu 0600-1400 2610.8 2543.5 2100 13.5 7.5 14.0 80.0 Safety C. – Compton Island/Fairwell Harbor We woke up at 0515. Listened to weather, decided to chance Queen Charlotte Strait crossing. We encountered pretty substantial seas following of our port rear, and had some periods of pretty intense rolling, but other than that discomfort, had a pretty easy time of it. MARICORK ducked into this nice bay, so we followed, and put out our anchor and stern line. We were moored near NANCY ANN which had, among other things, a seaplane on its swim step! Then we had lunch, including some bloody marys to celebrate our return to “southern” B.C. waters.

07/24/92 Fri 0830-1445 2617.6 2550.0 1700 10.0 6.0 11.0 61 Fairwell Harbor – Chameleon Harbor Up at 0630, both took showers! Had breakfast, and had stern line off and dinghy secured in time for 0830 getaway. Beautiful Day. Perfect weather for Johnstone Strait, and timed the run to get us through Race Passage one hour before slack giving us a 2.0 knot boost. It got so hot we put up the Bimini! Many more boats here than in Alaska, but still, not too many.

07/25/92 Sat 0600-0900 2620.6 2552.9 1700 26.0 Top 26.0 26.0 Chameleon Harbor – Campbell River Up at 0545 to meet slack at Seymour Narrows. Easy, warm ride all the way. Stayed at Discovery Harbor Marina, nice slip with water, power. Fueled first at the brand new Esso fuel barge, moved here, met Stan Palmer, owner of the barge. Excellent facility! Then to laundromat and supermarket. Then, I scrubbed the boat outside while Judy re-stowed stuff preparatory to having Gordon and Sandy come aboard in a few days. Great day’s work, boat looks good.

07/26/92 Sun 1000-1730 2628.1 2560.1 2100 19.5 13.5 20.5 73.5 Campbell River – Nanaimo/Newcastle Bay Up late at 0830, decided to enjoy following sea in Straits of Georgia for a change and had pretty good ride all the way. Warm sun and a 6 or 10 knot wind from North, West, and even East. One foot chop, small swell. Upon entering Newcastle Bay, saw SERENDIPITY, Steve and Meredith Ross, went over and visited them for a drink. Lent them Desolation Sound chart book.

07/27/92 Mon At Newcastle Bay Hiked around the island, exploring this provincial park. Took a picnic, met a nice Belgian young woman who was working as a tour guide for the summer; she was a school administrator in the other seasons. Joe took a path that got pretty steep, scared Judy, after we had relaxed on a blanket for a while. Saw the “Nanaimo Sandstone” quarry, and later, machine with which they cut pulp grinding stones, fascinating!

07/28/92 Tue 0800-1150 2632.1 2564.0 1700 17.5 Top 18.5 33.1 Nanaimo – Ganges Woke up early to wakes and engines. Visited for a minute with MARICORK, they came into harbor yesterday, and saw SERENDIPITY off early to Desolation Sound. Then through Dodd Narrows to Ganges. Tranquil, sunny, pleasant, uneventful. At Ganges I cleaned rust off stanchions, rinsed the boat, and did other little tasks. Judy cleaned the galley and forward stateroom, and made some sandwich buns. Gordon dropped by to say hello, and we met some interesting folks from Spokane. We went to the Tides Inn for lamb and black bean casseroles, too spicy and too much! Caesar salad was good, however. Watched TV.

After this day’s run, we spent a week in the Gulf and San Juan Islands, enjoying the company of landlocked and cruising friends. We noted our return to Bellingham with this entry:

08/05/92 Wed 0930-1530 2646.1 2578.0 56.8Winter Cove – Ganges – Bellingham Easy run to Ganges in clear weather to drop them off, then to Bellingham. Saw porpoises, even Bellingham Bay was smooth! Unloaded from 1600-1730, then put boat in house, showered aboard, and went to BYC and TCBY for supper and sundaes! On Thursday, we ate breakfast aboard boat (no food at home) and continued unloading. Pretty good to be home, but we could have stayed out!

