Journey Home Day 9

by Jessica Miller

August 21, 2006

The following posting is from Captain Bob…

Aug 13
Willie let me sleep an extra hour again this morning. As I sat up and rubbed the sleep from my eyes to saw a small island. LAND! What a beautiful sight. As I took over the watch from Willie so he could go down and get some sleep, I saw an albatross, the first one in weeks. Those birds are a work of art in themselves. Their wingspan to body ratio allows them to glide with great efficiency. They can ride the wind currents just inches above the water surface and seldom have to move their wings except to adjust to the gentle rise and fall of the swells. It’s like poetry on the wing.

As we slip into Dixon Entrance, the area at the northern end of Graham Island we are encountering some current. For a very short period we slowed down to as low as 6.7 kts but mostly 7.5 kts plus. It looks like the currents should turn soon and aid us during the next 10 hours that we need to travel before we will turn south on the inside of Graham Island toward Vancouver Island. Once we make our turn south it will be about 230 miles to the northern end of Vancouver. Then we’ll have about 400 miles, (about 2 days), to the entrance to Newport, our home port.

The currents did turn and did help us for a while up to 9.5 kts. As we were ready to make our turn to the south we noticed on the radar a line up of what looked like about 10 salmon fishing boats right where we needed to go. So I slowly headed for one end of the line and then one boat near that end changed course and gave me a clear path through. Nice guy. By the way, fog settled down so not much visibility now.

It’s 10 pm now. It’s dark and I can see a cruise ship on the radar that is headed north and passing about 5 miles off my port side. I know it’s a cruise ship because I heard them talking to the Prince Rupert Ships Traffic Control. As it turns out, because of the size of the ship, I had to go under their traffic control as well. I have to call them on the radio as I reach certain check points that they provide, tell them my current course and speed and then they give me the next check point. I’ve never had to do this before so it’s another new experience to add to this trips “list of firsts”.

The water here on the inside is smooth and the wind is about 5 kts from behind so we’re cruising along at a nice 9.3 kts. It’s a nice evening cruise and Willie just went down to get some sleep.

– Captain Bob

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