Monday, August 31, 2015

Heading South for Mexico (Baranof Warm Springs to Bellingham) August 2015

Our travels with Antipodes have come to an end as we parted ways at Baranof Warm Springs. WORKNOT is hiding ahead of Antipodes behind another Nordhavn who was visiting the hot springs as well.   Traveling with Randy, Nancy and Adam added a lot to our northern experience and we will miss the daily interaction and fishing tips.   For more on Randy's "fish whisperer" reputation see his Facebook page-Randy Sysol.

 Magical little spot with natural hot springs and a few community tubs overlooking the waterfall.   Relaxing is an understatement.

   The community as a couple of hot tubs located near the falls. The picture above was taken from the hot tub.  There is a continuous flow of hot water into the tub and it overflows to the water below.  Simple but soothing.

We made our way back the way we came, Petersberg, Wrangell, Meyers Chuck (another load of cinnamon buns), Ketchikan, Foggy Bay, Prince Rupert (re-entering BC).  The trip back to British Columbia, was just as much fun as the trip north but since we had been to most places much less stressful.  This bodes well for returning next year.  

Weather was very good, light winds, sunny and favorable currents for the most part.  Caught a few more salmon and lost a few more as we still struggle getting them onto the deck.

Anchored at Sea Otter anchorage just outside of Queen Charlotte Sound.  Shared the anchorage with a GB 42 and had a peaceful evening. 

 We needed it as we moved to the sound it was mid afternoon and winds were picking up.  

This barge was headed upwind (North) and having a rough go in Queen Charlotte Strait.

The tug and its tow..

There are other ways to get back south, these fishing boats were riding high on a southbound barge-

This was the first time we had been in rough water for weeks and a reminder that all boats are small.  5'-8' steep wind waves on the beam put WORKNOT to work.  Wind picked up to 25 kt gusts and a Gale warning for tomorrows destination in Johnstone Strait.  (This is the passage we waited a week to make going north).   

Blunden Harbor was a welcome relief and once again the crabbing paid off.  With an overnight soak we had 8 crabs to choose from for lunch and dinner.  

Johnstone Strait was forecast to have Gale warnings for the next 3 days while we were sitting just 16 miles north in calm conditions.  We picked the best window to time our entrance to Johnstone Strait with a favorable current running with the wind.  Our reward was a fast but breezy trip to Turn Island.  We made it behind the island just as the current tuned into the wind and found a good anchorage just about an hour north of Seymour Narrows.   This was our fist passage thru the famous narrows where currents can reach 10 kts or better (that exceeds our top speed).  Timing worked well and we enjoyed about a 2 kt push toward Comox.  

We skipped Comox going north so we wanted to visit.  Worthwhile stop with very friendly harbor and nice downtown area within an easy walk from the transient dock.  This upscale town is a favorite of folks from Vancouver and a retirement community served by ferry.  Weather was warm and sunny but the snow plow markers on the fire hydrants are a reminder that its not always that way.    We will keep moving south and follow the sun.

Out trip took us to Nanaimo where we berthed with the big boys at the main harbor.  Celebrated Mary's birthday with dinner on the docks and enjoyed our last days in BC.  From the "its a small world" bucket, one of the larger boats (100'+ Benetti) was towing a 36' Intrepid as a fish boat.  We saw the Intrepid being painted at Baja Naval while WORKNOT was being painted this spring.

Clearing Customs at Roche Harbor on a Sunday was interesting, the customs dock is at least 200' long and staffed to make entry easy.  We arrived just as another Nordhavn, Mary Pearl N43 was checking in.  Got to meet Dave the owner in person after sharing information on the Nordhavn Owners website.  The Customs agent had worked in San Diego and has family in Las Vegas.  Glad I could answer her questions on both cities as we cleared into the US in record time.  

Made our way to Bellingham to visit our friends Julie and Dennis (Seafox N55) from the last FUBAR trip to Mexico.  Great hospitality with them and scored a slip at the Bellingham Yacht Club.  It was tight but workable.   Glad we were able to enter and exit with no wind.  Yes, the boats in front and astern were there when we arrived.  

Our trip to the PNW is about to end as we wait for a weather window to head back to Mexico in time for the CUBAR 2015 Rally to La Paz.   Mary and I feel so fortunate to have this opportunity to explore, discover and take in all the water has to offer.  Knowing we are just getting started makes everyday a new adventure.   We met so many friendly, happy and knowledgeable people along the way.  Planning is never wise when cruising but we do PLAN to return next year to see a little more of what we missed.   

Have not added up all the miles and fuel used.  Its nearly a thousand miles of waterway to get from Sitka to Bellingham.  We burned about 550 gallons of fuel running with the current and slowly. (1400 rpm/7.5 kts most of the way)

No comments:

Post a Comment