At the end of the trip, we figured our costs: Including adding the watermaker (which we subsequently removed, not needed) and all fuel, moorage, power, and trip fees, but excluding our food (which we obviously would have consumed anyway) we spent about $50 per day! Great vacation!

 

LOG OF THE MOTOR YACHT “SKYLARK II” 1996 TRIP

05/25/96 0930-1600 3737.4 3641.2 1900 28.0 29.0 28.0 47.0/6370.3 B’ham-Otter Bay-Ganges 60-70�, cloudy then sunny, 2′ chop B’ham Bay (boat got salty!) then smoother & smoother. Randy and Linda Longerich joined us to Otter Bay where we delivered them to the Selmans at a Wheel & Keel cruise. Then to Ganges to meet Gordon and Sandy English for drinks, camaraderie, and an excellent Chinese dinner at the “Golden Island” restaurant. Back on SKYLARK at 2030 for videos.

05/26/96 0610-1030 3741.7 3645.4 1600 26 29 26 35.9/6406.2 Ganges-Nanaimo 50�, windy & partly cloudy, 2-3′ wind waves. Joe woke up early and with high winds and small craft warnings elected to go as far as Nanaimo. Stopped at reciprocal dock at NYC. Shopped. Supper at a nice waterside café with sidewalk violinist, very pleasant.

05/27/96 0630-1530 3750.5 3654.0 1800 22 27 22.5 81.0/ Nanaimo-Campbell River In spite of high wind forecast, set out only to find moderate wind and waves directly on bow. Ride OK but rather dull to Campbell River. Identified hailer problem and also blown-out cones on F/B speakers, arranged for repairs (got new speakers in Nanaimo, ordered hailer from San Juan Electronics). At Discovery Harbour Marina washed boat and had good but overpriced dinner ashore. We’re both tired!

05/28/96 0820-1815 1700 27 30 26.5 89.6 Campbell River-Port McNeill 60�, fair, seas ranging from rippled to 2.5′ chop. Repeat of yesterday. Forecast was for gale winds on Johnstone Strait, but by the time we were there, gale warning was cancelled. Winds varied from 5 to 20 knots and seas always within 10� of bow. Fine day with nice scenery. At Port McNeill, saw QUEEN B and BUTTNERSHIP; met Mike Adams on YACHETTE II, a big Westbay. Had mediocre pizza from shop at top of ramp, planned for tomorrow, and to bed. During trip Joe installed new F/B speakers.

05/29/96 0510-1630 3772.2 3675.1 1900 21.5 29.5 22.5 106.2/6682.9 Port McNeill-Codville Lagoon 50 to 68�, overcast then fair, small swell, then 5′ swell, choppy, then calm. Left with BUTTNERSHIP. YACHETTE II caught up with us, then passed us while crossing Q. Charlotte Straits. Judy suggested Codville L., excellent anchorage way in around island. 0500-0700 nice, 0700-1100 swells OK, 1100-1300 choppy and rolly, unpleasant, then Fitzhugh Sound and Fisher Channel, absolutely lovely and tranquil. Had a drink on YACHETTE, it’s 58′ long, with Mike and JoAnn Adams. Very luxurious: Judy loved the fridge and food storage. Our new dinghy planes with Joe and Judy aboard.

05/30/96 0530-1730 3784.6 3687.0 1700 15.5 28.5 17.5 108.6/6791.4 Codville Lagoon-Bishop’s Bay Low 60’s, overcast, seas rippled except near end, 1-2′ chop. Left lagoon by going around other end of island, got slightly disoriented. After that, pleasant though long run to Bishop’s Bay Hot Springs bathing. Saw two eagles together in tree — priceless pose. Joe whipped lines for bridle and polished it; otherwise, laid back day. Bathed at Bishop’s Bay…great!

