Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Continuing North to Ketchkan

Khutze Inlet to Hunt Inlet
Day 8                                    103.9 nm
   The run along Fraser Reach was memorable for a humpback sighting and scores of surfacing porpoise along our route. Smooth water and a favorable current push helped to brighten the cloudy day. Hunt Inlet holds a scattering of homes, cottages and an old shipyard. Usually quiet, the inlet hummed with activity until dark as the locals buzzed about in their skiffs, heading into the back of the bay and out again. What happens in those back waters?

Hunt Inlet to Brundige Inlet
Day 9                                    40.9 nm
   Porpoise along the route kept us entertained, as we busily scanned the water looking for whales that never did appear. Increasing wind and waves dictated a short day, keeping us on the B.C. side of the border. The next morning’s 0400 weather broadcast would determine whether we hung out on anchor for days, or would make a safe and comfortable crossing of East Dixon entrance into Alaska.

Brundige Inlet to Ketchikan, AK
Day 10                         56.5 nm 
   Environment Canada’s 0400 weather forecast predicted this would be THE day to make the run to Ketchikan, a day in between two periods of peppy weather with heavy ocean swells developing offshore. We were ready to go before dawn, just waiting for enough light to snake our way around some large rocks in the shallow entrance to our anchorage cove. The weather forecast was spot on; we had absolute flat, calm wind and water for the crossing. Hooray! An added bonus was spotting 2 whales at the south end of Tongass Narrows, the entrance to Ketchikan’s main waterway. What a shock to transition from scanning miles of empty water looking for whale spouts, to dodging through a fleet of small boats fishing in a local salmon derby and then gazing skyward at the 3 huge cruise ships docked downtown. The continual, annoyingly loud, mosquito-like buzz of seaplanes reminded us we had arrived in Ketchikan. Now we can slow down and wander - no schedule, no plans, just enjoying each day.

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