Words by Les and Kel Rohlf Photos by Kel Rohlf
Baker Inlet to Prince Rupert Distance: 46 miles Hours: 6.2 Saturday, June 19, 2021
Les’ Log Notes
A gentle rain serenaded us for most of the night, but stopped by the time we woke up. With a little over 40 miles to travel today, we didn’t need to hurry. The flood tide was in full force at 6:00am, and I wanted to wait until closer to slack to transit Watts Narrows on the way out. We left at 7:45; we had some current to overcome on the way out, but less than when we arrived yesterday. For the first hour Grenville Channel was choppy, likely because the wind opposite the still-incoming tide.
After entering the Arthur Passage along the west side of Kennedy Island, the ride smoothed and we had a nice ride the rest of the way to Prince Rupert. We noticed an interesting barge chain leaving Prince Rupert today. One tug was pulling a barge with a large 2-story building that looked like it could be a motel. The other tug with it was towing two barges, each with smaller buildings. Towed behind the two smaller buildings were about a dozen center-console fishing boats. Can anyone explain what this is? I assume it’s something like a mobile fish camp being pre-positioned for the season.
We arrived in Prince Rupert by 1:00pm, quickly refilled gas and water, and anchored in Pillsbury Cove across from the harbor, where we have decent cell connectivity. A fairly open anchorage and a little breezy this afternoon, but will make a good starting point for our planned run to Ketchikan tomorrow. As of now the weather still looks favorable for tomorrow, after which the stronger northwesterly winds pick up for the next few days.
A note for the C-Brat readers: since Kel and I (Les) combine the content of these posts with her blog, I will regularly make comments to explain concepts to non-boaters. Please don’t consider these as providing instruction to the C-Brat audience. Since we acquired Intuition 11 years ago, everything I’ve learned about C-Dories and most of what I’ve learned about prudent seamanship (save those learned from my errors) have come from this site. We are incredibly indebted to everyone who generously shares their store of knowledge and expertise; your information from prior adventures, instruction, and encouragement have enabled us on this journey.
Musings from Kel
On this twelfth night of our voyage from entering British Columbia waters at Sidney to anchoring for our final time in Canada near Prince Rupert, I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and pleased in ways beyond describing. The scenery begs to be captured in photographs, descriptive language or artistry, but I am mostly awed into silence. Les will point out another sight along the way, and I pause before jumping from my perch to snap a photo with my phone or digital camera. A strange part of me doesn’t want to get worn out by the beauty, especially since I have been told there are even more magnificent things to see ahead.
Before leaving on this adventure, we tried to prepare ourselves for various challenges, but I wasn’t prepared for the grandeur we have witnessed, and thankfully we have learned over the past few years to enjoy the process and not run too far ahead in our imaginations of all the what ifs.
The Intuition is our retreat, our remote island escape, and my idea of tiny living. Things are simpler, yet not always. Like Les mentioned, water pumps fail and we have to clean up the mess. We still fume under our breath and get frustrated and disappointed, even when there’s a mountain towering over our heads, a few seagulls roosting on a log for the night and an eagle perched on a tree just off the bow of our boat. We have learned to ride through the frustrations, just like we work with the tides or “surf” over the immense wake of the BC ferry, which passed us and created four foot rollers that we rode with glee and trepidation.
At first, I didn’t want to help clean up the floor, where water leaked under our layers of dry deck and waterproof mat that run the length of our boat cabin. But I finally pitched in, and when our moods had softened, I thought to myself, well now the floor is clean. We plan to do a thorough cleaning of the cabin when we stop in Ketchikan for a few days to regroup, and restock the boat for the next phase of our expedition.
The pace of transiting Canadian waters has been heightened by our desire to get to our ultimate destination. We hope to enjoy a leisurely pace on the way back to savor the beauty of this passage.
So for now we will soak up all the internet while we can, and get to bed early to be ready for our early start tomorrow. Living on the boat for twelve days without contact with the terra firma has been easier than I expected, but I’m ready to do some walking around in Ketchikan this coming week.
God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon. (Psalm 19:1 The Message)