Rounding Cape Caution. May 26, 2013
01 June 2013 | posted at Prince Rupert
Photo: Logs drifting in Queen Charlotte Strait
Queen Charlotte Strait stretched out before us like an undulating mirror. Behind us we could see the sailboat Sonomara of San Francisco rising and falling with the swells. Only floating logs broke the quiet water, causing us to dodge right and left to avoid them and reminding us of Perdon's damaged rudder. The very high tides we'd been having in the last week had freed beached logs to wander all over the place. We were glad for our full keel and attached rudder that was less susceptible to damage.
We never make specific plans for how far we'll go on the first day when we leave Port McNeill to round Cape Caution. One of only two open-water crossings in the trip to SE Alaska, there's no need to push. If the winds are against us, we head for Skull Cove, just south of Cape Caution; if they're with us or calm, we keep going all the way to Fitz Hugh Sound. Today they were calm and we were heading all the way to Fury Cove in Fitz Hugh Sound.
Over the radio we heard, "Osprey, Osprey. This is Perdon." We were surprised to learn that Perdon was in the water again and heading for Fury Cove in Fitz Hugh Sound, as we were, only from Port Hardy instead of Port McNeill. We learned later that they had achieved a temporary fix by shaving off the top of the rudder and the corresponding hull above it. As a result they'd been hauled out and put back in the water the same day.
We've never had a bad rounding of Cape Caution and this year was no exception. We motored almost all the way, raising the sails only briefly before giving up in frustration.