Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Sliding down Grenville Channel to Prince Rupert

Day 12:  Lowe Inlet & Nettle Basin to Prince Rupert.  63 miles

The "Grenville Ditch".  What an ugly name for a breathtaking Channel.  The high granite mountains are taller here, especially in the middle zone.  As you head north the country changes yet again and gradually lowers to a more coastal barrier island feel.  All heavily treed. 

Verney Falls in Lowe Inlets Nettle Basin with the foam "bergs".   Before sunrise.

I planned my timing perfectly for the currents on this leg!  Nailed it.  Monahan & Douglass in Proven Cruising Routes say "tidal streams from north and south meet in the vicinity of Evening Point", so I looked up Evening Point which was ten-miles beyond Lowe Inlet where we anchored.  High tide would be at 6:30 am.  Ok, we need to be ten-miles up the Channel at 6:30 so we planned a 5 am departure...ugh!  Set the alarm for 4:30 am...again, wake up Cindy & Oly, pull the hook and go. We passed Evening Point at 6:30 on the dot, Cinnamon Girl started picking up speed.  We had a 2-knot boost for a good part of the trip down to Prince Rupert!  Cindy drove most of the way and I took a long nap.  Navigator is a great job, restful too!

Looking south at Mount Saunders just after sunrise, taller granite here.

Looking North up Grenville Channel, lower coastal mountains further up.

Prince Rupert is a busy port city.  A town of approximately 5,000.  There were several big ships anchored waiting for coal, I am sure it is heading for China.  They also have a large container port.  Cruise ships are a new industry here.  The large BC Ferry "Northern Expedition" makes regular runs to Port Hardy, we passed her three times in the last week.  Kitimat is nearby with their aluminum smelter taking large ships filled with bauxite. I would say Prince Rupert is live and well. 

Commercial ships at anchor.  The red Cinnamon Girl moored (center low in photo).

Cinnamon Girl spent the night at the Rowing & Yacht Club. Nice folks, funky docks. Short walk to town with a great tackle shop and a convenient Safeway for veggies.  The folks at the tackle shop were very patient and got me set up for Halibut.  Circle hooks, nylon twine, lead balls, spreader bars and swivels, I was in heaven as I love fishing tackle like most guys!

The Prince Rupert Rowing & Yacht Club.

Fishing is big here!

It was time to plug in some routes for crossing Dixon Entrance.  I listened to the Canadian & American weather for "Dixon Entrance East" on the VHF multiple times.  I set the alarm for...wait for it...wait...4:15 am, ugh again!  I want to go all the way to Ketchikan in one day.  Early to bed, early to rise, we sacked out at 9:30 pm.  Cinnamon Girl has porthole covers and now we know what they are for, it is staying light past 10:30 pm as we are at 53 degrees North!

We will see you on the other side!