05/31/96 0850-1630 3792.43694.6 1600 12.3 27.5 14.8 63.2/6854.6 Bishop’s B-Kumealon Inlet 60�, mostly clear, smooth. Out of Bishop’s Bay, up the Grenville Channel to anchor behind Kumealon Island this inlet. Relaxed day. While underway, Joe installed thermometer and re-fused the bilge alarm. Pleasant anchorage; cruise ship NIEUW AMSTERDAM steamed past without a wake; a beautiful Fleming cruiser is at anchor near us.

06/01/96 0555-1630 3804.2 3706.0 1600 5.5 27.0 7.5 104.1/6858.6 Kumealon I. – Ketchikan 56�, overcast, smooth. (Arrival was 1630 ALASKA time, 1730 PDT; we ran at 2400 RPM last 1:15.) Relaxed cruising with Dundas Island as goal, but so nice we decided to go on to Ketchikan. With the time change, avoided customs overtime charge, who cleared us by phone! Docked at KYC for night in Thomas Basin, made family calls. During day, Joe repaired (I hope) spare water pump and Judy practiced Mozart Requiem while Joe read WSJ’s. We later moved to Bar Harbor North for stay in Ketchikan.

 

06/07/96 0730-1500 3812.9 3714.4 1700 27.8 28 28 68.4/7027.0 Ketchikan-Anan Bay 60�, overcast, 2′ swell, then flat. With Peter & Valerie Aylen. Saw Dall’s porpoises, black bear, eagles close up, Merganser Duck and greater yellowlegs! Anchored at Anan Bay, then re-anchored after retrieving dinghy which Joe had tied poorly; otherwise, a great day thanks to good company and pretty co-operative weather. Clarence Strait was a little rolly with beam sea, but it subsided about one-third of the way into trip. Pasta, wine, and fresh bread for dinner.

06/08/96 1355-1700 3816.5 3717.9 1700 25.5 24.5 26.5 29.4 Anan Bay – Wrangell 56�, overcast, calm seas. Caught 5 beautiful crab, dinghied to lagoon again and visited cabin. Saw harlequin and redheaded Merganser ducks, seals, etc. Videos in forest, then easy cruise to Wrangell via Blake Channel. Rafted to BACARUDA, 50′ Ocean Alexander Mark I with nice owner. Groceries downtown, grilled teriyaki chicken dinner, excellent!

06/09/96 0640-1110 3821.2 3722.4 1600 24.8 23.5 24.3 36.8/7093.1 Wrangell-Petersburg 53º, Overcast, Flat seas to 6″ chop. Easy run, no incidents. Left early to accommodate BACARUDA. At Petersburg, after shopping, chatted with Aylens, Greens, Swansons. Fish from Dick Green (two Dolly Varden Trout) caught at end of Petersburg dock.

 

06/10/96 0700-1515 3830.1 3730.9 1600 21.6 26.5 20.9 73.3/7166.3 Petersburg-Endicott Arm 53º, overcast & showers, calm except 1′ swell/chop for brief period. Left early for this long run, but warnings of 4′ seas and 30-knot winds didn’t come true. Saw a small humpback whale, Dall’s porpoises in our bow wave for about five minutes, eagles, and iceburgs. Put out crab trap and photographed burgs. Wonderful dinner of Dick Green’s trout. Weather very changeable.

06/11/96 0625-1345 3837.6 3738.1 1600 19.5 24.5 18.0 53.6/7219.9 Endicott Arm-Tracy Arm 50º, overcast & rainy. 6″ chop for a while, then smooth. An early start to accommodate tides at Ford’s Terror. Saw lots of iceburgs, seals, ducks, etc. At Ford’s terror, decided to go in and out, as weather was killing views. Then to anchor at S. end of Tracy Arm small bay. No crab in AM, but Peter found multi mussels which, with shrimp, steak, squash soup, and fresh bread were wonderful! Relaxed day; Greens, Acalins and Swansons showed up here late afternoon.

