wait·ing (wtng)n. The act of remaining inactive or stationary……or stuck in the rain in Ketchikan….
I’ve never been very good at waiting. We’ve now been in Ketchikan for a week and we’re pretty sure that a major portion of their 160 inches of annual rainfall has fallen while we’ve been here! We arrived back in Ketchikan just as the weather patterns changed and apparently before a bank of 4 or 5 soggy storms rolling in from the Pacific. If we were just heading back to Seattle from here we’d make a run for the inside passage and work our way south through the storms.
However! When we leave Ketchikan the plan is to sail all the way to California, so it’s pretty important that the wind is behind us and the storms stay out in the Pacific! We have been monitoring the weather every few hours, to check the patterns, where the systems are heading, if the highs and lows are strengthening or weakening, and what the winds and waves will be doing at the times that we’ll be at each position. It’s a game of planning a route, figuring out the coodinates of when we’ll be where, checking tides, winds and swells, and finding the best path through it all over the next week or two! Since we’re starting out with the winds on our nose, we know we’ll be motoring for at least a couple days, so that may force us to have to stop for fuel, probably in central Oregon.
As I sit here now, the wind is once again howling and the rain is falling in buckets. We did have a glimpse of the sun today though, and there was also a full moon sighting after dark (no, it wasn’t on the boat…!).
So, the plan is to push off the dock today (8/19), catch the ebb tide down Tongass Narrows and out into the channel, then keep on going through Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and Queen Charlotte Sound. That will put us at the north end of Vancouver Island where we can either turn into Port Hardy to reconsider the weather, or keep on heading south down the west coast of Vancouver Island. At the moment the forecasts are looking positive, so we’ll keep an eye on it and hope for the best!
We’ve also just added another “Where Are We Now” link on the right hand panel of the blog page, so you will be able to track our progress in real time. We’ll be updating our position every 12 hours, at 6am and 6pm, so you can watch as Happy Dance and her happy crew works her way south!
Next stop – California!!!