Adios Alaska, Hola British Columbia!

Ketchikan is located on Revillagigedo Island, 700 miles north of Seattle, and it receives on average, 153 inches of rain per year.  So when the sun finally came out after 5 days of cold rain, we pulled off the dock bright and early and pointed the bow southeast toward Foggy Bay. I know, I know…leaving sunny Ketchikan for Foggy Bay?  Well we lucked out, and we also enjoyed a sunny Foggy Bay.

Our trip was uneventful, even the part where we trolled for salmon and hoped for an event!  We have learned that we definitely like “catching” better than “fishing”!  We trolled for salmon for an hour along Mary Island, and we only caught one poor tiny salmon.  We’d have thrown him back, but when we finally realized that the minimal pulling on the line was actually a fish, we’d already drowned the poor guy.  Oh well, the cycle continues…crab bait!

Entering Foggy Bay requires paying attention to the kelp floating on the water that is hiding rocks near the surface.  A precise zig and zag is necessary to get back into the bay that is hidden behind a few tiny islands, reefs, and rocks that can be seen only when the incoming ocean swell hits them.  Once inside, the sea was glass and we enjoyed a quiet night at anchor.

Our plan was to go 80 miles to Kumealon Bay the next day so we were up at dawn and winding our way back out through the maze to exit Foggy Bay.  From Foggy Bay we next had to cross Dixon Entrance which is a large body of water that opens directly to the Pacific and gets pretty nasty at times.  We had been watching the weather forecasts so we were happy to see that the sea was flat and winds calm as predicted.  Dixon entrance cooperated with us on this crossing and even though the winds never picked up out of the north as expected, they were gentle on our nose and the swell stayed low.  An easy passage.

So there you have it, after two weeks in Alaska we crossed the border today and entered British Columbia.  Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties we ended up coming in to Prince Rupert in order to clear Canadian Customs and Immigration.  Normally we just phone in using our Nexus Trusted Traveler cards, but during our trek down we couldn’t get either the cell phone or the satellite phone to connect long enough to get clearance to pass Prince Rupert and continue heading south.  Oh well, on to plan B!!

 

We made our way into Prince Rupert through Venn Passage from the north, timing it just right to catch the final hour of a rising tide so we were happy to zip along with plenty of water under the keel.  As I watched the current tilt the channel buoys and duck them under water, and the kelp on the surface stretch out in long lines, it made me chuckle to remember reading in our Mexican cruise books to watch for the currents in the Sea of Cortez because they can be as much as two knots!  A two knot current in Alaska is zip, zero, nada!  Going with the flow on a rising tide in Venn Passage is kind of like a toboggan ride as we made the tight turns at each mark causing Ruby Slippers to heel and leave a skid mark.

When we entered Prince Rupert the winds had finally arrived and the current was still flowing.  After a “hot” docking with winds on the beam and a push from the current, we checked into Canada, paid the nightly moorage, and headed for Breakers for a well-deserved burger and beer!  With full tummies we then walked up the hill to town to provision with the fruits and veggies that Canada wouldn’t let us bring across the border.  We’re now all set to head south in the morning and spend some weeks enjoying the beautiful anchorages of British Columbia.  Ahhhh…and the sun is still shining!!

 

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Photo-bombed by a black bear!!