July 11, 2008 Prince Rupert to Foggy Bay

“All plans are written in sand at low tide” is an expression I have come to appreciate, and today was no exception. Our original plan was to run as far north in BC as we could, to Brundige inlet, and anchore there for the night before crossing the Dixon Entrance into Alaska the following day. The problems presented here are that you have to run 90 miles all the way from Prince Rupert to Ketchikan in order to clear customs there. After we made a relatively short trip through the Venn Passage and up to Brundige inlet, we looked out across a perfectly calm Dixon Entrance, with not a whitecap in sight. Tomorrow morning’s forecast called for rain and 7 foot seas in the Entrance. The run to Ketchikan would be too long, and we’d get caught in the bad weather in the middle of the night. But we did have enough time to get across the big water. I called the Alaska customs and fortunately they were very understanding of our situation. We got permission to spend our first night anchored in Alaskan waters south of Ketchikan before clearing the customs. Up here everyone lives on islands and understands the meaning of “weather permitting,” even the customs officers. It’s one of the small blessings of the north country. We had a perfect crossing and watched formidable clouds building to the south, out at sea. One strange linear cloud marked the boundary where the southeast storm winds were pushing back the other clouds, far overhead. This cloud slowly rolled northward, right over our heads and We go across just by the skin of our teeth, as my Grandmother would say. The first drops of rain hit the deck as we set the anchor. Foggy Bay is very protected from the winds, though the holding ground is soft. I tried a few anchors out but nothing sets too well in the soft mud. There’s a pod of Orca Whales feeding off the point by the bay, and the rain forest here is spectacular. Alaska in 21 days!! There’s just something that feels different about the coast up here. The difference exists mostly in my mind but also by the vast wilderness stretching to the north, salmon jumping everywhere and the good feeling of being in a land of bounty.

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