We had the pleasure of the company of Randall Reeves who was preparing for his next attempt on the "Figure of Eight" voyage around the southern ocean and Americas. The vessel is a 30 year old aluminum Duebbel & Jesse. On his first attempt, Randall fell of a huge wave in the southern ocean, smashing in the portholes on the starboard side. He departed just a couple of weeks after we met up with him.
Soon the beautiful sunsets of Half Moon Bay and sunny days in Santa Barbara harbor were behind us.
The captain keeps organizing more projects! Here he found some worm wood---logs that had been drifting in the ocean and eaten by teredo worms. One day, we will have a beautiful piece of furniture to remind us of our days in Hoonah.
A couple of weeks of gales, rain, and fog we crossed under the gate again.
We eventually got the hang of catching spot prawns and Dungeness crab. The secret was just to keep what you can eat in one day.
One interesting vessel we passed in the Fuca was this Tote freighter. She is the sister ship of the freighter described in "Into the Raging Sea"--- the true sad story of failure of a shipping company, the captain, & the coast guard. Clearly visible is the roll-on roll-off gate just before the bow. Read this book. It is worth it!
Alaskan waterways in their full glory. Vistas like this will be forever imprinted in our memory.
We met wonderful people in Alaska. Evettee brewed a great cup of coffee and became a good friend.
Alaskan and BC waters seem to be tranquil cruising grounds but sudden weather changes and strong currents can lead to disaster, even for the most experienced mariner.
Kynock inlet in British Columbia was like sailing through Yosemite. The northern reaches were under native control. The young research station staff were excited to see visitors and took time to tell us stories their parents and grandparents had handed down to them about the history of their people.
On the way south through BC, we stopped through Kuntz Inlet a second time. This year had been remarkably dry in SE Alaska and BC. While we had seen many grizzlies here before, with no salmon running this year, the bears had moved on. Climate change and over fishing, surely has taken its toll on this beautiful areas. Already it hard to catch many species of salmon that once were abundant. Experts say, if the harvest of ocean fish carries on like it does now, there will be no ocean fisheries left.
Sailing to the Ends of the Earth
Before we could head further south, we had some work to do in Port Townsend, WA. It had been two years since our last haul. The antifoul held up quite well--we got 20 months out of it.
One of the stops on the way south was Baranof hot springs in Alaska. While some of Alaska's and BC's hot Springs, are natural rock pools, while others are small bath houses maintained by the local communities.
The summer went too fast. All too soon we were back in the familiar territory of Puget Sound.
Yep. All this and much bigger floats in BC waters. Glad we have a StrongAL boat.
Back in the water, temperatures were dropping and it was time to head south.