Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 58-Read Island to Petersburg

Back to Petersburg today to wait for Peter and my mom to arrive tomorrow morning.  I woke up to a dry, if cloudy, morning.  It’s only ~20nm back to Petersburg, so I wasn’t in any rush to leave.
Sea smoke in the morning
Still gorgeous, of course
But a little spooky
Finally around 10 I pulled anchor and headed out.  As I entered Frederick Sound the mountains were spectacular.  Even if it’s not sunny, it sure is beautiful.  Less pleasantly I was also greeted with an adverse current.  I don’t like displacement speed cruising when my speed dips into the 4-knot range, so I throttled up and headed towards Petersburg at 13 knots.
Mountains in Frederick Sound
I also tried out WOT with the new prop with a lighter load.  Nearly full water, one person, a ton of gear, and ¾ fuel loaded on the boat.  I got 6200 rpm and 23 knots of speed, both of which I’m happy with.  My only complaint is it seems like I have to run the engine at very high RPM’s to get a 16-knot cruise speed.  Something like 4800.  The jury is still out on fuel consumption, but I do think it is better at slow planning speeds.

Lots of traffic as a neared Petersburg, and lots of whales as well.  I stopped to enjoy the whales for 30 minutes or so.  I’m not sure if it would ever get old watching these creatures.
Apparently the pattern on the underside of the fluke is unique to each whale, kind of like a fingerprint
Paya got a good view, too

Always fun to watch
I swung by the fuel dock in the way into town and then got tied up in north harbor.  Almost immediately two guys strolled by and started asking questions about the boat.  They were waiting to head out to a fishing lodge and were impressed I had brought the boat up from Seattle, but couldn’t believe I wasn’t doing any fishing up here.

Then a commercial fisherman whom I had met last week pulled in.  I grabbed a line for him and he asked some more questions about the C-Dory.  He’s looking for a retirement boat for cruising around SE and likes the C-Dory a lot.  He went up and got his wife and they looked at the boat in more detail.  Amazingly, they were impressed with the space on the boat!  I guess commercial fishing boats allocate all available space to holding fish rather than people.

Later on I met John, Felix, and Steve from Paya.  John is a marine electrician in Seattle who somehow found Felix and Steve (from Germany and Australia, respectively) to crew on his sailboat for the summer.  Felix and Steve are taking some time to wander the world and they agree that SE Alaska is as beautiful a place as any.  I returned to Keto’s Kave with them in the evening and had a good time talking travel and boats.

Tomorrow Peter and mom arrive.  We’ll buzz over to LeConte Glacier as soon as they arrive and then return to Petersburg to pick up supplies for the next week and stay the night.  Then we’re off…I know Rocky Pass is on the agenda, and if Chatham Strait cooperates we’ll probably also head over to Red Bluff Bay for some bear watching.

23.0 nm today and 2,111.4 total

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