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Southbound to Anacortes and home

 July 21, 2021


Timing our departure from Petersburg to take advantage of the currents in Wrangell Narrows, we slipped the lines from the dock at 1003 in rain.  We left a little early, so did not get quite the boost we expected.  Surprisingly, approaching Wrangell we found that Heritage Harbor was full and were redirected to Reliance Harbor, where we were able to get the only transient slip with both 50 Amp power and deep enough for the morning minus 3.5 foot tide.


We had made reservations at the Stikine Inn for dinner, and it was a good thing because there was a line of people without reservations waiting to get in.  As usual, the meal was excellent, good flavors and generous portions.  The Stikine Inn still has a courtesy van, so it was pretty easy to get Miriam to the restaurant.


July 22, 2021


The water depth under the keel was only 3 feet at low tide in the morning.  The rain was heavy overnight.  After a few last minute shopping trips we headed out of Reliance Harbor at 1000 and down Zimovia Strait.  By 1505 we had Spirit anchored in Santa Anna Inlet and by 1600 had the prawn pots set, again in the rain.


The evening check of the pots provided us with another nice haul of prawns.


July 23, 2021


After a disappointing haul of prawns in the morning, we pulled the anchor at 0820 and headed towards Ketchikan, some 54 nautical miles away.  Ernest Sound was flat, but turning into Clarence Strait the seas were short and choppy, with winds to 30 knots.  We had to slow down and tack to keep from damaging Johnson’s boat.


The sloppy conditions persisted until Ship Island and then calmed somewhat until we finally entered Tongass Narrows.  Calling the Ketchikan Harbormaster we found out there was no transient moorage due to the fishing fleet being in.  Many boats were anchored out and we thought we might have to do the same, but there was a slip at Ketchikan Moorage where stayed on the way up.  Montgomery’s on Rendezvous were also there so we had another chance to socialize before we went our separate ways back to Anacortes.


July 24, 2021


Ketchikan all day, rain heavy at times.  The first large cruise ship of the season arrived about noon and 600 passengers descended on the town from the “Serenade of the Seas”.


July 25, 2021


We were underway at 0650 to be at the fuel dock when they opened at 0700.  We had to dodge the second cruise ship docking at City Float, the Celebrity Millennium.  After putting 580 gallons in the tanks we left Ketchikan for the last time in 2021 at 0735, again in the rain.  The seas were calm and winds light, so we bypassed Foggy Bay and instead headed past Cape Fox to Harry Bay where we found a small nook to anchor in for the evening.


This anchorage allowed us to shave 12 NM off the transit to Prince Rupert.


July 26, 2021


Desiring to get as far south as possible today, and not knowing how long the CBSA clearance process was going to take, we were underway at 0405 and by 0530 AKDT had crossed the border into Canada, in the middle of Dixon Entrance.  After changing our clocks forward one hour for PDT, we docked at the lightering float at 1035.  After a one hour wait, CBSA called and redirected us to the Cow Bay Marina, where they were waiting on the dock.  It turns out the lightering float is being decomissioned and is no longer a port of entry for CBSA since March of this year, that occurs at Cow Bay Marina.  The clearance process was quick and after about fifteen minutes we were on our way again at 1215 local time.


With the southerly winds and high outflow from the Skeena River, we bucked a 2+ knot adverse current from Prince Rupert south to Grenville Channel.  There was a lot of debris in the water requiring much manual dodging of some really massive logs.  Our original plan was to stop at Kumealon Inlet, but since the day was still young we continued down Grenville Channel and ended up in Klewnuggit Inlet and a small inlet at the south end called Exposed Inlet, since it is open to the northwest.  With light winds predicted, we entered through the narrow fairway and anchored in 55 feet of water in a really pretty inlet.  By the end of the day we had covered 87 NM since Harry Bay and were well on our way home.  We have now covered almost 2300 NM since leaving Anacortes on May 6.


July 27, 2021


We planned our departure for 0600 from Exposed Inlet to take advantage of the southbound ebb current in Grenville channel.  Heading out under cloudy and rainy skies we immediately ran into dense fog.  The fog persisted until we passed Lowe Inlet, then the skies cleared and warm sunny conditions prompted some of us to don shorts and t-shirts. South of Lowe Inlet, Grenville Channel was littered by massive amounts of floating debris, forcing us to manually steer much of the time.  Heading across Douglas Channel we entered Princess Royal Channel, again dodging debris, especially heavy past Butedale.  The tide finally changed and rather than fight the 2 knot flood current we hugged the west wall in back eddies for several hours, until we reached Green Inlet.


The pleasant conditions persisted all the way through Hiekish Narrows to Bottleneck Inlet, where we anchored in calm water at 1708, having covered nearly 88 NM today.  There were no other boats in the inlet and a sign at the entrance said the inlet was closed to crabbing.


As sun set, the rain returned and after only a couple of rounds of Mexican Train, we all retired for another 0600 departure.


July 28, 2021


The rain continued all night, but with no wind.  We actually beat our planned departure time, getting the anchor up at 0550 and heading out into Finlayson Channel, where we encountered more massive debris fields until we passed Klemtu.  With the benign conditions we continued out into Milbanke Sound and around Ivory Point Light in Seaforth Channel to pass by New Bella Bella and an hour of cell phone coverage.  The rain stopped before continuing down Lama Passage into Fitz Hugh Sound and setting a course for Penrose Island and our anchorage for the night.

