Petersburg to Fanshaw (Cleveland Passage). June 10, 2015
16 June 2015
Photo: A Canadian sailboat tacking in Frederick Sound.
The sun reflected off calm water. In the distance, snow-topped mountains peeked through morning clouds. It was 7:15 in the morning and we were exiting Wrangell Narrows on the slack-before-the-ebb. With a forecast of variable winds and 30 miles to go, it looked like we would have a long easy motor. And after several days of rain, I was looking forward to some sunshine.
Once we entered Frederick Sound, Steve declared his intent to make one of his gallimaufries for breakfast and disappeared below while I drove. It was warm enough that I started peeling off layers.
As we passed the Soki Islands, waves sent Osprey bouncing. I felt uneasy. There shouldn't be waves if there was no wind. A few minutes later, we were back to flat calm. But as we ate breakfast, I looked ahead to see a sharp wind line with white caps beyond. Osprey started bouncing again. A cold wind drove me to put my jacket back on.
"Did a boat go by?" asked Steve from below.
Steve came up to take the wheel and I went below. A minute later I heard him say, "Thirty knots! Why couldn't they predict this?"
I tidied the cabin getting ready for a rough sail to windward, putting all the dishes in the sink and stowing everything loose. But by the time I came up on deck, the wind was back down to 15 knots. We raised sail and started tacking.
For the next several hours, we tacked to windward, constantly adjusting the autopilot for changes in windspeed. The autopilot was being touchy and we suspect it will be the next piece of equipment to go. We just hope it hangs on for the summer as company that made it is long out of business.
Ahead of us another sailboat raised it's sail too. The race was on with Steve crowing when we passed them two hours later.
Finally, we passed Cape Fanshaw, the wind died and we motored into Cleveland Passage to anchor.
It hadn't been the day we expected, but we'd had a nice sail. And we still had sunshine.