Voyages North

11 July 2021 | Posted in Seattle
10 April 2020 | Posted in Seattle
30 August 2019 | Posted at Port MCNeill
13 August 2019 | Posted at Prince Rupert
03 August 2019 | Posted at Ketchikan
02 August 2019 | posted in Metlakatla AK
22 July 2019 | Posted at Klawock/Craig
09 July 2019 | Posted at Juneau
09 July 2019 | Posted at Juneau

Klemtu to Shearwater via Rescue Bay and Oliver Cove. Waiting for the Storm. August 19-20, 2019

31 August 2019
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: Islands in Rescue Bay

I had just returned from the Klemtu Band Store to the Klemtu fuel dock where Steve was filling the water tanks after taking on fuel. We hadn't yet decided whether we would anchor in Klemtu for the night or move on. So when Steve told me the fuel dock operator had told him a storm was on its way, the decision to move on to Rescue Bay was easy. Rescue Bay is only two hours away from Klemtu and is a better anchorage in a south wind. It's also a more attractive place to spend what could be two days at anchor.

By the time we arrived in Rescue Bay, rain was pelting the dodger and the wind was blowing. Two powerboats were anchored in the bay with room for several more boats. We picked a spot near the south shore where it was most sheltered and prepared for the next day to be a day of rest.

But when we awoke in the morning, the seas were glassy smooth and the skies only lightly overcast. One of the two powerboats, a green boat named Zucchini stopped by to tell us the storm had been delayed and they were going on.

Going on for us meant going through Perceval Narrows and we'd already missed the tide. And the storm could arrive any time. We decided to stay.

While Steve puttered in the boat, fixing plumbing, I rowed the dinghy out to a group of islands at the cove entrance. The tide was out and I saw purple starfish and, a real prize -- a live abalone just sitting atop a rock. From the islands I could look all the way up the inlet to see an unbroken sheet of flat glassy water. Were we wasting time waiting for the storm when we could be traveling?

Back at the boat, Steve was finishing up his plumbing. "What about the next tide? Could we catch that?" I asked. A quick check of the tide tables told us if we left right away, we could catch the next slack at Perceval Narrows. In minutes we had the anchor up and were underway, motoring down Mathiesen Channel to Perceval Narrows which was still ebbing, giving us a small push. As we crossed from the Narrows to Reid Passage, we could see out towards Seaforth Channel. Waves crashed on rocks sending up plumes of white spray. For the first time I believed there could really be a storm.

We entered protected and narrow Reid Passage as rain began to fall and gusts skitter across the water. Oliver Cove Marine Park, a small cove just big enough for two boats was just a short distance away. Another sailboat was anchored close to shore so we anchored farther out. We had traveled 17 miles in just under three hours and hadn't had to brave the storm.

Oliver Cove
Photo: Osprey anchored in Oliver Cove.

The next morning the rain had turned to mist and the wind slacked. We raised anchor and exited Reid Passage to enter Seaforth Channel where a brisk wind was going up channel, our direction. We rolled out the jib and sailed all the way to Shearwater Marina.

Note: This was not the first, or the last time, we have waited for a storm that arrived after the forecast time. Sometimes they have not been as severe as forecast. One possible reason for this is that we are sailing in the inland channels while the forecasts are done for the outer coast. This is particularly true for Queen Charlotte Sound and the Central Coast (where we were at this time). Some of the channels are separated from the coast by multiple mountain ranges.

To see the area I'm writing about search google maps for klemtu and expand out until you see Bella Bella near the bottom right which is near Shearwater. Google maps simply doesn't show all the places I talk about.
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
2019 Seattle to SE Alaska 2018 San Juan Islands to Great Bear Rainforest 2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: [...]
Osprey's Photos - Main
No items in this gallery.