We finally decided on a new (to us) anchorage in Big Frypan Bay on Penrose Island.  Negotiating the narrow entrance from the north we put the anchor down in 70 feet of water with good holding at 1815 after a run of 95 NM.  There were no other boats in the bay.  The sun stayed out and the evening was pleasant after a light dinner and a few rounds of Mexican Train.


July 29, 2021


Big Frypan Bay had clear skies, but we could see the ground fog slipping in the entrance to the bay.  At 0550 we retrieved the anchor and headed out the narrow entrance into dense fog.  Fortunately, Patrick had built a route the night before that helped pick the right path out of the Penrose Island group of islets and into Rivers Inlet and from there the path around Cape Caution.  We passed within 0.25 NM of Egg Island at 0805, but never saw it visually.  Cape Caution was abeam at 0845, still in dense fog.  The fog persisted until nearly noon, and then we had calm seas and sunny, but cool skies.  Looking at the times for currents in Johnstone Strait the next day we altered our plans for Mound Island (6-7 miles further away and 6 miles further in the morning) and instead anchored at 1610 on Hanson Island in the bay behind Spout Island on the Blackney Passage side of the island.  It must be a popular place, since the bay continued to fill with Canadian boats as the afternoon progressed.


We discovered that local knowledge is everything, since as the afternoon progressed, we started rolling even in little wind since our chosen spot was open to the chop coming in from Blackfish Sound and a location just 100 yards further in would have been ideal.


July 30, 2021


Departing in dense fog from our anchorage at 0520, we headed out Blackney Passage into Johnstone Strait, passing close by an Orca that surfaced just ahead of our starboard bow.  Visibility was about 100 yards at the time.


The fog continued dense until we reached Fanny Island and then began to dissipate as we passed Kelsey Bay.  Realizing we were early for slack water at Seymour Narrows we slowed down and poked the bow into Otter Cove just south of Chatham Point.  By this time the skies were clear and the temperatures were soaring outside so we were able to enjoy the seat on the bow, protected from the following wind.


Hugging the eastern shore of Seymour Narrows we used the back eddy to minimize the adverse current of 5 knots, since we were still very early for slack.  Successfully clearing the narrows we headed to Gowlland Harbour where we anchored at 1630 for the evening.  There were only a few other yachts anchored in the harbor.  We were able to enjoy an al fresco dinner in the cockpit in the warm, sunny weather.


July 31, 2021


Under sunny skies and a moderate northerly wind we departed Gowlland Harbour at 0610 and continued south past Cape Mudge, dodging dozens of small boats all trolling off the cape.  As predicted, the northerly winds were 10-20 knots with about a 1 foot following sea.  The clear skies at departure were replaced by a high thin overcast.  Heading out into the Straits of Georgia, we were surprised at the warm sea water temperature of 67 degrees.


Passing by Cape Lazo we decided to bypass Tribune Bay on Hornby Island and began looking for alternate anchorages closer to Anacortes to make the last days a little easier.  Nanoose Harbor was a choice, but it is now a controlled access area requiring advance permission to anchor.  Since it was Saturday, the office granting permission was closed, so Patrick looked at potential anchorages on the south end of Lasqueti Island and we finally settled on Boat Cove.


We anchored in calm conditions with good holding at 1345 and were later joined by two other large Canadian sailboats.  There is room for perhaps several more boats, but our charts did not give enough detail towards the head of the cove to make that determination.  With our quarantine status, we could not leave the boat in the tender to investigate.  Boat Cove is fine in northerly winds or settled conditions.


August 1, 2021


The wind remained calm all night.  At 0800 we pulled the anchor and set out on a course for Point Roberts, our destination for the night.  Anacortes was a possibility, but 90 miles would have gotten us into the marina after 2000.


Area Whiskey Golf was open for transit, so we were able to set a direct course for the east side of the Straits of Georgia in the vicinity of Sand Heads.  Although there was minimal wind, the residual swell on our starboard quarter made for a somewhat uncomfortable ride, even with stabilizers active.


About 1445 we crossed back into the USA and received a clearance number via email using the CBPRoam App on our phones.  We could then go directly to our assigned slip in the nearly deserted Points Roberts Marina.  Everything in town was closed on a Sunday evening, so after dinner we had a final round of Mexican Train.


August 2, 2021


We were underway at 0800, near low tide.  We had only 3 feet below the keel at the dock at a +4 foot tide, so we would have been aground on an extreme tide.  The exit channel was a little deeper, but entry at other than low tide would be better.


After a calm crossing behind Guemes Island we docked at our homeport at Anacortes Marina in sunny, warm conditions at 1305.  Then we started the task of off-loading Spirit with all the unused supplies, clothing and fish.


We have logged 2778 NM this trip, with 386 hours on the main engine. 


Planning is underway for Alaska 2022.








East Baronof Island

 Monday, July 5, 2021


After a leisurely morning, saying goodbye to friends, doing last minute shopping and paying the moorage bill, we slipped the mooring lines at 1050 for the last time in Sitka this season. Our departure time was set to hit slack water at Sergius Narrows in Peril Strait.  The weather was initially overcast with occasional rain, but as soon as we entered Peril Strait the clouds cleared and we transited Sergius Narrows under sunny skies.


