Our route and current location: [Note - I forgot to turn on tracking for a while - the track is discontinuous but does pick up later]
For those following along at home - and at work - the Sail Blog app is just a straight line, giving our anchored locations - where we end for the day. The Garmin track linked above, which starts in Powell River, gives a fairly continuous track of our travels; showing the ins and outs (and backtracking) we are doing. Also you will notice that the dates of the writing may seem a little off. Entries get written when there is a good internet connection and may reflect that date. We will try to start putting the date(s) we are at a specific location into the heading.
The route from Petersburg to Warm Springs led us out into Frederick Sound. This is a very beautiful spot that can get bad weather in a flash – like a lot of Alaska. Fortunately for us the first day to Portage Bay was fairly low key with just an overcast sky, a little rain and some moderate winds - @ 20 knots. It was not a very long day as we only did @ 25 miles, but the next leg to Warm Springs was going to be something like 60 miles, so we opted to break the trip up into shorter days.
The anchorage at Portage Bay has a couple of turns that you need to pay attention to, especially at low tide, but is not real difficult. Since the tide swings up here can easily be in excess of 20 feet, many times there are mudflats under what looks like a deeper water entrance, so following the routes on the charts is very important. We came into the anchorage just fine after the obligatory 2 – 90 degree turns and anchored in @ 35 feet of water for the night.
The next morning we started out early, planning on getting to Warm Springs. It was raining hard at the start of the passage, and the wind picked up considerably over what we had listened to on the weather forecast.
As an aside, we always tried to get the latest NOAA forecast for this region we would be traveling in via the automated VHF broadcasts every morning before we left. They are broadcast throughout SE Alaska on one of ten VHF channels dedicated to weather information. It was tricky to get them sometimes, given that a good anchorage would obscure the radio signal, but we made it a priority even if we had to stop early in the passage when we would pick up a good signal.
As the wind increased, we made less progress (yes it was directly at us), and the tide started running with us. While that may sound good from the standpoint of getting a ‘push’ from the current, it starts to make larger waves when the wind opposes the current. We started to get bounced around pretty good, so we opted to put in at Kake Village instead, giving us @ 40 miles for the day. That would make next day to Warm Springs only about 30 miles; easey peasey – right? Stay tuned …