06/12/96 0835-1755 3846.5 3746.6 1600 15.3 21.5 14.0 70.2/7290.1 Tracy Arm-Taku Harbor 46º, rainy & overcast. Mostly smooth seas except rolly 1500-1545, following seas 1545-1755. Great day! To end of Tracy Arm, weather lifted a lot and no rain; light drizzle only for S. Sawyer Glacier calving which was best ever. Then interesting run to Taku H. for night with Greens, Acalins and Swansons. A winner in spite of rain; the crab pot is out.

06/13/96 1005-1215 3848.8-3748.8 1700 14.5 9.0 12.8 18.3/7308.4 Taku H. – Juneau 56º, mostly sunny(!), smooth. No crab. Very nice run to intermediate dock at Juneau. Busy day in town while Aylens toured. Did most our food shopping. Three ships in harbor, all gone by 11:15PM. Fun! On Friday, rented car, did wash and errands, picked up Bud & Jean, did final shopping.

06/15/96 0930-1515 3854.8 3754.6 1600 29.0 29.5 29.0 45.7/7354.1 Juneau-Funter Bay 56º, mostly sunny, smooth seas but 3′ chop in strait briefly. With Bud & Jean Seymour aboard. We left Juneau after fueling and had excellent views of Mendenhall Glacier followed by substantial time with each of three whale pods, certainly one of humpbacks, and the others of humpbacks or false killer whales. Into this bay for a safe anchorage, later joined by Swansons/Acalins/Greens.

06/16/96 0920-1956 3863.2 3762.7 1700 26.0 29.0 26.0 66.6/7420.7 Funter Bay-Glacier B (N.Sandy Cove) Up to 60º, mostly sunny, mostly rippled seas with some choppy course turns. Relaxed running to Bartlett Cove for orientation and a leisurely walk for an hour or so. Then to N. Sandy Cove via S. Marble Island to see seals, puffins, and kittiwakes. Brief look at a black bear in the cove (so far). Crab pot out, but lots of competition from other pots!

06/17/96 1017-1530 1300 31.61 N. Sandy Cove-Reid Inlet 52º, overcast, smooth seas. Saw one mountain goat at Tidal Inlet, then a seal family on a burg in Reid Inlet. This was J&B’s first iceburg and glacier and first seal family. Got iceburg-ice for drinks; anchored in SW side of Reid Inlet .66 miles from face of glacier. Hiked on beach after dinghying around the inlet.

06/18/96 0900-1715 3876.2 3775.3 1600 22 26 21.5 52.4/7504.7 Reid Inlet-Tyndall’s Cove 55º, overcast, smooth seas. Stopped at Marjorie glacier to see a great display of calving. Now in a secure “private” anchorage. Lots of birds and eagles, glimpse of whales on way here, but no sensational wildlife today. Glacial activity at Marjorie made up for it!

06/19/96 1000-1630 3883.0 3781.7 1700 54.6/7559.2 Tyndall’s Cove-Hoonah 53º, overcast, 6″-1′ chop after two hours of smooth seas. Joe changed generator oil, tried unsuccessfully to find head leak. Then everyone goofed off during ride to Hoonah except Judy who worked hard preparing for Jean’s birthday dinner #57. Hoonah is a pleasant Tlinget-operated harbor; Paul, harbormaster, very nice man whose daughter just graduated from Stanford with a MEd!

06/20/96 0850-1730 3891.8 3790.1 1600 15.5 21.0 15.0 68.8/7627.9 Hoonah – Appleton Cove, Peril Strait 54º, partly cloudy, smooth. Again a nice ride! Chatham Strait smooth and pleasant; stopped and watched a whale in Peril Strait quite close to our bow. He was taking about 4 air gulps then sounding each time. Appleton Cove was a lovely anchorage, with a bear and two cubs on the shoreline for quite a while. Day not as long as log indicates; we had a lot of “animal stops”. As Joe came in here to anchor, the port engine sea water pump seized.

