SV Panta Rhei Retirement Trip

Vessel Name: Panta Rhei
Vessel Make/Model: Able Apogee 50
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Larry and Karen
30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska
30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska (not to be confused with Wrangell, Alaska)
27 June 2016 | Chignik, Alaska, USA
23 June 2016 | Larry Nelson
20 June 2016 | King Cove Alaska
14 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor
10 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor, Alaska, USA
09 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
09 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
07 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
07 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
07 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
05 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
04 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
04 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
03 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
02 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
01 June 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
31 May 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
30 May 2016 | On passage from Majuro, Marshall Islands to Dutch Harbor, Alaska
Recent Blog Posts
30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska

Change of Plans

Our plans got a little adjusted this morning. We were up at 5 am planning a 100 mile passage to Geographic Harbor. But the wind in the anchorage is not at all representative of the wind on the passage. We got about an hour out of the anchorage, enough to move out of the shelter of islands and rocks, [...]

30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska (not to be confused with Wrangell, Alaska)

Arrived Port Wrangell

The pilot at Fish and Game (at the weir we visited) recommended this anchorage. Good suggestion! There is no swell (and there was plenty enroute) and we are anchored next to the most beautiful waterfall. Dahl Porpoises greeted us at the inlet entrance. They are very fast critters. We are hoping to see [...]

27 June 2016 | Chignik, Alaska, USA

Chignik is beautiful

Chignik is a surprise. It is drop dead georgous. No one told us. It is a place not to be missed.

23 June 2016 | Larry Nelson

We are experiencing "Salmon Abundance"

Last night we had the second fillet of the Sockeye Salmon which we shared with our new neighbors Ginger and Peter from SV Irene. They are home ported in Seattle also. We are both at the transient dock in Sand Point in the Schumigen Islands. And we are both waiting to go north. It turns out that even [...]

20 June 2016 | King Cove Alaska

We are at the dock in King Cove Alaska

It was an all night trip with a tail wind much of the way. Not enough to make good speed, just enough to build up a swell and make the boat roll and wag its tail. But not so bad as it could be. So, who's complaining? Not me,...now that I'm here.

14 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor

We are living in an alpine meadow

Like all high altitude journeys, this appears to carry risk. I'm posting a picture here of my neighbor's boat at the dock. It's a 63 foot Oyster. Apparently it was "tucked under" the dock last winter by winds well over 100 mph. Damage was repaired, but I think the owner now has a fender fettish.

Change of Plans

30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska
Larry
Our plans got a little adjusted this morning. We were up at 5 am planning a 100 mile passage to Geographic Harbor. But the wind in the anchorage is not at all representative of the wind on the passage. We got about an hour out of the anchorage, enough to move out of the shelter of islands and rocks, and found just what we left yesterday. Strong headwinds and big seas. So, we turned around. We came back to our anchorage, slept in a little, fixed a big breakfast, and studied weather a little more. It turns out that winds are easing. Letting another 9 hours go by will make all the difference. So we will leave at 3 pm and run all night. In the morning we will arrive in Geographic Harbor. That's the new plan. The low that was driving our wind just needs a little more time to leave (or at least move further away from) the area. And we could not possibly be in a nicer place to loiter.

We had friends on SV Irene (Ginger and Peter) go by the inlet after we returned. We met them in Sand Point. They are from Shilshole marina. They are really really nice and I hope we meet again in Geographic Harbor. We tend to move faster than them and take bigger steps. But today, in close to shore, they were moving and we were sitting. So, there you are. Two different strategies, both work (until they hit a rock or a williwaw!).

The weather here makes me nervous, can you tell? Just as soon as the winds get strong, they get magnified into williwaws or just giant excursions from the grib prediction caused by the shape of the land and the cooling of the snow/ice on mountains. So strong becomes horrendous and then the williwaws take away all the anchorages you thought you could run to. We are trying to move quickly during light wind periods (basically high pressure) and in between stay in a marina with pilings helping us to hold position. I'm a real believer in pilings and breakwaters.

The problem with all this is the possibility of getting it wrong. Yup, that's the rub.

Larry and Karen



--

Arrived Port Wrangell

30 June 2016 | Port Wrangell, Alaska (not to be confused with Wrangell, Alaska)
Larry
The pilot at Fish and Game (at the weir we visited) recommended this anchorage. Good suggestion! There is no swell (and there was plenty enroute) and we are anchored next to the most beautiful waterfall. Dahl Porpoises greeted us at the inlet entrance. They are very fast critters. We are hoping to see a bear, but it hasn't happened yet.

Larry cleaned the Sockeye Salmon we were given. It is indeed a BEAUTIFUL fish. Red meat.

It was 92 miles from Chignik to here and the last 15 miles was against 25 knots of wind and building seas. We were very happy to arrive at about 8:45 pm local time. There is light here until about 11:30 pm. Dawn is around 5 am.

Tomorrow the weather looks good for a passage from here to Geographic Harbor. I wish we could linger here. It is perfect and we have it all to ourselves. It is cool out, but the wind is light so I cleaned the fish in just my regular pants and shirt. No fleece. No jacket. There are no trees, but there are scrub alder bushes and mountain meadow heather creating a green base to the mountains. It's overcast but as it happens the mountains go steeply upward from the water so there is no horizon to see the snow covered mountains even if it weren't overcast.

Where is Port Wrangell? 57d03mN 156d37mW Use Google Earth to find it.

