Saturday, May 28, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Cinnamon Girl & LaBelle are underway!

Day 1:  Bellingham to Telegraph Harbor, Thetis Island - 63 Miles
Day 2:  Telegraph Harbour to Cortes Bay, Desolation Sound - 97 Miles

Cinnamon Girl - American Tug 41 at Bedwell Harbor Customs dock

I give all the credit for getting underway on time to Cindy.  She got us organized, provisioned, packed, and loaded the boat, nicely done!  We were on the water at 8:30am Friday morning.  On our way to Alaska! 

Sam & Diane Hill aboard LaBelle, an American Tug 34, snuck out of Anacortes on Thursday and spent the night at Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island.  They got the jump on us and cleared customs in Bedwell Harbor a few hours before we made it there.  We rendezvoused late Friday afternoon at Telegraph Harbor on Thetis Island.  They are travelling with Maggie, their 12-year old semi-retired cattle dog. 

We compared notes on Friday evening and decided to stick with the original plan and lay down serious miles at the beginning of the trip, so that we could play longer and explore more places farther north. Day 2 was going to be a long Desolation Sound.  Sam & I agree that an 8-knot cruise is a nice comfortable pace.

LaBelle in the Pylades Channel  - click for larger image

We pulled up the anchor on Saturday morning at 6am and headed for an 8:25 slack at Gabriola Pass.  Once through and around the corner past Silva Bay we headed across the Straits of Georgia, aiming for the south end of Texada Island.  Whiskey Golf (Canadian Forces torpedo test range) off Nanaimo was not operating and so we were able to go straight line and did not need to jog around it.  They announce WG status daily on the VHF radio's weather channel.  The wind was blowing 10-20 out of the north with an ebb tide, so the seas were only 1-3 feet, easy for the tough American Tugs.

LaBelle topped up her fuel tank, and Maggie ran around the grass at Pender Harbor.  A short stop. 

We then headed back into Malaspina Strait and up past Grief Point, Powell River, Hardy Island, Savory, Lund, and through the Copelands.  I think the Copelands are gorgeous, what a cool passage.  Weather was great!  Sunny and warm.  We entered Cortes Bay at 7:45PM.   A great day on the water.

My "office" for the next three weeks.  The chart plotter says Savory Island is to port!

LaBelle entering Cortes Bay in the warm evening sun!

Thanks for following along on our trip to Alaska.  I will keep this updated as I find internet service along the way.  You can subscribe to the blog, where it says "follow" in the right hand column.