Friday, August 15, 2014

Day 60: Craig to Barrier Islands

Erik flew out this morning (actually got driven to Hollis, on the other side of PoW Island, since it was too foggy to fly into Craig). I left soon after.

My departure was complicated by the arrival of a whole bunch of seine boats. They were rafted four deep behind me and three deep in front of me. I had about 2-3 feet of room off the bow and stern. But because the wind was blowing the seine boats behind me were blown forward, so the ~47 feet of space I had at the dock shrunk to just 35 feet further out. In order to get out I'd have to rotate the boat 90 degrees.

I was happy to have the bow thruster. I kicked the stern out, used the thruster to rotate the bow 90 degrees, and motored out.

I left Craig not knowing exactly where I was going. I wanted to get as far as I could to minimize the distance across Dixon Entrance tomorrow, but the guidebooks were pretty sparse in their description of the southern half of Prince of Wales Island. Based on the charts, it looked like the Barrier Islands have a few decent anchorages and I decided to give them a try.

The weather actually began clearing as I headed south. The sun poked out a bit and the rain mostly stopped. I passed a few seiners and fish tenders, but not much else. This is a particularly remote-feeling part of Alaska.

The Barrier Islands worked out okay as an anchorage. The bottom was rocky and irregular. On my first attempt to anchor, the anchor just dragged across the rock. I tried again in a slightly different spot and got a decent set. I wouldn’t trust it in much wind, though.
View from the Barrier Islands. Note the rainbow.
The Barrier Islands are beautiful. They remind me of the west side of Vancouver Island: rugged, raw, wind-and-wave lashed.

Tomorrow I’ll head to Prince Rupert.

57.24 nm today
1908.06 nm total

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