Braesail’s refrigerator/freezer is working more efficiently now that the new thermostat has been installed–HOORAY!! Walt is still making adjustments to improve things, but is generally pleased with the results of his $200 investment, and I’m very relieved! We enjoyed an excellent meal at a seafood restaurant in Prince Rupert on Thursday evening to celebrate the upgrade to the refrigeration system, and Walt did a bit of beer-tasting at a local brewery as well. He discovered that he really likes their “Foggy Harbour,” “Gillnetter”, and a smoky chocolate porter. We finally motored out of Prince Rupert on Friday morning, observing that “Boating Happiness is:” Plenty of diesel fuel in the tanks, full water tanks, batteries, and food storage lockers, an empty holding tank and empty refuse receptacles, and an appropriately functioning refrigeration system (having enough wind to facilitate comfortable sailing is very nice as well!).
Skies were heavily overcast and a few raindrops splashed the windscreens now and then on Friday, July 8, as we journeyed for about five hours over a gently ruffled gray sea to another spacious anchorage, one of several in Brundige Inlet. We had enough steady wind to allow Walt to raise our sails and the boat to travel at 4-5 kts. for about two hours (our usual speed when motoring is 6-7 kts.). It was lovely to shut off the diesel engine and enjoy the “shlurgle” of the wavelets sweeping under the boat and bearing it forward on little lacy pillows of foam! Some SAILING at long last! We were able to glimpse Alaskan land forms as we went north, passing the attractive lighthouse complex on Green Island, the northernmost light station in B.C., which was granted Heritage Status by Parks Canada in 2015. It has not been automated, as far as I can determine. Serving in this extremely harsh and remote location has been a major challenge for light-keepers since construction of the station was begun in 1902 following the wreck of a coal steamer that killed seven of its 28 crew members.
We investigated one anchorage in Brundige Inlet that a book had recommended, and it boasted BEAUTIFUL scenery–little sandy beaches surrounded by driftwood and grassy slopes, a fringe of pretty islands, and wonderful mountain views at its entrance–but we decided that the bottom might not hold our anchor securely. So we wandered down to the end of another channel, where we found very good anchorage, a great expanse of wooded shores, and no other boats.
Today (Saturday, July 9), we set our clocks back one hour to Alaska time, checked in with US Customs via computer (they let us back into the country), crossed the sometimes-dangerous Dixon Entrance (it was quite benign today!) and the US/Canada border (no gates or waits), and made our way back into American waters.
Thick clouds scattered fine mist across our way now and then, we had less wind than we had on Friday (no sailing on this trip, sadly!), and Braesail rolled a bit more over the swells, but we didn’t encounter any fog and Walt navigated the slightly-tricky entrance to Foggy Bay with no difficulties. Many boaters stop to rest here on their way between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan, but we found an excellent, unoccupied anchorage in a well-sheltered inner cove from which we can see the ocean and distant islands and mountains through a “window” in one shore. Very strong winds and a goodly quantity of rain are predicted for Sunday, and so we plan to stay here until Monday morning when safe traveling weather should return.