Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alaska Trip 2011: Through Gunboat Passage and out to the coast

Day 10:  Ocean Falls to Rescue Bay via Gunboat & Reid Passages.  52 miles

Ocean Falls public moorage, a nice place to visit!

Ocean Falls is very boater friendly.  Nice docks, helpful dockmaster, great views, power, internet, water, etc.  They even have "The Shack" a floating lounge room for visiting boaters with computers provided.  Cindy and I both enjoyed our time there and will return. 

Cousins Inlet and the Martin Valley community, Ocean Falls is 2-miles east around the corner.

We planned a short day to Shearwater so did not get underway until 11 am... after sleeping in.

Gunboat passage is a shortcut from Fisher Channel to the greater Shearwater & Bella Bella area.  It looks twisty and narrow on the chart.  It turned out to be easy and very well marked.  A nice scenic waterway.

Dryad Point Lighthouse just north of Shearwater.

The weather report had Gale Warning for the coast, and Shearwater is darn near the coast.  Turns out the weather was pretty nice with sunny skies and about 20-knots of breeze.  Cinnamon Girl was very comfortable and we were not ready to stop, so we just kept going.

Reid Passage is a narrow and potentially rocky shortcut into Mathieson Channel, and much like Gunboat was very well marked.  I am most impressed with the Canadian marks, buoys, lights and beacons on the central coast, thank you!  The "Waggoner Guide" has a good section on entering Reid Passage from the south.

Triple redundancy through Reid Passage, Raymarine, Nobeltec & I pulled out the chart!

After going past Shearwater our next planned destination was Oliver Cove... But we were comfortable and still having fun in the American Tug, so we kept going.

Mathieson Channel was beautiful and most relaxing.  We saw only a single shrimp boat and no other pleasure craft on this section.  In fact we had not seen another boat since just before entering Gunboat 20-miles before.  We have seen very few boats on the north coast, we are 400-miles beyond Anacortes.

Rescue Bay was our anchorage for the night.  There are crab in this Bay, I accidentally left my bait box with Sam in the Broughtons, so I made one out of an aluminum soda can.  It turns out that a motivated crab can rip a pop can apart and escape the Pyramid trap that is aboard, I bet he was a 8-incher!   Beautiful anchorage.  Not a bit of wind all night.  We shared it with just one other boat, a boat that had also been on the Ocean Falls dock with us the previous night.