Friday, August 26, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 103 | Pender Harbour

Chore day. I cleaned all the sea strainers, replaced the zincs in the main engine cooling system, filled the batteries with water, and adjusted the AirSep crankcase vent system to (hopefully) eliminate a minor oil leak. Then we did three loads of laundry. Then we washed the outside of the boat...it hadn't had a good wash in months. Not much fun, but good to get this stuff done!

We haven't been near a restaurant for several weeks. After all the work today, we dinghied over to Madeira Park and walked up (and I do mean up...it's quite a hill) to the new Grasshopper Pub for dinner. The food was good, the view was great, and no dishes!
View from dinner at the Grasshopper Pub

Alaska 2016 | Day 102 | Von Donop Inlet to Pender Harbour

We're blowing past some of the most visited cruising areas on the coast. The Broughtons? No time. Desolation Sound? One night. The Inside Passage from Olympia to Skagway is absolutely HUGE. Even with three or four months underway, it's impossible to see it all. I've been wandering around this area for five summers now, and I still haven't come close to seeing it all. But we need to be back in Seattle on September 3rd, so south we go, missing much along the way.
Departing Von Donop Inlet
Our destination today is the Seattle Yacht Club outstation in Garden Bay, Pender Harbour. We've been anchored out since leaving Ketchikan, and it's time to catch up on laundry, dump all the garbage, complete a few boat chores, and so forth.

The trip down Malaspina Strait was easy. Sunny, warm, light-to-moderate winds, and lots of boats. After spending so much time in truly remote areas, it's amazing how crowded and busy it is here. Desolation Sound is certainly not desolate...
Leaving Desolation Sound behind
We arrived at Garden Bay around 3:30 in the afternoon, got ride of several weeks worth of garbage, and took the dinghy over to Madeira Park for some groceries. Tomorrow we'll stay in Garden Bay and wash the boat and do a bunch of laundry.

60.59 nm today
3075.07 nm total

Alaska 2016 | Day 101 | Shoal Bay to Von Donop Inlet

Our departure time from Shoal Bay was dictated by current. Today we'll transit the "three rapids"—Dent, Gillard, and Yuculta—that separate points north from Desolation Sound.
Heading towards the rapids
We pulled the anchor about 6:45 a.m. and made it to dent at about 7:50 a.m., 10 minutes before slack. There was some current, but nothing difficult to deal with. At Gillard there was a little less, and by Yuculta the current was all but gone. These rapids intimidate many boaters, but they're really not difficult to run. Tidal conditions are predictable years in advance, unlike weather conditions, and there's at least a little leeway on each side of slack.

We headed for Von Donop Inlet on Cortes Island. It's a scenic if not dramatic anchorage. I like it because there's a reasonably extensive network of trails ashore, and there's always space to anchor without stern-tying.

We arrived by mid-morning and napped on the boat before going ashore and hiking on most of the trails. The trails are dry, not too steep, and lead through beautiful forests.
Hiking along a trail at Von Donop Inlet
25.92 nm today
3014.48 nm total