06/21/96 0600-1200 3892.0 3796.2 1800 15 Full 9.5 45.8/7673.7 Appleton Cove-Sitka 60º, sunny, calm seas! After pump failure last night, ran today on starboard engine only. Incredible sight: At least 20 or 30 sea otters in Neva Strait all together in two “rafts” in characteristic sea-otter-reclining mode, very cute. Dennis Massouth in 43′ Tolly CHATEAU tipped us off to space by troller NIGHTENGALE with skipper, John, son Leland, and very pregnant wife here to get midwife’s help. Baby due Monday. We were third boat out in raft; middle boat, ST CROIX, left at 4PM with delivery skipper; owner had been forced back to Seattle by pneumonia. After tying up, washed the boat while girls shopped and laundered. Pump arrived this same evening in time for us to pick it up at the airport after dinner at the Channel Club, a great tribute to CAT service! Joe installed it morning of 6/22.

06/24/96 0740-1700 3901.4 3805.5 1900 26 27.5 26 80.0/7753.7 Sitka-Baronoff Warm Springs Bay 55º, overcast, smooth seas. After three sunny days in Sitka, went to fuel dock at 6:45, then delayed while they checked their tanks. But off early, through Sergious Narrows 1.5 hours before slack without problem. Nice cruising! Stopped to see Kasnyku Falls, lovely! Baranoff Warm Springs Bay was jammed with 50+ seiners, all awaiting opening two days hence. Walked to springs, but nude man deterred Judy and Jean, then to lake where they dipped their feet: COLD! Then back to boat for cocktails, dinner, and long night’s sleep.

 

06/25/96 1025-1300 3904.4 3808.8 1900 25.4/7779.1 Warm Springs Bay – Chapin Bay 55º, overcast, ROUGH seas on way to Chapin Bay, but Chapin Bay was quiet and calm. Pleasant start to day with showers, etc., but then bliss ended: anchor windlass motor seized, so we had to haul anchor by hand with 200′ of chain out: huge task. Then very heavy seas in the Strait, water over the bow several times. Bud did excellent job at helm on this (and later) rough crossings; he’s more attuned to the boat’s motion than I am. Seas finally eased after we turned corner into Frederick Sound. Joe took apart windlass as Judy was big help on this project. Before this last task, while getting out our Fortress storm anchor, we discovered part of it was lost down into the chain storage area, and Joe had to disassemble the forward chain locker to fish it out! And … the defroster failed! Ugh, what a day of trouble. BUT, Chapin Bay was pleasant and quiet, met Peter and Elaine aboard 44 Ocean Alexander JET LAG, and they let us raft while we organized the Fortress anchor.

06/26/96 0720-2000 3917.6 3820.9 1600 20.0 24.0 19.0 97.7/7876.8 Chapin Bay-Tracy Arm 52º, foggy and overcast with calm seas. The Fortress anchor hauled by hand easily, and then a long run to Holkham Bay @ 1300 hours using mostly radar for navigation, an interesting renewal for me and new experience for Bud. I was impressed again with the professionalism of Alaskan boaters. Then a trip up Tracy Arm; though overcast stayed, visibility got better and better. After viewing glaciers, bergs, seals, etc., and midst the dense pack ice at south Sawyer glacier, we got a good look at this ice-age spectacle. Then back to “Tracy Bay” for anchorage overnight in Bay, with big drinks and a spaghetti feed.

06/27/96 0730-1330 3923.6 3826.7 1900 17.5 21 16.5 53.0/7929.8 Tracy Arm – Auke Bay 54º, rainy, with moderate chop. Anchor hauled easily by Joe, out on time with breakfast underway. Very choppy at Holham Bay entrance (just like last exit with Bellingham boats) then moderate chop to Stevens Passage past Douglas Island. Very lucky: rafted to BACARUDA again, but quickly moved to open moorage with charger power! Anniversary dinner of stir fry prepared by bride, followed by videos on a very rainy evening. Entertained at dock by eagles fishing for herring, one came very close while Jean and Joe were watching.

