Juneau to Funter Bay. June 30, 2011
18 July 2011 | posted at Sitka
Photo: Refuge Cove in Funter Bay
The waters of Lynn Canal darkened as a fresh breeze roughened the water. Did we finally have enough wind to sail? We had left Juneau that morning with friends Karen and Dave aboard, first motoring south down Gastineau Channel against a light headwind, then sailing north up Stephens Passage with the wind behind, then motoring around Point Retreat before heading south down Lynn Canal as the wind died to nothing. Now we had wind but would it last? “Is this normal?” asked Karen as she helped roll out the jib for what must have been the tenth time that day. “Yes,” I had to answer.
But soon we were reefing the main and partially furling the jib as almost 30 knots of cold wind sent Osprey heeling and water washing across the deck. We were all tired after a long day of sailing and now it seemed like it was taking forever to reach the entrance to Funter Bay as we first tacked east, then west, then east again. But finally we cleared the Kitten Islands, let out the sails and flew into Funter Bay.
The dock in Refuge Cove was full so we anchored off. Sunlight bounced off the water as the wind died once again to nothing. We sat in the cockpit enjoying the peace with our wine and cheese. Then, just as I was thinking it was time to go below and make dinner, a complete half-circle of a rainbow appeared in the sky over Admiralty Island.
I went to bed that night thinking we were in a quiet anchorage. I woke up at 2 am with the wind howling in the rigging and first swinging us one way then another. We’d have a brisk sail tomorrow I thought.
In the morning the wind was still howling. We raised anchor, then hoisted sail, scudding out the bay.
“That’s odd,” I said, pointing at the water ahead. Light colored streaks told me it was calm in Lynn Canal even as the wind still blew in Funter Bay. We’d just experienced the williwaws of Funter Bay.