In my never-ending desire to avoid long days of crossings, we planned to go about 30 miles and overnight in Foggy Bay, Alaska. It will be good to get back to US waters! Foggy Bay is an anchorage that US Customs allows boats to stop in prior to clearing Customs in Ketchikan. We had made prior arrangements to do so from Prince Rupert, so there was no stress.
We were off by 7:52, having heard that winds will be strong from the SE. We wanted to get up and going, expecting some lumpy seas as we headed north across this open body of water. Instead, we found calm conditions crossing Dixon Entrance. Very little wind or swell. The weather gods have definitely been kind to us on this trip.
I was at the helm when we crossed the boundary line. At one point on the electronic navigation charts, the bow (and I!) were in the US but our stern (and Bob!) still in Canada! Once we crossed into Alaska, we started to see more targets on the AIS, including the St. Jude, the same fish buying vessel (it anchors near the fishing fleet where they off load their catch and go back to the fishing grounds) we saw last year taking on Salmon in Elfin Cove. It’s a small world! And we also started to see lots and lots of fishing boats on the horizon. As we approached, it was clear they were gillnetters. It took a while to “see” the picture: orange balls marking the end of nets, but which ball went with which boat? Bob took over and ducked and weaved and dodged his way forward, in very calm and smooth conditions.
We entered Foggy Bay, enjoying the smooth ride in. It was a zero tide, so we saw lots of rocks and reefs exposed along our route. We made our way to the inner bay and were totally alone...yet again. The anchor set well and we had planned to go kayak exploring. Before we could get ready, that wind from the SE really started to come on strong. Plus, it was misting and drizzling, not the most conducive weather for kayaking. So we started to pack up all our stuff instead, anticipating tomorrow’s unloading at Ketchikan.
Late in the evening, a small gillnetter motored by and graciously offered us a fresh salmon. We had to decline, given that it was our last night on the boat and it would go to waste. What a bummer! At least we had one boat for company on our last night at anchor.