On the 28th, we visited Mendenhall Glacier and hiked in the rain; then Bud and Jean bought us dinner out. On Saturday the 29th, they flew off to New York, and we stayed at Auke Bay until 7/7 driving around Juneau and repairing windlass, head system, changing oil, etc. On the 29th, beginning in the afternoon, we had very high winds reportedly to 70 knots; elsewhere in Southeast Alaska they were reported to 120MPH! Glad we were at the dock.

07/07/96 0815-1115 3926.8 3830.0 1600 16 29 13.5 22.0/7951.8 Auke Bay – Funter Bay 65º, sunny, smooth and/or rippled seas. We had a leisurely cruise here and anchored in crab cove with trap out. Later the next day we moved to the refuge dock to visit with Al and Marlene Buttner on BUTTNERSHIP. They’re from Maple Bay; the boat is a beautiful 42′ Krogen. Met a Juneau couple and son on a 39′ Uniflite; also a Bellevue fireman/paramedic on a chartered 32′ Nordic tug, Mike Helbock, a nice guy. We caught two crab, he gave us one plus some halibut.

07/10/96 0730-1300 3933.7 3836.6 1700 Full Full Full 49.0/8001.7 Funter Bay – Juneau Harris Harbor 53º, overcast with sprinkles, seas smooth to rippled. Left early and found the Lynn Canal smooth. Easy run without incident to Juneau. Got fuel and docked in tight, awkward quarters. Paid moorage, all settled in, washed boat. Called for messages, etc.

07/13/96 0750-2020 1900 86.0/8087.4 Harris Harbor-Tracy Arm Went to lightering dock to meet charterers Dan & Mary Morrison. Then to Tracy Arm and North Sawyer Glacier and then to bay at base of arm. Lots of fog part of Tracy Arm trip; ice was packed in South Sawyer and we could get no more than about 1/4 mile past island, still a good ways from glacier. Late dinner around 9:00PM followed by good night’s sleep. (Picked up speed on way back to Tracy Arm to 2500RPM).

07/14/96 0910-1940 3955.0 3857.1 1600 22 28 22.5 65.4/8153.1 Tracy Arm Bay – Sanford Cove 50º, overcast, drizzle, flat seas. Out at 0715 in dinghy for blue mussels from beach. Got about two gallons in pail. Cruised to and up Ford’s Terror (after anchored wait in significant current) then back out and up to Dawes Glacier, but no calving at latter. During run back to anchorage guests had cocktails and mussels: excellent! Anchored at Sanford Cove easily for dinner and very calm night.

07/15/96 0600-1500 3963.9 3865.7 1700 18.5 23.5 19.0 67.5/8220.4 Sanford Cove – Thomas Bay 59º, partly sunny with occasional sprinkles, calm to rippled seas. Left Sanford Cove early to assure ourselves of calm waters and it was great! Saw pods of humpbacks, and while Joe showered several breached for Dan and Mary and Judy, but at a distance. Anchored with some difficulty using a stern line to the island, but then the sun came out. Seas were glassy, pot was out, Morrisons took hike, dinner was fantastic and all was right with the world. Saw a porcupine, bear on the beach at 9PM.

07/16/96 0715-0745 3973.7 3875.1 170013.52 9.0 14.5 77.3/ Thomas Bay-Burg Bay 60º, mostly sunny, smooth to 6″ chop on seas. No crab. Ran to Petersburg for 90 minute shore stop, then through Wrangell Narrows to Wrangell for a 2-hour stop including walk to petroglyphs, then to this crab-pot-infested bay. Stern-tied to raft with sailboat also stern-tied to it. Nice dinner, pasta with Mary’s onion appetizer recipe. (Ran at 2300 RPM for last hour).

07/17/96 0705-2015 3977.7 3878.9 1800 11.5 26 12 23.1/8320.8 Burg Bay-Anan Bay-Santa Anna Inlet 68º, clear, calm seas. Wonderful day at Anan Bay! Saw bear, salmon, eagles, caught one undersize crab, great lagoon and bear observatory excursions after some trouble anchoring (Joe cut finger) but otherwise perfect! On to Santa Anna Inlet where we’re all alone.

