We made it through Rocky Pass!

It’s been a long, challenging day and we are both tired, but we are safe here in a gigantic cove at the head of Red Bay, on the north side of Prince of Wales Island, about 40 miles and 8 hours from yesterday’s anchorage in Stedman Cove. We are the only boat here, as was the case in yesterday’s anchorage, and which has very often been the case during this entire trip.

Navigating through 20-mile-long Rocky Pass was rather tricky as we anticipated, since the channels were twisty and often quite narrow and very shallow, and they were lined and sometimes filled with individual rocks and piles of rocks, sandbars, islets, islands, and kelp ropes and fronds. About 1/6 of the navigation aids on the charts were missing and one was badly out of place, which didn’t make things easier, and sometimes the current ran with us and sometimes against us as we motored. We were thankful that it was not raining, there was little wind, and there was no vessel traffic, and the passage WAS quite beautiful. After we had maneuvered Braesail through the winding waterway, low clouds and misty drizzle began to shroud the sea, and lots of debris–sticks and logs large and small, tree branches, and kelp clumps–began to litter the water’s surface. With the outsides of the front windscreens obscured by coatings of mist and fine rain (the removal of which required the wielding of the squeegee out in the weather) and the sky and surface clouds and water all of a uniform thick pewter, I found it it nerve-wracking to try to spot floating obstacles and steer around them from inside what felt like a small gray box with no horizon in view. Hooray for autopilot and radar and the absence of other boats!

At last we turned Braesail into the entrance to long and winding Red Bay, and found, as we’d expected and as we had experienced while motoring out of Stedman Cove, that the current was again against us and little eddies, whirlpools, upwellings, and ruffles and riffles in the water caused the boat to swerve and begin to spin. Walt is an expert in dealing with such steering challenges, and I’m SO glad he is! By the time we reached the head of Red Bay, the rain had stopped, some of the mist had thinned, the current had exhausted itself, and the water was smooth and quiet. There were even a few little blue windows opening in the castles of clouds around the bay (though they soon closed again, unfortunately).

There is no connectivity here, and so I’m using the Iridium GO! for email and blog posting. I have no photos to share today, but will soon, I trust. Tomorrow we head towar Coffman Cove, also on Prince of Wales Island, about 30 miles away, and we’ll probably be dealing with rain once more. I’m very happy to be HERE tonight and safely through Rocky Pass, in any event! The Lord IS very good!

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