Since the day was still young, we passed by Baby Bear Cove (our initial destination) and headed for False Island public dock.  The dock was full, so we headed across Peril Strait to Appleton Cove, where we were invited to raft alongside the Selene 62 “Saltheart” at 1800.  We shared cocktails with Dean and Theresa Klein and caught up on our cruising stories and then retired for the evening under sunny skies.


Tuesday, July 6, 2021


Spirit cast off from Saltheart at 0900, after finding our main battery charger was inoperative, an apparent internal failure since all fuses were good, but the unit will not power on.  Heading out of Peril Strait we motored south to Takatz Bay, anchoring at 1345 under sunny skies.  Johnson’s went fishing outside of Takatz, picking up 7 nice sized black rockfish, but no salmon.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021


Raising the anchor at 0850 we motored out of Takatz Bay and trolled for salmon.  We were rewarded with 1 coho, 2 rockfish and a pink salmon which was released.  Continuing down 4 miles towards Warm Springs Bay we anchored Spirit in 225 feet of water and began fishing for halibut.  Harry and Teri took their boat so we would have room for 4 rods.  Patrick and Miriam caught a 43 and 50 inch halibut in less than 45 minutes.  Harry and Teri caught a 41 inch and a 9# halibut in the same amount of time.  We returned to Takatz Bay for the evening, anchoring at 1530, and then beginning the lengthy process of filleting and freezing our catch.


Thursday, July 8, 2021


Our target today was both halibut and Coho Salmon.  Departing Takatz Bay at 1005, with windy conditions, fishing was difficult and we only landed pink salmon, which was released.  We decided to see if the weather would improve and anchored in the south arm of Warm Springs Bay at 1235, at first for a lunch hook.  Since the anchor was well set, Patrick and Harry then decided to go out in the Johnson’s boat and fish for halibut.  Patrick hooked a small 6 pound halibut and Harry and Patrick wrestled a 97 pound halibut on Harry’s rod into the boat, no easy task.  After dinner both halibut’s were filleted and frozen.


Friday, July 9, 2021


We anchored for the night in the south arm of Warm Springs Bay, after catching more halibut in our favorite spot.    The next morning we headed back out at 0735 and within minutes of putting our lures down had another 37 pound halibut landed on Spirit.  We decided we had enough halibut for the year and headed down to Gut Bay for the evening, anchoring in a new location at 1235.



Saturday, July 10, 2021


Our target today was Coho Salmon.  Heading out of Gut Bay at 0900 to our favorite spot, we trolled and picked up Pink Salmon, King Salmon, rockfish, but not Coho.  Heading down to Mist Cove, we trolled again and only got Chum and small shaker King Salmon.  We noticed the water was cold, only 48 degrees, and suspected the Coho were still offshore.  We headed back to Gut Bay and anchored for the evening in the same location at 1745.


Sunday, July 11, 2021


Today, after a relaxed morning at anchor in Gut Bay, at 0950 we headed out across Chatham Strait for Kingsmill Point in search of Coho Salmon.  The weather gods did not cooperate, and the seas and winds did not allow fishing.  There were no other boats there anyway, a good sign the fish were also not there.  Continuing up Frederick Sound, we headed to Pybus Bay and Henrys Arm, occupied by one other boat, a Krogen 48 named Spirit Journey.  Harry and Teri set out two crab pots.


We anchored at 1555, and at 1800 the Selene 55 “Rendezvous” arrived and rafted to us.  We shared a spaghetti dinner together as the rain began to fall.


Monday, July 12, 2021


The rain continued all night and the weather report was predicting high winds gusting to 35 knots and 4 foot seas in the morning.  Reading the actual weather conditions at Five Finger Islands Light, we decided to leave at noon.  The morning check of the crab pots yielded no crab.  We did notice a lot more sea otters in Pybus Bay.  Sea otters are good at decimating the crab population.  At 1200 Rendezvous cast off the lines and at 1215 Spirit departed Henrys Arm in moderate to heavy rain.  The anchor was set very well but came up after using Spirit’s forward motion to break it free from the bottom.


Heading out for Portage Bay across Frederick Sound, the winds were only 10-15 knots, with 2-3 foot seas.  The rain continued and visibility was down to 1/2 mile at times.  We spotted several Humpback Whales, but none close enough to photograph.


Rendezvous was well anchored in Portage Bay when we arrived and rafted alongside them for the evening at 1710.  We shared appetizers on Spirit and dinner on Rendezvous cooked by both Montgomery’s and Johnson’s.   Miriam did well stepping across the gap from one boat to the next.


Tuesday, July 13, 2021


Waking up at 0730, Patrick checked the current tables for Wrangell Narrows and realized why most of the other boats anchored in Portage Bay had departed.  In a rush, we started the engine and were underway at 0800 to minimize the currents while docking at Petersburg.   We missed slack water by one hour and had to make two approaches, casting the Johnsons’s boat free with Harry driving their boat for the second approach, which was successful.  We finally docked in rain at 1120, having now covered 1800 NM this trip.


Patrick modified the wiring to enable the inverter charger on the L1 leg, solving the charger failure until we get back to Anacortes.




Sitka Interlude 2

 Sitka Interlude 2


June 14-16, 2021


We spent three days dockside in Sitka, mostly due to adverse weather in Sitka Sound and offshore in the usual fishing spots.  We tried fishing from the 18 foot boat, but it was too rough.


We also purchased a additional freezer for our flybridge, finding a seven cubic foot one in Sitka which was delivered to the top of the dock in 30 minutes.  We hoisted it to the flybridge with the hydraulic davit and were quickly in operation.


