Up at 4pm in the dark, throw on some clothes and prepare to depart. Last night I configured all the electronics to be as dim as possible. This was to protect our “night vision” in the pre-dawn morning. On those items that I could not dim enough, I covered them with whatever would block the light but still be able to be removed for a quick check. Although I dimmed the laptop as much as possible, it was still too bright, so I placed a sheet of paper over portions of the screen. If I placed the paper right up against the screen, I was still able to see the course line to steer.
This was important because as we left the anchorage, it was still too dark to clearly differentiatte the sea, land and sky. We motored at idle, about 2.5 knots, as we waited for there to be enough light to see any logs along our route.
Using the plotter and radar for navigation, we made our way east. I had to do a little hand steering though the turbulent waters as we turned eastbound. The current was on our stern at 2 knots and the same disturbed waters we had experience two days before were still there.
Thirty minutes into the trip, about 5am, there was sufficient light to clearly see any debris in the water so we advanced the throttles to cruise speed and set off on our 16-hour journey.
The weather was as forecast: “winds from the west 10-15 knots and seas less than one meter.” For the entire trip we had very little relative wind since it was traveling at the same speed and in the same direction as Alaskan Dream. The seas too were on our stern and ranged from flat to 2-3 foot swells in the afternoon. All and all, we could have not asked for a better day.
After my first two hour watch, I went back to bed and Karen let me sleep for three hours. I woke up on my own, but I suspect that Karen’s bladder was about to call me to the helm anyway.
I made breakfast and dinner en-route and Karen took care of making lunch. Her signature tuna melts hit the spot. They are so quick and easy to make while underway, they often are our fall back if we have not made something in advance.
Not much to report, we did see a couple of new critters for us. We spotted albatross and a few sharks. Except for the rest of Mother Goose fleet that was an hour behind us and on a course two degrees further north, we saw only a couple of working boats and a cruise ship. The fleet did pass us about half way across and were about ten miles ahead as they set anchor in Hurricane Anchorage. We could follow them on the AIS and make out the occasional voice transmission that broke through the squelch. Karen called out “Land Ho” at 2:36pm with 50 miles still remaining.
Our destination of Pruth Bay is off Hakai Passage which is renowned for its great fishing. As we entered the passage we found a small skiff bouncing in the waves just off the rocks; probably angling for rockfish. They were from Hakai Lodge just around the corner. We did find many pleasure boats and a few fishing vessels tucked into little coves all along our route. I suspect they are used as base camps from which the crews go out into the Passage to fish in their dinghies or skiffs.
Just before sunset we anchored in flat and calm Pruth Bay along with eight other boats. Soon it was time to go to bed after accomplishing what has been our longest single leg of cruising ever.