Underway, Johnstone Strait
|As you motor or sail past buildings and
landmarks on shore, you can think about what their story might be. A short time ago we went by a small island in Johnstone Strait, with a
prominent blue house facing into the prevailing southeast storm winds.
Passing by familiar islands brings back many
pleasant memories. We cleared customs into Canada at Bedwell Harbour,
all by telephone, no personal contact. Craig was grilled at length about
our possible firearms (none) and we were told to put our one apple in
the quarantine box. It joined dozens of other apples there. We weren't
|We anchored that night in Squirrel Cove, and then headed towards the famous Yuculta Rapids. Our chart book relates how the local Indians discouraged the Spanish explorers from going through these rapids with their square rigged ships, the Sutil and the Mexicana. They proceeded anyway, and amazingly made it through without any loss of life or ship. The Mexicana was caught in a whirlpool and did three complete circles, and yet escaped in the desired direction. We aimed for the time of slack water, and had a much better method of propulsion than those early explorers. We did see big whirlpools, though, even at slack water. Right at the rapids, there is a fancy new fishing resort, not even in our cruising guides yet. It looks like one of those places you'd pay $750 a day for every luxury, plus more for the fishing guides. I'm not even sure it's open yet.|
|As the day continued, it became sunnier, and then the mountains came out of the mists. Snow covered mountains, to the southwest along the ridge of Vancouver Island, and to the east, in Mainland British Columbia. (see photo at the top of this page). It was almost shorts-and-sandals weather. We anchored last night in Forward Harbour, along with about 15 other boats -- mostly power boats -- all seemingly headed for Alaska. They cleared out before we woke up this morning, even more determined than we are to make speed northward.|
|Today is grey and misty, and the mountains have
mostly gone back into hiding. We encountered our first Alaska cruise ship, "Rhapsody of the Seas," headed south. These are (at least to us) quite ugly vessels, built with slab sides (presumably for reasons of economy),
and looking so top-heavy you can't imagine how they would survive any
sort of rough weather. We got an advance warning from our AIS system that the ship was approaching through the mists, and made a course
correction so there'd be no danger of getting too close.
Left, top: our computer software, showing us (in green), and the approaching cruise ship.
Bottom: the Rhapsody of the Seas.
|Tonight we'll stay in Port McNeill, get our internet fix, re-stock
groceries, and then prepare to head into territory unknown, where we've
never been before.
Best wishes to all!
Craig & Barbara Johnston