Seattle, WA to Ketchikan, AK

Well…we’ve enjoyed nearly a month cruising in British Colombia and we have just arrived in Southeast Alaska, Ketchika.

Some of the highlights:

A brief but memorable stay in Whidbey Island, WA

. Home to a large naval airbase. Braun had the opportunity to re-unite with one of his Naval Academy roommates, Bob Graham whom he had not seen on over 40 years…they were jaw locked most of the evening ūüôā

Victoria, B.C.

– Clearly the crown jewel of Vancouver Island. The visit further enhanced by my Mom and Hal’s company. We had the pleasure of connecting with family friends…my parents “Best Man”, David King and his lovely wife, Grace Kamitakahara who lived nearby in beautiful Deep Cove. Grace’s sister, Joyce and brother-in-law, Paul Pearlstone also, live nearby. These people are fascinating!¬†Paul, in addition to the sisters(third generation Japanese) – their past and present work ranges from being physicists, scientists, biologists…to home building and master gardening! We thoroughly enjoyed their company and their gracious hospitality!

Vancouver, B.C.

– We moored in thoroughly modern downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. We laid up a few extra days as we discovered that running our new water maker in the BC waters resulted in a collection of considerably more plankton than in past years. Had Braun not checked the system when he did we could have easily burned¬†up the high pressure pump(yep…that’d be “high” on the bummer rating). So…accordingly, Braun broadcasted this problem on the “Nordhavn’s Owners website” – a virtual wealth of knowledge flows from this website…everyone weighed in…including a Nordhavn located just down the dock from us. In fact, the owner Jim Yeates of N57 ‘Burnt Sand’ stopped by to talk with Braun. This resulted in a call to the recommended water maker expert which revealed that the plankton problem is not uncommon and necessitates the installation of a special filter to trap them before they clog up the main filters. The very plankton which is the scourge of water makers is the reason for the abundant sea¬†life in the BC and Alaskan waters – alot¬†of¬†creatures in the food chain feed on it.

Now for the “small world” story…also, tied up on the same dock just¬†a¬†few slips from us was ‘Pipe Dream’ – a lean, mean sailboat owned by friend, Scott Piper, sailor extraordinaire who recently was honored with The Cruising Club of America “Blue water” award. We first met Scott in the summer of 2006 while on¬†The Eastern Med Yacht Rally going to Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. Scott has circumnavigated something like three times. He managed to take time to discuss his travels of recent from Asia/Japan going the “right way” – west to east last summer/fall through the Aleutians, Alaska and lastly to BC. We appreciated his sage advice, charts and recommendations. One “must see” according to Scott was Princess Louisa Inlet/Chatterbox Falls. We had been told by fellow Nordhavn owners this was an excellent destination but, when a¬†highly experienced/travelled cruiser tells you it’s in¬†his “top ten”…you gotta go!

Princess Louisa, B.C.

– To enter Princess Louisa Inlet you must pass through Malibu Rapids, located on a narrow and¬†windy gorge. It is essential to pass this when at slack or near¬†slack tide to avoid 7-10 knots¬†of current. Once through the rapids, the 5 mile trip up the inlet is breathtaking. Soaring cliffs cut the glaciers reaching in excess of 6,000 feet high on all three sides, with several waterfalls that stream down the mountain sides and looming snow capped mountains beyond…it’s quite magical. At the¬†end of the¬†fjord is Chatterbox Falls, water tumbling down 1,800 feet…and, the small Canadian Park dock.

Our 36 hour¬†stay was wonderful…the weather was pristine! We set out our prawn traps, went for a hike early in the afternoon…then picked up many oysters at low tide, making it¬†back¬†to the dock for the happy hour¬†underway with the other 8 boats there and finished the day off with an excellent oyster chowda!

We picked up our prawn traps the next day…four pounds of delicious¬†prawns(not shrimp – these babies are big and relatives of the lobster family). Well stocked with crustaceans, we put off for Campbell River, a small port on Vancouver Island. There we rendezvoused¬†with our sister ship, “Seabird’ captained¬†by our friends Steven and Carol¬†Argosy.

Lagoon Cove, B.C.

– We laid over an extra night in one of our favorite BC spots, Lagoon Cove. It’s a small set of docks run by Bill & Jean Barber located in the maze-like islands of the Broughton Archipelago. On fair evenings, folks gather around the bonfire near the totem pole and the burn barrel to listen¬†in on Bill’s stories. The prawning and the crabbing in these parts are the best! It was an ideal location to celebrate Steven Argosy’s 60th birthday :-). My hunter, Braun caught close to two¬†dozen Dungeness crabs here…big ones!¬†

Prince Rupert, B.C.

– From Lagoon Cove it was on to “Rinse Rupert” as the locals call it cause of more than 220 days of rain a year. It was dreary gray and raining on arrival…duh. This is fairly a large town in BC and has alot of history¬†of logging, mining saloons, shady ladies and all the rest that goes with frontier life. We hung out for two nights and visited the Museum of British Colombia…lots of whale bones, Eskimo spears, kewpie dolls, etc. – you get the idea.¬†Oops! I said Eskimo…that’s a no-no…it’s First Nation peoples and don’t forget it!

Stay tuned…more to come on Alaska…still enjoying our layover!

NOTE – New Feature on the ‘Grey Pearl’ website:



On the website – click on “Our Location” and then, click on the link provided there. You will be sent to Google Earth and see our current location…technology is a wonderful thing!

Over and Out –

1 thought on “Seattle, WA to Ketchikan, AK”

  1. Braun & Martina,

    I really enjoyed your last posting (05/13/09). What an adventure you two are having…I look forward to more about the sail to Ketchikan. I’ll bet you see a lot of Eskimo’s there! I imagine that Marina is taking the fantastic photos that you have been posting. I’ll just bet she is using a Nikon!!! My compliments for the photos. They are beautiful.

    I also found your comments on Scot Piper interesting and challenging. I have dreamed of circumnavigating for 50 years now! My regards to Capt Piper…and prayers for continued safe sailing.

    Warmest regards,

    Buzzy

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