 

07/18/96 0705-1335 3984.0 3885.0 1800 7.5 23 8.0 53.2/8374.0 Santa Anna Inlet-Loring/Naha Bay 59º, rainy, 1-3′ waves. Ernest Sound and Clarence Strait rougher, but not unbearable. Ran at 2200 for part of time, 1700 rest. Naha Bay lovely. Had nice walk followed by steak dinner with shrimp cocktails. Saw deer during Dan, Judy and Joe’s walk.

07/19/96 0800-1130 3988 3889 1700 Full Full Full 19.2 Loring-Ketchikan 56º, rainy, 6″ chop. From Naha to Fuel Dock to Bar Harbor N. Mary and Dan bought us lunch, and got plane to Seattle; re-organized boat, did laundry, food-shopped.

07/20/96 0405-1905 4000.5 3900.7 1700 25.5 27.5 26.0 113.1/8506.3 Ketchikan-Kumeolon Inlet 55º, overcast with sprinkles, calm seas to 6″ chop to 2′ swell on Dixon Entrance than back to rippled. Joe woke at 0330, got up at 0345. Left single-handed (Judy resisted impulse to help, but was startled by engines starting). Ran on radar part of time. Smooth crossing of Dixon Entrance with swells only. Telephone clearance at Prince Rupert, but only after Judy had pitted and sliced. On to anchorage; genset wouldn’t run, battery dry, Joe quickly diagnosed. Pleasant supper and bed!

07/21/96 0455-2025 4015.9 3915.6 ** 15.0 26.0 17.5 140.1 Kumeolon Inlet – Lizzie Cove 65º, drizzle and cloudy, smooth/rippled. ** RPMs were 1700 from 0455-1300, 2100 from 1300-2025. Joe woke early again, and Judy woke “with a start” to the engines. Fog for the first three or four hours in patches, then slow improvement until severe clear at 1600 hours. Absolutely a good run — even the outside waters going into Seaforth Channel had only a low swell, no waves. Lizzie Cove just south on Bella Bella in Lama Passage pleasant and spacious. We were in the middle of it in 45’.

07/22/96 0505-1515 4026.1 3925.4 2150 125 25.0 125 102.1/ Lizzie Cove-Port McNeill 70º, cloudy then sunny, smooth, then 1′ chop, then got swell, then minor following sea. Good run across Queen Charlotte Straits, no problems. Port McNeill sunny and warm. Got fuel, made calls, relaxed. Saw Pierre and Elaine Lieurance on their 43′ Tolly, ELAINA.

07/23/96 0450-1920 4040.7 3939.4 12.5 23.0 11.5 125.6/8874.0 Port McNeill-Deep Bay B.C. 50-75º, sunny and clear, smooth with occasional light chop. Unbelievable! With gale wind forecasts for Johnstone Strait and small craft warnings for the Straits of Georgia, we had calm, gentle ride with max winds of perhaps 5 knots on the boat! Just as we left Johnstone Straits, they blew up, but it didn’t affect us. No significant following seas in spite of tail wind, either! Hot weather, Bimini up, shorts on, and tranquility. Anchored here: no room at the docks.

07/24/96 0500-1300 4048.6 3947.0 1700 7.5 20 6.5 66.1 Deep Bay-Ganges 80º, clear, rippled to 1′ chop. Another hot day. Good early start; straits of Georgia were really roiled up after we left them according to later boaters we met in Ganges. At Ganges, we had 23rd anniversary dinner with Gordon and Sandy English. Very nice end to the Alaska trip.

07/25/96 0700-1200 4048.0 3952.0 1700 Full Full Full Ganges-Bellingham Home at last after smooth trip. Started cleaning up the boat and getting the stuff off.

This publication is provided as a service of the Bellingham Yacht Club.

Direct comments to Joe & Judy Coons, joejudyc@comcast.net (360) 739-1528.

Share →