June 17, 2021


Time to go find the King Salmon.  


Spirit was underway at 0420 as we headed out of Sitka Sound around Cape Edgecumbe at 0630.  The wind was light out of the NE at 8 knots with a SW swell at 3-4 feet.  Continuing on to Shelikof Bay on Kruzof Island we spotted a large grouping of guided anglers anchored or drift mooching so we got our downriggers ready and began fishing at 0830.  Our first King Salmon was netted and on-board at 0900 and our fourth and final King allowed per day was in the net at 1030 AM.


We pulled in all our gear and continued up the coast of Kruzof Island into Salisbury Sound, where we entered Kalinin Bay and anchored for the night at 1325, having covered 56 NM.  By evening there were three other vessels anchored in the bay.  We spent the afternoon processing the salmon and getting them into the freezer.


June 18, 2021


We were underway at 0455, with calm winds and low clouds as we headed back out Salisbury Sound and down to Point Amelia, where there were several large groupings of guided angler boats.  We fished from 0630-0730 and landed two nice King Salmon, leaving only two to catch for the season.  We decided to save the last two for another day and headed to Sitka.


The weather deteriorated as we headed back down the coast of Kruzof Island and by the time we arrived at Cape Edgecumbe the seas were 6-10 feet with 25 knots of wind on the beam.  Even with stabilizers on high gain it was an uncomfortable ride for several hours until we were well inside Sitka Sound.


On the way back, when in cell phone range, we were notified by email that the non-resident limit for King Salmon was going to lower to three annually, effective June 21 at 12:01 AM and then one annually on July 1.  Our plan for saving another fishing trip now was out the window.  If we did not go back out and catch the last two fish, we would be finished with King Salmon for 2021.


That evening we attended a great concert as part of the Sitka Summer Music Festival, including a world premier of one piece and an Alaska premier of the other piece, followed by pizza and drinks at the Mean Queen.



June 19, 2021


With two early days of fishing behind us, and a concert in the evening, we decided to delay taking our chances on fishing for the last two King Salmon until Sunday.  The weather was finally sunny and warm and we could wear shorts and t-shirts for the first time in Sitka this season.



June 20, 2021


Father’s Day arrived early, since we decided to go back to Point Amelia on the outside of Kruzof Island to fish, a one-way distance of 32 NM.  The weather was not ideal, with low clouds and some wind.  Arriving at our fishing location we joined dozens of guided boats, which had passed us at 25+ knots as we headed out at 8 knots.


Point Amelia was rough, with wind, wind chop and swells from two directions.  Nonetheless, we put out our gear at 0830 and at 0900 had what was to be our last King Salmon of the season in the net.  We then ran into school after school of sizable Black Rockfish, good in fish tacos, so we kept a few.  With the weather continuing to deteriorate, we reluctantly headed back and tried the calmer waters of Salisbury Sound.  The wind increased to 30 knot gusts and the rain began in earnest, so we pulled in the lines and headed back to Sitka, having caught nearly our annual limit before the deadline at midnight.  The final total among our four non-resident licenses was 15 King Salmon versus the 16 maximum.


On the way back we discovered a minor leak into the pilothouse overhead, probably caused by the heavy seas we were in loosening fittings somewhere on the flybridge hardtop.


We docked Spirit at 1645, having covered more that 75 NM in our search for that last elusive fish.  Spirit has now logged nearly 1500 NM since we departed in May.


June 21, 2021


Mid-morning we found our new reserved slip was available, so we moved, only to find out that Sitka Harbor had found us a hot-berth slip good until our planned departure on July 5 at a lower cost than a reserved slip.  We moved again and settled into slip 9-14 in Eliason Harbor, close to a number of other transient boats we have met in prior years cruising, so a good solution.  The harbor is full, with a number of vessels now anchored out and on the waiting list for a berth, so we feel very fortunate.


Searching for the pilothouse leaks required pulling down all the overhead panels in the pilothouse, and spraying the hose on likely culprits.  We finally found that the windscreen supports were not well sealed and re-bedding the fasteners should solve the issue.


June 22, 2021


Rain, rain and more rain today, along with cool temperatures.  Despite the rain, we were able to re-bed the fasteners and hard-top supports before the rain became torrential.  The rain is heavy enough that we lost our satellite TV dish reception. And the noise of the rain beating on the hard-top is LOUD, but sitting on the flybridge gives great views and the temperature is comfortable.



Sitka Interlude 1

 Sitka Interlude 1


June 6, 2021


Our first official day of fishing in Sitka started at 0458 as we slipped the lines and headed to Biorka Island.  We were totally unsuccessful, landing only one shaker king which we released from the barbless hooks we are using.  Finally giving up on Biorka Island we headed back to the harbor after trying a few passes at Long Island.  We docked at 1400 having covered 38.6 NM.


June 7,8 were spent dockside doing maintenance on Spirit


June 9, 2021


Getting underway at 0455, we headed to Vitskari Island in dense fog, which cleared by the time we were at the island.  We had the first King Salmon of the season in the boat at 0700.  Fishing continued good and the 4th and final fish of the day was in the boat at 0830.  Spirit was back at the dock by 1130.


June 10, 2021


Patrick and Miriam celebrated their 49th Anniversary today and all of us went to Ludvig’s Bistro for a celebration dinner.  Everything was delicious, including Alaska weathervane scallops, a seafood paella, linguini with chorizo, Caesar Salad and chocolate tort for dessert.


