Sunday, June 10, 2012

Day 9-Klemtu to Prince Rupert

After the long day yesterday, I had planned to run the 60nm up to Bishop Bay hot springs in the morning, take a soak and have lunch, and then head for Hartley Bay for fuel and then to Nettle Basin, an anchorage in Grenville Channel.  In all, the day would be about 110 nm.

I got up around 4:45 and was underway a few minutes after that.  Sam M. continued to sleep and we cruised at a leisurely 5 knots until we finished breakfast at 7:30.  Given the miles that we were hoping to cover, I opened up the throttle a bit and we continued north at 15 knots, arriving at Bishop Bay around 11:00.

The scenery as we traveled north in Princess Royal Channel was nothing short of spectacular, and it kept getting better and better.  Snowcapped peaks, sheer cliffs, plunging waterfalls, and beautiful, cloudless skies.  I wish I had more time to spend in this area, but Sam M. has to be in Ketchikan for a flight so we’re rushing through.  Oh well, the return trip will be at a much more relaxed pace and I’ll be able to spend much more time in the area.

Bishop Bay hot springs are described in the guidebook as a don’t miss spot.  They’re right.  There’s a free dock to tie up on and a boardwalk through the woods to a bathhouse with several pools of differing temperatures, all quite warm.

Part of the hot springs
Lots of great views from the helm
New C-Dory ad?

We soaked for a couple hours, visited with the owners of Westwind Tugboat Adventures who were moving their boat north from Vancouver for the summer charter season, and then headed out.  Just a mile from the dock we saw a whale surface a few times, in the midst of which the engine overheat alarm started buzzing.  I quickly shut the engine down, determined that a bunch of seaweed was clogging the water intakes, removed said seaweed, and started the engine again.  No overheating issue, so we continued on our way.  Thankfully this all occurred in a windless, wave less bay, although it would have been pretty easy to deal with in all but the roughest conditions.

Scenery on the way out of Bishop Bay

As we headed out of the bay we also saw a small group of porpoises.  They were darting all over the place, jumping out of the water, and seemed to be having lots of fun.  I’ve got to get some pictures of these one of these days.

We pulled into Hartley Bay at 2:30 and bought enough gas to get us up to Prince Rupert.  143.4 liters at $1.443 per liter.  I got a cell phone signal and checked the weather for Dixon Entrance and it looked like Sunday was going to be awful, with gale force winds and big seas.  Monday, however, looked good.  Getting into Prince Rupert requires crossing Chatham Sound, which can apparently get ugly in strong winds.  Given the forecast for Sunday, the distance from Hartley Bay to Prince Rupert (77 nm) and the time (3:00 pm), we made the decision to go run to Prince Rupert when the weather was good.

The trip up Grenville Channel was long and beautiful.  We got a several knot boost from the current for the first half, then lost several knots the second half.  It was actually pretty windy as we approached Chatham Sound, but it Chatham Sound itself was calm and the trip was uneventful.  We pulled into Pillsbury Cove anchorage around 8:30 and dropped the hook for the night.  Another new record for the most miles in a day.

157.3 nm today and 614.5 total

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