Our last long day! Alaska! Getting out of boat jail!
We’ve been lucky with the weather this trip and we hoped it would continue today. Environment Canada called for southeast 25-35 knot winds, which didn’t sound too promising. NOAA said southeast 25 knots, still not great. The screenshot below shows the Windy route planner, which shows the predicted weather along our route as we travel it, and the worst conditions it predicted were gusts in the high 20s and 2-foot chop back in Grenville Channel, and much lighter air by the time we reached the more open waters of Chatham Sound and Dixon Entrance. If the ECMWF forecast were right, we’d be just fine.
All the forecasts showed rain. As we steamed northward in Grenville Channel, the rain poured down.
Grenville Channel cooperated nicely. We left Klewnuggit Inlet at the beginning of the ebb and enjoyed a nice boost in speed. The southerly wind blew a bit, but never enough to create unpleasant conditions.
The southern half of Chatham Sound was calm too.
As we cruised north through Chatham Sound, we started to feel head seas and head winds that weren’t forecast. Green Island reported 20 knot easterlies, rather than the predicted southeasterlies. Outflow winds from Portland Canal were blowing, creating a”cone of misery” of choppy seas and gusty winds near Green Island. Thankfully it wasn’t too miserable.
Sure enough, as we headed into Dixon Entrance itself, the outflow winds died off and the ride smoothed out. The forecast southeasterlies never materialized and we enjoyed a more pleasant than expected trip into Alaska.
At the border we submitted our arrival information by CBP ROAM app and were quickly cleared back into the US. Super convenient! Since we had no requirement to report in person in Ketchikan, ROAM opens up the possibility of conveniently exploring Misty Fjords on the way into Alaska.
By 4:00 p.m. we were securely anchored in Foggy Bay, happy to be in Alaska, free to launch our dinghies, explore, and visit with each other. So we did! We had happy hour on Airship, where we compared notes about our together-but-separate cruise north.
We’ve averaged 80nm a day since leaving Prevost Harbor. This pace has been brisk but not exhausting. We’ve had more than enough daylight to cover these miles, and the weather has, for the most part, cooperated. Sure, we had a few hours of discomfort here and there, but nothing horrible. Canadians were kind, too, or at least not unkind. We got a few friendly waves and not a bit of hostility. We’re certainly very grateful they allowed us to anchor on our transit.
Tomorrow we’ll stay in Foggy Bay, since we’re already cleared in to the US, it’s going to be windy, and we’d all like a chance to explore and rest a bit after the transit north.