June 11, 2021


Spirit was underway with a tired crew at 0515, heading once again to Vitskari Island.  The first King Salmon was in the icebox at 0830 and by 1030 we had caught our 4th and final salmon for the day as well as one halibut.  We were back to the dock at 1245.  We then just made it to the Sitka Summer Music Festival concert at 1730.


June 12, 2021


Dockside in Sitka, under sunny skies.  We attended the second SSMF concert that evening followed by grilled filet mignon’s and grilled zucchini for dinner under warm skies.


June 13, 2021


Spirit slipped the lines at 0736 and we headed back out to the productive locations from the previous several days.  Today, however there was no luck, just one shaker King Salmon and three small rockfish of the allowable species.  We were back at the dock at 1540.

Arriving in Sitka – Part 1

 Spirit Log June 1-5, 2021


Departing Saook Bay after a disappointing encounter with crabs, we continued our voyage through Peril Strait and into Hoonah Sound, going up South Arm to Douglass Bay.  Unlike the day before, the winds were light and the seas flat, just a one knot adverse current from the ebb tide.


Anchoring in 55 feet of water in the otherwise empty bay we watched a brown bear on the beach and set crab pots.  After setting the crab pots, we launched the inflatable and the tender.  Prawning is still closed in this area of Hoonah Inlet so the prawn pots stayed on board.  Late in the afternoon, our crab pots yielded a disappointing small number of crabs, so Harry and Teri placed them in different locations to see if we could improve our catch.


June 2, 2021


Our planned departure from Douglass Bay was 0830 in order to hit low slack water at Sergius Narrows.  That meant we were up and in the inflatable tender and Teri’s Mink at 0630 to pull the crab traps.  The crab traps yielded our limit of nice Dungeness crabs.  We actually did not make the 0830 departure, leaving at 0850, but with the help of the ebb current in Peril Strait we still made it through Sergius Narrows before the current reversed to flood.


Heading out into Salisbury Sound, it was surprisingly calm given the weather report.  The short run to Kalinin Bay on Kruzof Island took only 30 minutes and we entered to find only one boat anchored, and it left after several hours, leaving Spirit the only occupant of the bay.


Harry and Teri took the Mink to the shark hole, but were unsuccessful catching anything.  Patrick and Miriam cooked, picked and vacuum sealed their crab except retaining enough to make crab cakes the next day.  We all relaxed on-board after fishing and enjoyed Spot Prawn Piccata with wild rice prepared by Teri for dinner before watching a movie.


June 3, 2021


At 0300 the anchor alarm went off, waking us all up.  The wind had shifted, gusting to 35 knots and we were the opposite direction from when we had anchored and set the alarm.  After a few minutes it was clear the anchor was still well set and we all went back to sleep.


The rain continued all night.


Today is a fishing (Harry and Teri) and rest day (Patrick and Miriam).  We continue to be the only boat anchored in Kalinin Bay, although three double kayaks spent the night camping on the beach and then hiked over to Sea Lion Cove on the west side of Kruzof Island.   Patrick prepared crab cakes which mostly went into the freezer for later appetizers.


June 4, 2021


After a relaxed morning on board, we pulled the anchor from the mud in Kalinin Bay, timing our departure in between winds gusts to 31 knots.  Heading out into Salisbury Sound we looked at the shark hole, where 7 boats were circling, looking for King Salmon.  We arrived in Sitka Harbor at 1305.  Spirit is on an end tie in Thomson Harbor, with room for Teri’s Mink ahead of the bow.


We have now covered nearly 1200 nautical miles since leaving Anacortes.


June 5, 2018


Today is the first day of the Sitka Summer Music Festival and we have tickets to both the 50th anniversary concert as well as the celebration of the opening of Stevenson Hall after an extensive remodel.


There were neither car rentals available, nor taxis, so Miriam was unable to attend the concert.  Watching dozens of Bald Eagles soaring outside the windows against the backdrop of snow covered mountains behind the performers during the concert reinforced the  notion that Sitka is an unique venue for classical music.


June 6, 2021


At 0457 we departed the harbor for a day of fishing near Biorka Island, which turned into only fishing, not catching.  We spent 9 hours underway and caught only one small halibut which became dinner.  We also released one small King Salmon.  We saw very few salmon being caught.


Dinner was delicious fresh halibut skewers prepared Caprese style by Teri from the halibut caught today.  After the long day everyone retired early to prepare for another day of fishing tomorrow.





Transit to Baranof Island

 Spirit Log May 23-31


May 23, 2021


After joining in for the on-line church service from BelPres we spent the rest of the day re-provisioning and getting some additional spare LED running light bulbs, which seem to be failing after 10+ years in service.  We had a nice visit with the Doug and Karen Dance from the Selene 53 “Peregrine”, which arrived in Ketchikan from Bremerton yesterday.


With the larger number of pleasure boats transiting to Alaska this year, the harbors are filling and Peregrine was tied up to the drive-down float, normally not allowed, but the harbormaster found a place for everyone.  We were glad we had a reserved slip at Ketchikan Moorage despite the extra cost.


