Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Blasting Through to Sitka


The next part of our trip was a mostly business transit through to Sitka.

First from Port McNeill around Cape Caution to Fury Cove. Fury Cove is a really pretty spot, so we stayed a second day and just hung out.

Next we did a somewhat marathon run past Bella Bella and Shearwater, all the way to Bottleneck Cove.

Then from Bottleneck into the Grenville Channel to Lowe Inlet and Verney Falls. Verney Falls was really running, and all you need to do is drop an anchor in front of it and the outflow current holds your boat facing the falls. Not a bad view for the evening.

Verney Falls, Lowe Inlet, BC

Then the next day we went straight to Cow Bay Marina in Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert tends to be windy and exposed, but the new marina really makes it a much more hospitable stop than it ever was before. And the food at the Cow Bay Café right by the Marina office is just outstanding.

Fog on the Grenville Channel

After two days in Prince Rupert, we crossed the Dixon Entrance to Ketchikan where we checked back into the US. We are members in the Small Vessel Reporting Service, or SVRS, and it is working much better now. The first time we used it three years ago, the local customs office wasn’t sure what to do with us. And to this day the special SVRS reporting phone number is a disconnected line. But this time the process went very smoothly, and as always the Customs officers in Ketchikan are courteous and helpful.

We left Ketchikan first thing the next morning and went straight to Exchange Cove on Baranof Island. Then from Exchange cove to Kell Bay which is a little ways up the Affleck Channel on Kuiu Island.

Kell Bay, Kuiu Island

Then from Kell Bay to Red Bluff, then Red Bluff to Appleton Cove in Peril Strait. The stop at Appleton Cove allowed us to align our timing with yet another narrows with fast current, this time Sergius Narrows. It runs between 5 and 7 kts and is not safe other than around slack water.

An early departure from Appleton placed us at Sergius at slack water, but with a 300’ Alaska State Ferry coming up from behind us with plans to pass through at about the same time. A quick discussion with them on the radio showed that we would make the narrows about 5 minutes ahead of them, so we agreed that I would speed up and they would slow down to give a little more separation. We both made it through as planned, and the ferry overtook us shortly after exiting the narrows. A few hours later, we arrived at Eliason Harbor in Sitka and got tied up for a few days while we re-provisioned and waited the arrival of some friends who would join us for a week of cruising.

While in Sitka, Ludvig’s Bistro was recommended by a number of people, so we checked it out. Wow, really excellent. I highly recommend it if you are ever in town.

Ludvig's Bistro in Sitka - great food.


  1. Hi Peter,

    My wife and l are considering a cruising lifestyle in retirement (now) and purchase of a Nordhavn. I've just finished reading though your blog over the past few days and want to pass on my appreciation for the value l've received.

    I especially valued those posts relating to the build and subsequent issues and solutions.

    As an IT guy, l also enjoyed your detailed equipment posts.



  2. Thanks, and you are certainly welcome. But your note reminds me how horribly far behind I have fallen on blog posts....Time to get cracking


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