SV STX
Prince Rupert to Seattle

8/30/2009:  Left Prince Rupert at 8 a.m. after topping off the fuel tanks.   We had fog, like last year, and light rain until 2 p.m. when the fog lifted.  An hour or so later the sun came out and we started stripping off our rain gear and long underwear, it was great!

Prince Rupert was fun since JoLe found that her favorite clothes store had some new clothes that were needed while in town for the day.  Even better, when we checked in with Customs they did not even come to the boat but gave us our clearance number over the phone.  In their questions they asked of course if we had any alcohol and we said yes, they asked if it was for personal consumption and of course we said yes; it wasn't the crazy nonsense that we went through in Victoria.  Go figure that one out.  What a pleasant surprise! Guess the bottom line is that Prince Rupert is a lot more welcoming than Victoria.

We are currently in Principe Channel, anchored in Moolock Cove which is south of Angry Island.  Had originally planned on anchoring around Angry Island but decided we really did not want to just because of the name, figuring that it was named Angry for a reason.  We didn't see any other boats today until about 1/2 an hour before we came to where we were to anchor, it was the Canadian Mounties heading toward us (yes, we are getting paranoid!).  It did make us feel better as we were beginning to wonder if there was a reason that there was nobody else in the area all day.  Guess we are really off the beaten track. 

We plan to continue on through Principe Channel, through Nepean Sound, Estevan Sound, Coamano Sound, and Loredo Channel tomorrow, anchoring somewhere north of Loredo Sound which is N. of Queen Charlotte Sound.  (This is without hearing the latest weather report as where we are anchored we can't hear weather reports; based on previous reports we should be good through Queen Charlotte Sound through Wednesday, will check as we go though).  Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

8/31/2009:  Headed out this a.m. in fog until around noon when it lightened up a bit and then the sun totally came out! The mountains and beaches along this route are awesome, the beaches are very sandy and the mountains bare rock.  Laredo Channel is a lot is busier than the last channels we've been in, we saw 2 fishing boats, one fishing, one anchored, a cruise boat and tug boat (this is in about 70 miles). 

We are currently anchored in a cove in Higgins Passage, just North of Laredo Sound. It was a maze through rocks getting in but have a straight shot in the morning. Tomorrow we will head to the North end of Calvert Island and make our final decision there whether to take the Inside Passage or go outside.   As of the weather report today, the Inside Passage looks the fastest as the winds past Calvert and Vancouver Island are predicted from the South, which we can't sail against.  At least the company is good!  Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

9/1/2009:  Left again in fog that cleared around noon but had overcast most the day. Met a cruise ship in the fog that was trying to go between us and another boat we'd seen on radar which turned out to be another sailboat actually trying to sail without any wind, yes it was windless all day so we did not even roll out any sail. We covered 74 miles today and are anchored in Safety Cove on Calvert Island.  Plan on crossing Queen Charlotte Sound and Strait tomorrow with marginal weather, it's getting nasty again.  We are sharing Safety Cove with a pair of humpback whales that are feeding nonstop around and under the boat.  We have been watching them swim in front of and under the boat with our depth finder.  They crossed 5 and 15 ft below us and then came up along side to show us that they were there.  JoLe is not planning on sleeping tonight so she can consider all of the possibilities of what may happen with the whales but is actually getting used to them being around us, we hope. Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

9/2/2009:  Went to bed last night with the whales still blowing and feeding around us; woke up this morning to find them right next to us (on our side of the cove) feeding again! Yes, JoLe did sleep through the night amazingly enough.   We traveled 81 miles today through the bottom half of Fitz Hugh Sound and across Queen Charlotte Sound and Strait.   Half way across the Sound/Strait the Coast Guard sent out a new Gale Warning for exactly where we were.   Somehow we missed it (not complaining mind you).  There was no wind to be seen or felt and the sea was virtually calm, just some big rollers (swell).  Everything is supposed to be picking up tonight and tomorrow, including in Johnstone Strait which is the Strait we start through tomorrow morning, so we figure we will stick our nose out and start down the Strait and if it's truly terrible we will just pull into one of the many little coves along the way.  We ended up tonight in Farewell Harbor, one of the many Marine Parks Canada has.   Unfortunately this one has a resort/lodge in it which kind of ruins the ambiance; it's still pretty though.   The park is just South of Cormorant Island.  On our way into the harbor we had to thread through several small islets with some wild currents, after we had bypassed them JoLe happened to look back and there was a very healthy looking black bear ambling along the beach! 

The sailboat we mentioned that we saw in our sail mail yesterday was being looked for by the Coast Guard today.  Initially they were sending out calls for it to respond, when it didn't the Coast Guard put out an "all call", basically if anyone had seen the "Wandering Star" please contact the Coast Guard.   Well, we had, so we did.  Unfortunately we didn't hail the boat, thought about it, but didn't, but did wave back at the guy, he seemed happy although we thought it odd that he was sailing in no wind, but there are purists out there (not like us!).  Anyway, we gave the Coast Guard the time and place we saw him (JoLe had all the information in her journal) so hopefully they will track him down and all is okay. Let's hope that is never us.  Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

PS to Mom and Dad - Happy 55th Anniversary September 3 (sorry no card, we just have not been able to get a seagull to deliver like a pigeon!)