May 24, 2021


Spirit departed Ketchikan at 0950 under mostly sunny skies and a 10-15 knot NW wind.  Proceeding up Tongass Narrows, we crossed the entrance of the Behm Canal and into Clarence Strait.  Heading up Clarence Strait we passed the small community of Meyers Chuck and turned into Ernest Sound.  By 1715 we were anchored in Santa Anna Inlet, one of our favorite anchorages.  There were already two other boats anchored at the head of the inlet, but there is room for dozens.


By 1830 we had set 4 prawn pots and then settled down for a dinner of Chicken Marsala, steamed asparagus and homemade bread (courtesy of Teri).


May 25, 2021


The morning check of the prawn pots yielded a combined total of 120 prawns, 1 ½ limits for the day, giving us a chance to harvest more in the evening.  By noon the predicted rain had started along with some brink winds from the SE.


We had been having some erratic stabilizer performance, so while at anchor we recalibrated the gyro and gain, using directions sent by email from Jason at Wesmar.  Testing at anchor, the problem appears to be solved.


The remainder of the day the weather oscillated between partly sunny and hailstorms, rather interesting.


The afternoon pull of the pots yielded only another 80 prawns for a total of 200 today.  Two other Selene’s came into the bay, “Peregrine” and “Rendezvous”.  We shared happy hour with the Montgomery’s from Rendezvous, including freshly cooked spot prawns from the afternoon pull.


May 26, 2021


Patrick and Harry checked the prawn pots beginning at 0730 and were rewarded with moderate amounts of spot prawns, until the last pull, which contained a large (7 foot across octopus) and a starfish.  The prawns in that pot were largely just empty shells.  After some tugging and pulling, we managed to extricate the octopus and consign it to Davey Jones Locker rather than eat it, as we had done in the past.  In any event we had no container on the tender in which we could have successfully trapped the cunning creature.


By 0900 we had pulled the anchor from a good set in Santa Anna Inlet and headed up Seward Passage, stopping to look at a Humpback Whale feeding along the shore, and then into Zimovia Pass and on to Wrangell.  Stabilizer testing showed we had solved the problem by recalibrating the console.


Along the way Teri baked another loaf of bread in the makeshift dutch oven (a oven safe stockpot), this time flavored with garlic and herbs.  We have now baked four loaves of bread on board Spirit since we got the recipe in Bullhead Cove from Rendezvous.


Spirit was moored safely to the transient float in Heritage Harbor by 1410 under now sunny skies and warm temperatures.  After mooring, a quick trip to the market and hardware stores replenished our supplies.  That evening we gathered with Montgomery’s from Rendezvous for a good meal at the Stikine Inn, open Wednesday through Sunday this time of year for dinner from 4-8 PM.  We understand they go on to the summer schedule this coming weekend.  We highly recommend either the pork chop with a bourbon glaze (huge) or the ½ pound Black and Blue Waygu burger.


Spirit has now covered 885 NM since leaving Anacortes.


May 27, 2021


Successfully transiting Wrangell Narrows to our next destination allowed us to delay our departure from Heritage Harbor, Wrangell until 1100.  Our strategy is usually to time the trip so we arrive at Green Point at high slack tide, riding the last of the flood north and then the beginning of the ebb tide, passing by Petersburg and then out into Frederick Sound, again taking advantage of the ebb tide.


We entered Wrangell Narrows at Point Alexandra at 1400 and exited at the north entrance buoy at 1605.  At times we were seeing speeds of 11 knots over the bottom with the favorable currents.  We then headed to Thomas Bay, crossing the entrance bar (the terminal moraine from the Patterson and Baird glaciers) at 1700 and anchoring in Ruth Island Cove at 1840, just off of Patterson Creek.  Rendezvous rafted alongside and we enjoyed potluck appetizers and some spot prawn salad for dinner.  


We covered nearly 60 NM today.


May 28, 2021


The weather deteriorated overnight, and we woke to rain and low clouds, but little wind.  The rain stopped as we released Rendezvous from our raft-up and pulled the anchor at 0800 and followed Rendezvous back out of Thomas Bay, setting course for Pybus Bay and Cannery Cove.  Frederick Sound had SE winds up to 15 knots and 2-3 foot following seas, making for an easy passage.  


We were distressed to see a sizable group of Sea Otters in a kelp patch off the tip of San Juan (the Alaska version) Island at the entrance to Pybus Bay.  This does not bode well for crabbing and prawning in the future.  Spirit anchored in Cannery Cove at 1445 after a second attempt to obtain a good set in the soft mud bottom as the wind gusted to 21 knots.  After setting the anchor, crab traps were placed and we spent the balance of the afternoon and evening relaxing on Spirit as we swung around the anchor in wind and rain.  Rendezvous anchored several hundred yards away.


We called the Pybus Point Lodge (on VHF 72) about dinner, but on their chaotic first days of operation they could not accommodate us, so perhaps the next time we stop we can enjoy what is reputed to be excellent food.  Instead Teri prepared some delicious tuna cakes from a Martha Stewart recipe, served over a green salad accompanied by steamed asparagus.


 Spirit has now covered 997 NM since leaving Anacortes.


May 29, 2021


The crab pots were checked in the morning in rain.  There were lots of crab, but many were softshell, nonetheless, we managed to find six legal hardshell crab.  We also observed sea otters around our crab pots, which does not bode well for the future for crabbing.  By 0815 we were underway for our next destination, Red Bluff Bay on Baranof Island. Contrary to the weather reports, there was little wind, but a confused 4-5 foot swell coming both from Frederick Sound and Chatham Strait.  By the time we passed Yasha Island the swell was only on the port bow from Chatham Strait.


