July 10, 2008 Nettle Basin to Prince Rupert

After carefully planning our tides to arrive at certain points at certain times, we still bucked a strong ebb today. Sometimes I lose faith in the tide charts and current predictions. I cursed the rain this morning, but it only amounted to a misting and then got sunny! When the “mono-cloud” finally lifted I could see that the mountains up here have more snow on them now than they’ve had in past years in early March! Clearly it has been a very cold year for everyone out here. I was very undecided about our destination for the day, until I finally listened to my instincts to run for Prince Rupert. It turned into a beautiful day on the Chatham sound. I think we’ve seen a humpback almost every day now since Port Hardy. Here at Prince Rupert things are hopping. Freighters and ferries are coming and going, the fishing fleet is heading out to sea, and float planes everywhere. We were initially denied moorage but then the harbor master put us out on the edge of the dock, free of charge and with free power. It was a bit of a rolly spot but the price was right! The harbor master introduced us to her 30 pound cat, that waddled over and issued a baritone “meow.” Patting its head was like palming a cured ham. A cruise ship is in the harbor and Prince Rupert is swarming with tourists. This particular sky-scraper sized cruise ship has a funny paint job, with brightly colored stripes and spots against the white hull. The overall effect when viewing it from the bow is that of a smiling dog wearing lipstick and sunglasses. Every pay phone in the city is occupied by the ship’s foreign crew members, calling their families. The cruise line had even set up banks of phones by the docks, and still the phones were occupied at the far end of town. Colleen and I ate dinner at Smile’s and had some great fish and chips. The fried food caught up with us, though, and we both spent the evening with stomach-aches.

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