9/3/2009:  Pulled anchor this morning at 7 a.m. and headed for Johnstone Strait.  We knew the currents would be with us most of the day and they were except for going through Blackney Passage on the way to Johnstone where we were brought to 1.9 knots and at one point were going more sideways than forward!  Lots of whirlpools and rapids all day culminating with our favorite, the Seymour Narrows!   Nothing terribly harrowing this time except it seemed the whole Canadian fishing fleet joined us going down Johnstone and through the Narrows about the same time that a tug or two decided to go through the Narrows also, it was like a game of chase, all these boats staggered behind each other as far as you could see, about 1/4 mile apart.  Maybe a better analogy would be it was like the LA Freeway at rush hour, but boats only doing about 7 to 7.5 knots and trying to get to the same place at the same time!   We were totally surrounded by porpoises today for a good hour, it was amazing.  There were also a lot of Orca's around and we kept thinking there would be a confrontation, but the Orca left the porpoises alone, at one time it even seemed like they were swimming along together.  We had heard that there were two types of Orca, ones that will attack the porpoises and ones that won't, transients (unpredictable and eat porpoises) vs residents (predictable and eat salmon).  We are in Campbell River, had planned on anchoring in Gowland Harbor, in fact went in to check it out but it was quite open to the 25-30 kt winds that are coming through the Georgia Strait at the moment, plus the area is totally built up and lots of boats, so decided to cross over and grab a spot at the marina instead.   Plan on heading out tomorrow morning fairly early to catch the outgoing currents to anchor somewhere north of Nanaimo.   Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

9/4/2009:  We are anchored in North Cove which is 10 miles south of Naniamo and 7 miles south of Dodd Narrows.  We decided to make a long day of it so tomorrow we can sleep in (due to currents) and still make Roche Harbor on San Juan Island (in the U.S.) to check in; this time we're not going through Mosquito Passage, our nemesis from last year (where we hit the rock).   Started this morning out with some rain and as the day progressed it has turned sunnier; did put the mainsail up for an hour or so, but that was about it.   Dodd Narrows was kind of fun (we came through it earlier this year) as we had 4 knots with us and a fishing boat that decided to come through from the other side at the same time we had already started through.   As it is VERY narrow, it was a bit of a squeeze, but obviously we both made it through!   I guess the most memorable thing for the day is we're anchored in a beautiful cove with some homes/cabins around it with some private docks and this guy that is anchored out needs to take his dog ashore and goes to the private dock and sees that it is posted as private and to leave no wake.  What does this genius do?  He puts his dog on the dock to do it's chore, on the dock, and then with dog on the point of his dingy and speeds around the dock for 3-4 minutes as fast as he can go making a wake then proceeds back to his boat, at least he was not in a sailboat and if he had a wife or girlfriend she stayed well out of sight so we assume it was just a guy and his dog out for the long weekend.  Weather forecast for the San Juan Islands is rain, so we are thinking of checking in and then possibly going into Puget Sound via Swinomish Channel, La Conner and the east side of Whidbey Island, bypassing the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It's now Sat. morning and time to leave.  Love Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

9/6/2009:  Hey all!   We arrived back in the U.S. yesterday, Saturday, Sept. 5.  We went into Roche Harbor on San Juan Island to check in with U.S. Customs (this year we didn’t hit a rock!) and decided to anchor there due to the time of day.  We had forgotten that this was a three day weekend so the harbor was a little busy to say the least; lots of folks come over from Canada for the weekend also.   Needless to say it was a bit of a shock to our systems to be anchoring out with about 120 boats rather than by ourselves.   It was kind of interesting though to watch all of the people running around in their dinghies, going at full tilt, as fast as they can.   We had hoped to spend some time in the San Juan Islands but the weather isn’t looking too good, wet and rainy and lots of wind.   We decided to spend today in Roche Harbor and have had winds from 15 -30 knots so there have been lots of boats pulling anchor, leaving etc., there are only about 30 boats left in the harbor anchored out now.   We will leave tomorrow, Monday, mid-morning to head through Deception Pass and go through the inside of Whidbey Island rather than Puget Sound on our way to Des Moines or our slip in Bainbridge, stopping along the way in Penn Cove to spend the night.  Hopefully I will get our website updated with photos and the sail mails/logs we sent while traveling, the last three weeks have been quite eventful!!   When it is updated we will send out an email.   If you want to get hold of us you can contact us by email or cell phone from here on out!     Love, Mom and Dad (JoLe and KC)

Photos to follow soon.
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