We entered Red Bluff Bay not knowing how many vessels would be at the anchorage at the head of the bay and were pleasantly surprised to find it empty, so we had our choice of spots.  There were two brown bears on the beach when we arrived.  We could also see the river delta has continued to encroach on the anchorage.


Crab pots were set and then we made a run out to the prawning location to set the prawn pots, using both our inflatable and Teri’s Mink.  The rain continued all night.


The 41 NM run now puts us over the 1000 NM mark for this trip.


May 30, 2021


The crab pots yielded only one legal crab overnight and the morning pull of the prawn pots was disappointing, very few and small prawns.  We have seen a lot of pleasure traffic in Red Bluff Bay on AIS and since most people know where to prawn, we think it has been depleted early in the season.


To avoid fighting the ebb current in Chatham Strait, we delayed our departure until 1035 and headed north to our next destination, Takatz Bay, also on Baranof Island.  The anchor was set at 1355 after a short 26 NM run.  Takatz Bay was also empty.  The rain continued all day, sometimes hard.


Crab pots were placed, even though we have never found crabs in Takatz Bay.  The water temperature was pretty low, a chilly 39 degrees.


May 31, 2021


The sound of rain, sometimes very heavy, continued all night.  Harry and Teri pulled the pots and caught only massive amounts of slimy grass completely covering both the traps and the lines.  Hopefully our next destination will be more productive.  We have noticed so many pleasure craft targets on AIS in the popular anchorages that we will probably modify our routing to avoid the crowds.


We will have burgers and potato salad for Memorial Day when we arrive at our next anchorage, another relatively short run.  We will have not cell phone service between that anchorage and our planned arrival in Sitka on June 4.

Alaska 2021 Behm Canal

 Behm Canal

Spirit and crew spent a four-night interlude in Ketchikan, mooring for the first time at Ketchikan Moorage, a private marina with room for 4-8 boats located north of Cruise Berth Four.  There was plenty of maintenance to do, changing main engine and generator oil, replacing an anchor light, installing a new VHF radio on the flybridge, servicing the watermaker and so on.  We also needed to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that we were not able to take through Canada on our transit.

We had a victory dinner at the Oceanview Restaurant, a combination Mexican and Italian menu, with a very good Shrimp Piccata, among other things.  Miriam took her first independent field trip without Patrick along, to Walmart, driving a scooter with one hand.

The weather was a mixture of rain, wind and sunshine, always cool.


May 18-22, 2021

We departed Ketchikan Moorage at 0758, two minutes ahead of plan in brisk 15-20 knot winds from the north, proceeding up Tongass Narrows, through Clover Pass and into the Behm Canal, stopping for the night at Marguerite Bay in Traitors Cove.  We anchored in 60 feet of water just off the USFS float at 1210.  We could have conceivably tied to the float, there was plenty of water depth, but we would have hung out significantly. There is also a USFS buoy, but the rusty shackle did not look adequate for Spirit, except perhaps as a stern tie.


Setting four prawn pots in Traitors Cove, we let them soak for 4 hours, returning to the pots just as several Humpback whales were breaching and feeding in the cove, giving us some additional entertainment.  The four hour soak only yielded 9 large spot prawns, so we left two pots down overnight.


May 19, 2021


Returning in the morning, one pot had only 26 and the other pot only 2.  Nonetheless, we now had enough for a nice dinner.


Spot Prawns from Saks Cove

Departing at 0915 we continued clockwise around the Behm Canal, diverting to Shrimp Bay and Klu Bay for an exploratory view of the twin waterfalls and the USFS buoy in Klu Bay.  Continuing our journey, passing by the abandoned and derelict Bell Island Hot Springs we turned the corner and anchored in Fitzgibbon Cove.  Harry and Teri headed in the Mink to Saks Cove to set the prawn pots while Miriam and Patrick relaxed on board and did maintenance to ready Spirit for the next day’s voyage.


Spirit has now covered 712 NM.


May 20, 2021


After a peaceful night at anchor in Fitzgibbon Cove, we checked the crab pots and were able to harvest nearly our combined limit of Dungeness Crab, 11 in total.  Harry and Teri then took the Mink down to Saks Cove while Patrick and Miriam raised the anchor and brought Spirit down and stood by while the prawn pots were pulled.  There was not a huge amount of prawns, but the ones we did get were very large, enough for several more meals.

Continuing down Behm Canal, we took a chance and went into Rudyerd Inlet and Punchbowl Cove, with the spectacular 3640 foot high granite wall along one side.  The buoy was occupied, so we anchored in 120 feet of water off the creek flowing out of Punchbowl Lake.


Cliffs in Punchbowl Cove

Setting two prawn pots, Harry and Teri then explored Rudyerd Inlet to the end, some 10 miles further in.  Meanwhile, the boat occupying the buoy left, so Patrick moved Spirit to the buoy for the night.  The weather was still pleasant, so we cooked steaks on the grill, along with salad, asparagus and baked potatoes.


May 21, 2021


The weather remained settled overnight, but the sunny skies were replaced with high clouds, still with little wind.  The UnCruise Ship “Wilderness Explorer” arrived late in the morning, anchoring where we had been anchored.  Presumably after lunch, the passengers disembarked into kayaks, paddleboards and zodiacs.  We spent the morning processing crab and prawns for the freezer.  Miriam was able to pick the crab meat from the bodies of the crabs, while Patrick focused on the legs.


