Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: On to Port McNeill, staging for the next leg

Day 6:  Shoal Harbor to Port McNeill.   26-miles

Alaska is calling.  Today we will leave the Broughton's and get back on the road to Ketchikan.  But before we do that we need to check the crab pots one more time.  This morning we had 4 or 5 keepers, it was their lucky day as we all agreed that we had enough crab and threw them back.  I suspect that LaBelle will be anchored in Shoal Harbour again very soon...and Sam will get those crab again.

Black Bear on the beach at low tide.

Last night when Sam was walking his Border Collie Maggie, she came running down the logging trail looking back over her shoulder.  Maggie is a semi-retired cattle dog with a lot of experience around big animals.  She also has a good deal of common sense, this is bear country.  They were on the beach last night and this morning, and I suspect most days at low tide.  They tip the rocks with their claws trying to make a living.

Arrow Passage before the weather burned off - LaBelle

Cinnamon Girl heading towards Port McNeill.   Calm water!

Tomorrow Cinnamon Girl will head north and make her way around Cape Caution on one of the legs of the "Inside Passage" that is exposed to the Pacific.  The weather is very mild and Thursday should be a very nice day to feel the ocean swell under the keel.  This is also when we leave Sam & Diane, Maggie & LaBelle; the Hill's are going to continue to cruise in the Broughton's, Desolation Sound and possibly visit Princess Louisa Inlet on their way home to Anacortes.  They will have a great time on their American Tug.  Cindy & I both really enjoyed getting to know them and hope to cruise with LaBelle again.

Sam, Maggie & Diane aboard LaBelle.

Steve & Cindy Scruggs aboard Cinnamon Girl

Maggie in her new window seat!

How does a semi-retired cattle dog get a window seat on an American Tug?  Maggie, Sam & Diane are ranchers from South Dakota, Maggie is one of three Border Collie's they use to herd the cattle.  The Hill's purchased LaBelle (American Tug 34 #14) from me last year and I asked them in passing if they wanted to go pretty far north this year...  Maggie has worked on the ranch for twelve years, often running 25-40 miles per day.  She earned her vacation!   It was amazing to watch how easily she adapted to life on the boat.  On the first day of the trip Sam made her stay in the cockpit, by Desolation Sound she was sleeping in the salon, at Lagoon Cove I saw her on the pilothouse floor below Diane.  Today at Port McNeill she was on the upholstery looking out the side window.  Cool dog!  Sam, you are such a softie...

We went to the grocery store and have reprovisioned Cinnamon Girl.   We topped up her fuel tank.  Had a burger at Gus's and watched the first half of the Canucks game, the Canucks won;  all of British Columbia is hockey crazy at the moment.   Cinnamon Girl is ready for the next leg of her Alaska adventure.

It will be a few days before we have internet.  I have written a few things and put a time delay on them, so keep checking back.  Be sure to subscribe, it is over on the right where it says "follow".