Monday, August 10, 2015

Through Sergius Narrows to Schulze Cove -- 7/11/2015

I dream I sailed the high seas.  Oh, it’s not a dream.  I open my eyes at 6A and remember how Willie’s Tug rocked and bounced during the night  here at Point Moses in Hanas Bay.  I struggle to recall what anchorage we are in.  As my memory floods in, I look out the windshield to see the Nordic Peacemaker at the entrance far in the distance, and I panic to think our anchor didn’t hold and that we have drifted from her.  Then I realize she is leaving.

Coffee!  Coffee!

Herb has the generator on and coffee is dripping.  Ray re-positions his boat toward the entrance to the bay to fish, but tells us later that his luck is that he is not wet.  It is raining softly.

At 9:15A a fine mist speckles the windshield and ocean swells are one foot with light wind as we cruise back into Peril Strait.  The marine radio is now readable and we confirm that conditions are favorable for travel.    The excitement and concern today is Sergius Narrows, which can be treacherous if not transited at slack.  Herb does his calculations to plan for our arrival there at 2P.

It is very peaceful gliding along at 6 knots on light chop, now and then seeing a shy dolphin show a fin right near the boat.  Clouds hang in the valleys, leaving a promise of clearing ahead of us.  We begin seeing more pleasure boats today, many going “out” (of Alaska) and possibly heading south for the winter.

New Adventure tows her dinghy, Miss Adventure, who also transmits AIS.

New Adventure and Miss Adventure


HSC Chenega, Alaska State Ferry, traveling at 37 knots, calls Securite’ for transiting the Narrows.  She plans to go two hours before slack with max ebb at 5.5 knots.  Yikes!   Local knowledge is helpful.  

HSC Chenega

Outbound anchored near us last night in Hanas Bay, as we went past her and into Point Moses.

With so many 60 to 70 foot boats towing their dinghies, we wonder if they are part of a flotilla.

Sea Jay

Lady J

We catch a bit of Hoona Sound as we turn west, then south around Duffield Peninsula of Baranof Island, and choose to go inside Elovoi and Krugloi islands.

As we approach Sergius Narrows we see the 74 foot Outbound heading there as well, so Herb calls her to say we will slow to time our arrival for transit.  She would not do well traveling slow behind us, she says, so opts to speed up and lead the way near Povorotni Island, turning southeast to continue in Peril Strait.

Noting a Ferry taking the other route around Long Rose Island, we slow to allow her to go ahead of us at her high rate of speed.  At that moment a small fast boat roars past us, apparently wanting to blast through the Narrows before slack.

Be aware, Nudibranch

The sun pops out as we pass Baby Bear Bay, and I hope it stays!

Now we see boats coming from the Narrows.  Yes, even though it is 'narrow,' its width allows for vessels to go both directions.

The Nordic Tug makes a course correction in order to stay in the designated channel.

Nudibranch continues as she meets a pleasure craft coming through from the north.

Our twisting path is shown on the iPad below.

Two more boats make it going south.

S/V Nyad

We go through the wider of the channels in the Narrows where cruise ships and ferries go and it is a non issue at 2:02P slack.  The smaller channel has fewer swirls, but we are Ok in this one.

Once we clear the Narrows, we turn to port for our anchorage in Schulze Cove.  Outbound comes in as well, and radios us to find our spot and she will take a deeper one.  Her skipper tells us they tried coming through the eastern channel around Piper Island, but it is too narrow for their 74 feet.  Their consolation prize was getting photos of a mama grizzly and her two cubs behind the island. 

As we go in, I search for the bears, but no luck. 

We anchor in 30 feet while an eagle flies a welcoming pattern for us.

Herb sets the crab trap for tonight's dinner.

All is well and we are one more day closer to Sitka.

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Saturday, July 11, 2015

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