About 1600 we were treated to a brown bear walking along the beach, which provided good entertainment for both us and the cruise ship passengers.


Brown Bear in Punchbowl Cove


The “Wilderness Explorer” left at 1800, leaving us alone in Punchbowl Cove except for a small group of kayakers camping on the beach near the creek draining Punchbowl Lake.  We wondered how they would deal with the brown bears, since they asked to tie up their food kayak to our stern, but never showed up.  By sunset, a light rain washed down the boat as we enjoyed crab and prawn cocktails and finished some of our leftover meals.

Our Prawn and Crab Cocktails


May 22, 2021


Rain overnight, sometimes heavy, provided a nice background noise to our peaceful night at the buoy.  Morning brought more rain and the ceiling was low, so the top of Punchbowl cove was obscured.  Departing at 0805 we motored down Rudyerd Inlet and continued our clockwise transit of the Behm Canal.  The low ceiling turned into fog as we passed by New Eddystone Rock, but then cleared near Smeaton Island.


New Eddystone Rock in the fog

Exiting Behm Canal near Twin Islands we joined the parade of vessels headed to Ketchikan.  The wind abated and after retrieving the Mink we moored at Ketchikan Moorage next to the Westport 112 “Snowbored”.  With intermittent heavy rain showers we took both the Mink and our tender to the fuel dock, filled the watertanks and relaxed for the evening.








Alaska 2021 Day 5-8

 May 11, 2021 With the extra distance run yesterday, we were able to delay our departure from Codville Lagoon until 0700. The sun was shining and the reflections of the rock walls in the water made it look like totem poles laid on their side….

Alalska 2021 Day 4

 Spirit Log Day 4


May 10, 2021


We planned a 0600 departure from Allison Harbour to cross Cape Caution before the afternoon westerlies piped up.  Arising at 0530, we were greeted by dense fog, but light winds.  Departing at slow speed with the automatic fog signal blowing every 2 minutes, we inched out the entrance.  The fog began to lift and we discovered clear skies over the Strait of Georgia.  The swell was running at 1.6 meters, or about 5 feet, with a 2 foot wind chop from the west.  We cleared Cape Caution at 0745 and passed behind Egg Island at 0835.  Not the best sea conditions, but far from the worst.


Making good time, especially as the seas calmed entering Fitz Hugh sound, we passed by our initial anchorage location, Green Island.  Proceeding up Fitz Hugh we entered Codville Lagoon and anchored under sunny skies at 1500, having covered another 73 NM today.


With the early arrival, we relaxed and enjoyed a movie night, watching “First Man” and snacking on popcorn.



Alaska 2021 Day 2-3

 May 8, 2021

Spirit Log Day 2


As expected, the winds abated after sundown and shifted back to northwest.  About 0330 the winds died completely, but the residual low swell caused the fishing boat to start banging against the fenders, waking us up.  Seeing nothing amiss it was back to bed until about 0700.


Our day today takes us through Seymour Narrows to Thurston Bay.  We need to hit high slack current at Seymour Narrows, so the 48 NM run to the narrows allowed us to delay our departure until 0900, under overcast skies and almost no wind in Tribune Bay.  Rendezvous is following us about ½ mile astern.


Overnight our anchor light failed, so we will have to replace when we get to Ketchikan.  Turns out that even LED lights have finite lifespans.  The light is located at the top of the mast in a difficult location and we will have to wait until Ketchikan to replace it, since Patrick discovered that there was no spare on board.


The Strait of Georgia was calm with light winds as we headed further northwest to Campbell River, just this side of Seymour Narrows.  The last of the flood tide flowing south through Discovery Passage slowed us down to less than 4 knots at times.  Even so, we arrived at 1600, 37 minutes ahead of high slack, our target.  The current was very manageable so we proceeded through the narrows and entered Johnstone Strait headed for our evening destination, Thurston Bay.  There was virtually no marine traffic the entire day.


We anchored Spirit at 1840 in light rain and calm seas, after a voyage of 69 NM.  After a dinner of roasted pork tenderloin scalloped potatoes and salad, we all retired early for the 0600 departure for our next stop, Allison Harbour.  We have covered nearly 185 NM since leaving Anacortes on May 6.


Spirit Log Day 3


Dawn arrived all too early for a tired crew, but the calm water and gentle sound of rain on the decks provided a soothing environment for sleep.  Setting the alarm for 0530, we were underway at 0545, some 15 minutes behind Rendezvous.  Riding the ebb tide up a calm Johnstone Strait in rain, dodging barges also riding the ebb tide, we turned into Blackney Pass and into Blackfish Sound.  Alas, no Orca’s to be seen, just an adverse current of 4 knots for several miles until we entered Queen Charlotte Strait.  By this time, the afternoon westerlies began to build and the ebb current created some short steep seas as we crossed over to the British Columbia Mainland side of the straits.  Passing Numas Islands the wind increased to 20-25 knots, the sun came out and we put a lot of spray over Spirit.  Threading our way behind points and islands to minimize the waves we finally decided to explore a different approach into Allison Harbour.  We could see several small passenger boats anchored behind some islands at the entrance and were pleasantly surprised by a nice potential anchorage for future trips.  The anchor was set in Allison Harbor ¼ mile behind Rendezvous at 1755, having logged 102.93 NM today, for a trip total of 289 NM, essentially halfway to Ketchikan.