We have been out 17 days and are now poised to enter AK in two days sail. The last couple of days have been hard drives trying to get northward before some bad weather comes in. The trip has been mostly just getting used to being underway again. We have been working so hard the last year or so that we have been on the water very little. So mostly just getting used to a routine again. Early mornings, some long days, listen to the weather, plan a route, take a break and do a project or two, try to remember exactly how I managed to make bread while underway, tired eyes from looking out to the horizon.
We have seen very little marine or wildlife. A pod of dolphins took an early morning look see as we motored out of Ocean Falls at 6am, a black bear at a secluded anchorage, a few bald eagles. and a boat that stopped us to tell us they had just seen two pods right behind us with a new baby in tow...~sigh~ but no show for us. We have beat the humpback and gray whales north and the Orcas are always hit and miss. I am holding out hopes for some sightings soon and for being in the middle of the whale freeway when we head south again. We are in prime Grizzly territory now and will keep a watch out during low tides to see if we can spot one on the beach.
The whales don't come this far north this early because......IT IS COLD! I cant complain really, we have had exceptional weather. No days of rain in fact we have only been in a few drops a couple of times. But in spite of the dryness it is still early May at the 54th parallel. Long johns and gloves and hats and a full thermos. We came to Prince Rupert mostly for a chance to make some arrangements to have some parts for our heater shipped ahead of us to Ketchikan. We have a hydronic hot water and heater unit that decided to go south as we moved north. Luckily Bill was able to jerry rig it a bit but it wont last long like this. So we will make some calls and some emails and see if we can get parts sent ahead asap. Otherwise it could be a looong cold trip.
By the way, if you have never looked Alaska is a huge place. By boat it grows to gargantuan proportions. Honestly, we knew we were coming but were so busy getting ready we saved most of our planning till underway. We move about 6knots an hour which means it takes us ten hours to go 60 nautical miles. Alaska is huge. Even with a may departure we will be hard pressed to see half of what we hoped to see. And what is the fun if you are just pushing, pushing pushing. We like to go a day, stay a day...or two, go a day etc. So my job is to go through the books and narrow down our plans so we can experience Alaska but enjoy the trip too. Seriously, Google AK and look at a map, now divide it into 60mile pieces...... Ketchikan is way down here, Juneau is way up there, Skagway is way the heck up there and Glacier Bay is way over there and Sitka, well who the heck put it way over there? For clarity superimpose AK over say the trip we have taken so far -Seattle through Prince Rupert- lots of miles to go! Most cruisers stay through August and we have to be back to Washington and headed south in August. The only way really is to stay longer times in fewer places and enjoy the experience instead of wearing ourselves out trying to see everything.
So, wish us luck in finding parts for our heater, or send us some sweaters care of Island Bound, wilds of Alaska! Love you all, Kat (and Bill)