The passage to Geographic Harbor is 102 nm. That's a very long day. We will have to start very early to make it in daylight. I've looked for another anchorage midway, but they all come with williwaw warnings, rock warnings, swell warnings, ... you get the idea.

Geographic Harbor ought to have a dark warning!

Larry and Karen




--

Chignik is beautiful

27 June 2016 | Chignik, Alaska, USA
Larry
Chignik is a surprise. It is drop dead georgous. No one told us. It is a place not to be missed.

Of course the morning dawned bright and sunny which helped. We came in in the middle of the night. There are snow covered peaks right above the town, close up and dramatic. And a cliff wall across the inlet. Below the snow, the hills are green. So, yes, just like all of the Alaska Pennisula. But this is better, probably because of the lighting and the closeness of the snow above the town. The mountains between Sand Point and Chignik are rugged. There are at least a few thousand that must never have been climbed. There appears to be no way to get to them. I'm talking rugged embedded in rugged.

The marina is full of fishing boats. We anchored in the bay. Turns out we anchored pretty close to a fishing boat. I sort of saw him, but he was closer than I thought last night. No worries except that he appears to have drifted right over our anchor! Now think about this: This is a huge bay and I anchored too close to the only other boat anchored out. We are not talking the San Juan Islands here. There aren't many boats. And there are just the two of us anchored out (except for across the bay).

It is calm at our anchorage, but in our path to Geographic Harbor, there are headwinds today. They aren't dangerous, but they would dramatically slow our progress. So we will spend a day finding out what else besides beauty that Chignik has to offer. I'm pretty sure it's not dancing girls. There are no trees. (On the Alaska Pennisula we were told, behind every tree there is a beautiful woman).

So where the devil is Chignik? Try 56d18mN 158d23mW. Use Google Earth.

We are experiencing "Salmon Abundance"

23 June 2016 | Larry Nelson
Last night we had the second fillet of the Sockeye Salmon which we shared with our new neighbors Ginger and Peter from SV Irene. They are home ported in Seattle also. We are both at the transient dock in Sand Point in the Schumigen Islands. And we are both waiting to go north. It turns out that even moderately strong winds are "amplified" by the local fiords. Tail winds can become huge headwinds raising steep seas that stop the boat (or nearly so). Light wind means we can move. At least that is how we read the situation.

Last night another neighbor came by. He was a fisherman and he had a King salmon to give away. Did we want it? The price they get for King salmon is much less than for Sockeye, so they choose to give the few they catch away. When I was aboard their boat I noted that they were eating beef. It did smell good!

So this morning we are eating left over Sockeye salmon (which should finish the first fish) and we have a King salmon to begin eating tonight.

It was interesting going aboard the purse seiner to get the fish. They had it in a full compartment that was a dense mixture of ice and salt water. The fish was perfectly preserved. Fishermen know how to preserve the quality of their catch. The King salmon turned out to be a red King (not a white King) so we are still swimming in perfection of fish aboard. And that is appreciated more than just by us. We have "bird friends" now. Eagles, seagulls. We set out fish parts for them when we cleaned our King salmon. They left their thank you's on our deck.

Looking at the weather, we will be here for 3 more days. It's a good thing I have internet aboard! And, big news, yesterday we found laundry facilities at a nearby motel. We slept on clean sheets and had drawers full of clean underwear to choose from in the morning. Yay!

We are at the dock in King Cove Alaska

20 June 2016 | King Cove Alaska
Larry Nelson
It was an all night trip with a tail wind much of the way. Not enough to make good speed, just enough to build up a swell and make the boat roll and wag its tail. But not so bad as it could be. So, who's complaining? Not me,...now that I'm here.

This town is small and isolated. They have a big airport but no road to it! There is 7 miles of national park that hasn't been breached with a road. Geez. Boat travel in this part of the world is frequently hazardous.

So we thought that when we arrived after standing watch all night, we would go to the local restaurant for coffee and breakfast. We thought the restaurant would be warm and in fact the social center of town. But not here. The one restaurant doesn't open until after noon. And it is a long cold walk to get there.

But the bigger problem is that the inlet where the harbor is located has a local wind that is STRONG. It was blowing 28 knots when we came to the dock. And it was across the dock, not along it. The harbormaster seems to think it will ease by morning. Cross fingers. We don't want any drama when leaving.

The big news here is that sockeye are in season. You get sockeye by net. They don't really bite what I have to offer. And Sockeye is a rich red salmon, highly prized. So we want one. The harbormaster says that a "bow picker" will come in this evening and we can get a Sockeye from him. We will try it.

We are living in an alpine meadow

14 June 2016 | Dutch Harbor
Larry Nelson
Like all high altitude journeys, this appears to carry risk. I'm posting a picture here of my neighbor's boat at the dock. It's a 63 foot Oyster. Apparently it was "tucked under" the dock last winter by winds well over 100 mph. Damage was repaired, but I think the owner now has a fender fettish.

The port-a-pottie at the head of the dock is held down with a strap with a tensioning apparatus that crushes its roof. Everything is guyed and anchored. All buildings appear to be steel. It is a well built place. And it really looks like it has to be.

I'm not sure how much longer we will be here. Repairs are nearing completion. King Cove is next. They have Sockeye salmon we are told. The salmon aren't in Dutch Harbor yet.
Panta Rhei's Photos - Pelican to Dundas Bay
Photo 5 of 46 | Back To Album
Prev   Next
leaving dundas bay
leaving dundas bay
Added 18 June 2010

About & Links