Cape Caution to Smith Sound
10 June 2018 | MB
We rounded Cape Caution today and it was awesome. That’s the major stretch out in the open ocean for this trip. It was partly sunny, which means cloudy with blue patches, and the wind was light, meaning a rippled surface. Underlying that was a 5 foot swell from the Northwest so the boat kept going up and down, up and down, and sometimes side to side. We felt we were a very small boat, with the land 2 miles away to the right and nothing but water to the left. And we felt even smaller when the Alaska Ferry passed us seeming very big indeed at 380 feet long. Even though it was almost 1/2 mile from us it seemed close. We entered Smith Sound and anchored in a nice protected anchorage after rounding the famous Cape in conditions I am told were as good as it gets. The afternoon/evening NW breeze has picked up and the clouds have blown away leaving a clear blue sky in time for the setting sun. Pretty nice.
11 June 2018 | MB
Today was a typical northwest weather day — calm in the mornings with Northwest winds picking up in the afternoon, blowing the clouds away for blue skies and a nice sunset. We went exploring some of the other inlets around Smith Sound and Smith Inlet with the thought of staying overnight in one of them. But we couldn’t find a suitable anchorage. Every place we looked at was too deep or too rocky. One of them, Ahclakerho Inlet, had an entrance channel that was narrow and had to be handled at slack water. So we went in at high slack and came out at the next low slack. That part worked well. The down side was we didn’t make it back to the serenity of Fly Basin until well after our normal dinner time so our dinner was followed immediately by our cookies and sleepytime tea and bed. We are far enough north now that sunset is more than 30 minutes later than Seattle. It’s nice having all that daylight but when we head to bed a 10:00 the only stars visible are Venus and Jupiter. It’s just too light to see any others — and we are too tired to stay up any later. So much for another interesting day.
12 June 2018 | MB
Another southeast gale so we stayed put in our snug anchorage. Gusts do blow through but the waves never build up higher than 4 inches. So other than the sound of the wind we aren’t bothered. Karen spent the day doing watercolor paintings and I spent it entering waypoints into the onboard chart plotter — a very tedious job I might add since it’s like writing text on an old flip phone. But it’s warm in the boat, we have whatever tunes we might wish for and plenty of food and drink. Except that aren’t out exploring, it’s not so bad. And we have a neighbor, a Tolly 26 from Sidney BC that pulled into Fly Basin just after we did. They came around Cape Caution just behind us two days ago and are waiting for friends. Otherwise we haven’t seen any other pleasure boats for a couple of days.
13 June 2018 | MB
Another transition day. After yesterday’s gale the seas need a couple of days to calm down to the point that seasick-prone wooses, like me, are willing to go out in them. So we went to nearby Millbrook Cove to see someplace new and row around. On the way we passed a bay with a large beach of golden-colored sand. Most unusual. The day was not without amusement though. While exploring a rocky islet, Michael slipped and ended up with one leg in the saltwater up to his knee. Still trying to dry out his boot. We were later joined at anchor by an “old friend”, a boat we had seen twice before. They gave us a freshly filleted cod and the carcass to use as crab bait and Karen managed to poke herself good on one of the spines. I guess stuff just happens when you’re having fun.
14 June 2018 | MB
We went out into the ocean for a short trip further north into Fitz Hugh Sound. Our route took us between offshore rocks with surf breaking over them. And we saw sea otters, first one and then a whole raft of perhaps 20. Still no whales though. We anchored in Fury Cove, a popular destination. In the morning we were the only boat and by dinner time there were 9 more, all US boats bound for Alaska. We had one bit of excitement. The crew from another boat took their dinghy ashore to go exploring and pulled it up on the beach. But they didn’t tie it off and underestimated the speed the tide was rising so it floated off the beach. Luckily we were able to launch our dinghy and row over to tow theirs back to them. Just another good deed. The cove is formed by a collection of islands and reefs with half a dozen white shell beaches, middens, reflecting the thousands of years the native peoples live here and harvested shellfish. Lots of opportunity for shore leave and interesting exploring. From our boat you can look through a gap between the islands at surf breaking on offshore rocks, the gap itself changing from reef to water and back as the tide rises and falls. And today has one of the largest swings of the year — over 16 feet between high and low water. We look forward to a return visit, perhaps when there aren’t so many Alaska-bound boats stopping off here.
15 June 2018 | MB
The wind has shifted to the Northwest — strong Northwesterlies at that — and the clouds have been blown away and we are looking at bright blue cloudless skies, though still cool at a high of 63 for the day. The change is welcome after a week of gray and rain. We took off and explored some of the many islands and anchorages nearby and ended up in Frypan Bay, named for its shape, which is wonderfully protected. In fact the wind on our boat is barely a whisper. The guidebook says this is a good big boat anchorage because it is deep — where we are will be 67 feet deep at high tide tonight — but there is more than enough room, even with a neighbor, a 92-foot yacht. We are going to put out a crab trap and hope for the best. We visited four different anchorages today and went a total of 14 miles. Easy going.