Hello blog followers! We are back in the land of internet for a couple of days so I thought I’d post an update on our latest and greatest adventures. I can pretty much sum up the last two weeks with a few of our more repeated sayings; “BRRR”, “it’s raining”, and “are we there yet?”
In spite of those somewhat negative sounding statements, I’m pleased to say that we have accomplished our goal of leaving the summer heat in Mexico in order to find a cooler clime. So now that we’ve had our double dose of cool and wet, we’re wondering exactly why we’re doing this? Oh that’s right, that weather in San Carlos. Since Happy Dance is still sweltering in the season for ‘making quesadillas on the hood of your truck’, we’ll just put on another jacket, zip up and enjoy the cool, crisp, BRRR, air! Oh, and did I mention rain – my webbed feet might actually be growing back (I AM from Seattle after all).
Okay, okay, enough whining. We are in an absolutely stunning part of the world. We’ve motored over 400 miles in the two weeks since we left Ketchikan (in Alaska it either blows a noserly gale, or doesn’t blow at all), sometimes in sun, sometimes in rain, but always in incredible beauty. It’s impossible to travel through this country without becoming mesmerized by the magnitude of it, the ruggedness of it, and the overwhelming beauty.
I always chuckle when I think about Captain Vancouver’s descriptions of the Pacific Coast when he first sailed up the east coast of Vancouver Island, calling it “a dreary and comfortless region”, “a region so truly desolate and inhospitable”. I can understand his point of view though, when looking at rocky, slippery coastlines covered with thick dark forests that grow right down to the tide line compared to the neat and tidy rolling hills of the British countryside.
We’ve visited some new places with great names like Kumealon Inlet, Khutze Bay, and Codville Lagoon, while working our way south through the maze of channels, reaches and narrows. One new favorite is a protected anchorage called Baker Inlet, off of Grenville Channel, the main inside passage thoroughfare for cruise ships and commercial traffic heading to and from Alaska.
To reach Baker Inlet you have to pass through Watts Narrows, a small opening that is about 200 feet wide and screened by overhanging trees with limbs that extend over the water in a perfect horizontal line at sea level. When the tides are running through this deep winding channel, the current can hit up to 6 knots and the water appears to be boiling as it is forced up the steep rocky sides of the passage.
We had planned on arriving at high slack tide after fishing for a couple of hours, but since it was rainy and cold we nixed the fishing and arrived a wee bit earlier than planned (this is where Marty chimes in and says, “righttttt, Ms. Impatient!!”). Slowing down at the entrance to the channel to take a peek in, we didn’t see any nasty rapids and we were on a rising tide with the current behind us, so we stuck our nose in and off we went! E-ticket ride! Ruby Slippers was rocking and rolling in the currents and eddies, but all was fine and in minutes we were spit out the other end into a glorious inlet with glacier scarred mountains all around.
We made our way down about four miles to the end of the inlet, dropped the anchor and listened to an incredible silence full of sound. It was like being in our own world, while knowing that a few miles away there were giant cruise ships passing by. Our daily shows were provided by a pair of resident eagles calling to each other, a lone black bear roaming the shores at low tide, and the cries of gulls and loons (the winged variety, not Marty). It was a magical place, made all the better because we were in crab land and caught ten big keepers while we were there. Ahh, life is good.
Leaving Baker Inlet we timed our departure for high slack tide, which just happened to come at dawn. This made for a perfectly timed run down Grenville channel which gets narrow in one section, where the currents can either help or hinder. In our case the current helped us immensely and at one point we were doing 10.5 knots making great time on an 80 mile day.
Whether you think the scenery is dreary or dramatic, inhospitable or incredible, we have been treated to quite a show. Eagles, whales, bears, mink, loons, gulls, Dungeness crab and fresh salmon, deep forests of green, dramatic skies of sunshine, clouds and rain. It’s all good and it’s all an adventure.
Here are a few photos of our travels so far…enjoy! (Click on any photo in the gallery to enlarge it, read my fantastically clever captions, and open a slide show.)