Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Port Hardy 13th of September


Inside Passage 27th of August - 13th of September




The journey from Ketchikan, USA to Prince Rupert, Canada was windless, countercurrentless and sunny! On the way, we overnighted in a pleasant anchorage in Dundas Island and continued therefrom to Prince Rupert flying the courtesy flags of both Canada and British Columbia, and the Q signal flag indicating that s/y Sarema was healthy and requested free pratique. 


We arrived in Prince Rupert in the evening and, after trying to contact by VHF both Cow Bay Marina and Prince Rupert Yacht and Rowing Club in vain, motored to Rushbrook Harbour where we found a place alongside a big motorboat. Since the very first thing one is supposed to do after arriving in a new country is to contact Customs and Immigration, we headed straight to the harbour master’s office to use their telephone but found that the office was already closed for the day. The telephone number of Customs and Immigration was on the notice board, and there was a public telephone nearby but the problem was that we didn’t have any Canadian money.  And even if we had had Canadian coins it wouldn’t have made any difference because the telephone was out of service. As last resort, we decided to try our Finnish mobile phone which had stopped operating upon our arrival in Alaska and had been non-functioning ever since. To our surprise, we were back in business. Clearly, the crossing of the border had worked wonders!


We spent two sunny days in Prince Rupert but it was wet and windy when we continued our journey. We stopped in Kumealon Inlet for one night but didn’t leave the boat at all because of the miserable weather. Early next morning we motored to Lowe Inlet, under blue skies again. After casting anchor, we dinghied near the shore and dropped our crab pot in about seven metres of water and then made a sightseeing tour around the beautiful bay. When we came back to the boat we saw two young, handsome wolves on the shore. We stayed two days in Lowe Inlet so that Pekka could change the bearing and seals of the inner forestay furling (Profurl) which had passed their best before date ages ago. The somewhat troublesome repair was a success, unlike crabbing.


Our next stop was Coghlan Inlet wherefrom we continued to Khutze Inlet. There we stopped at the mouth of the bay to drop our shrimp pot and having done that noticed several humpback whales on the opposite side of the bay.  We motored to the middle of the bay and stopped there to observe the whales. Soon there were more than a dozen humpbacks feeding all around us!   


When we finally decided to leave Riitta said, ‘After all these whales, it would be nice to see a bear for a change.’ ‘I hope the whales don’t take our shrimp pot with them!,’ said Pekka. When motoring into the bay we saw a black bear fishing in a stream near the shore. And, I am sure you have already guessed, when we went to lift the shrimp pot the next morning, there was no shrimp pot there anymore. It had gone with the whales!  


We are quite certain that our wee shrimp pot caused no problem to the whale, but whales themselves can be a problem due to their intelligence. According to the National Fisherman, North Pacific sablefish fisheries have a major problem with sperm whales. These giants help themselves to the catch dangling from longline hooks like hungry customers from an all-you-can-eat conveyer belt sushi buffet. As whales often do, they used adaptive behaviour to determine when the boats were headed out to the fishing grounds and when to strike for their supper.


As hard as it might be imagine, the whales discovered the acoustic signature of a boat shifting in and out of gear meant fish on the line. And that sound has become a dinner bell of sorts to the whales. Over a few seasons the whales perfected their technique and can strip a longline clean, although the average loss is closer to a still astonishing 50 percent. Even when miles away, the gear vibrations are enough to alert a whale who can quickly narrow that distance to feast before the line is pulled to the surface. 


Our next destination was the narrow bay of Bottleneck Inlet. After anchoring we made our traditional tour of the bay and found a salmon stream at the head. In the stream, a black bear was lumbering around trying to find something to fish. This season’s salmon run was clearly over.


When we exited the bottleneck early next morning, we saw two humpback whales on the opposite side of the passage. One whale dived and, after a while, breached! But, alas, it was so far away that we were only able to enjoy this spectacle through binoculars. 


While we stayed put, the whales began nearing us and were soon well within reach of our cameras (Yes, Pekka is nowadays taking photos, too!). According to A Field Guide to the Marine Mammals of the World, it is important not to approach humpbacks too closely, maintaining at least 100 metre distance to the rear, as people have been killed when breaching whales have landed on their boats. 


In this case, however, it was the whales that were coming too close to us, and eventually we had to move further away from them. From a safe distance, we continued watching and enjoying their show as they kept slapping their long, wing-like flippers, moaning and roaring loudly. The meaning of this kind of behaviour is not known, but we think it’s a sign of a happy whale! 
                               

Excerpt from Shearwater Resort and Marina's Visitor's Guide. A good example of the importance of proofreading!
  
The further east we travel, the more boats and people we see. It is almost impossible to find an anchorage where there are no other boats although the season is almost over. How crowded it must be in summer, we can only imagine. 

        On the move!

We are presently anchored  in Kwakume Inlet where we have been for the past three days waiting for the weather to improve. There was first a gale warning in effect which was then upgraded to a storm warning. To pass the time, we have been crabbing with our brand new crab pot we bought in Shearwater. So far, only four Dungeness crabs have found their way into the pot. There must be something wrong with either the bait (cat food as for shrimp) or the location. 
If the weather forecast holds true, we should be able to leave tomorrow morning and continue our interrupted passage towards Port Hardy.


The skies were clear and there was hardly a breeze left of the strong winds as we motored into Port Hardy’s Quarterdeck Marina today. From here we’ll continue towards Bellingham, USA which is going to be our last landfall before leaving for French Polynesia.




Farewell Alaska!


Despite the weather, our last summer in Alaskan waters was truly amazing! Never before had we seen so many bears fishing in the rapids, so many mama bears with a total of three cubs, so many humpback whales lunge-feeding, so many orcas so close to our boat, not to mention the one and only Rufous Hummingbird. Throughout the summer, also after crossing the border, the magic word has been SERENDIPITY, and we hope this magic will last us for the duration of our voyage!



Saturday, 26 August 2017

Ketchikan 26th of August


Inside Passage 15th - 26th of August


We thought we had arrived in Petersburg, USA, but it said “Velkommen to Little Norway!” in the town’s Visitor’s Guide. The reason for this is that many of Petersburg’s residents have Norwegian ancestors who came here to fish and fell in love with the region’s snowy mountains and fjords that reminded them of home. Still a few decades ago, Norwegian was commonly heard on the town’s streets, and Norwegian Constitution Day is celebrated during the Little Norway Festival each May. We stayed two rainy days in Petersburg waiting for the correct timing to go through Wrangell Narrows because the currents in the strait can be very strong (9+ knots). 


We left Petersburg at six in the morning and motored through the narrow strait leading to Wrangell. Our timing was excellent, and only one hour later we arrived in the small town of Wrangell at the mouth of the mighty river of Stikine, which means ‘The Great River’ in Lingit. The Tlingit Indians were the first known inhabitants also in Wrangell and have lived here for at least 5000 years. We visited the Nolan Center in the heart of downtown Wrangell that exhibits, among other things, Tlingit art and an interesting collection of historic photographs that trace the colourful history of this area under the Tlingit, Russian and British occupation. After two extremely rainy days, we filled our fuel tanks, cast off and headed into the bush. 


From Wrangell we motored into East Passage and anchored in Madan Bay located just before the narrowest point of the Passage where the currents are the strongest. The next morning just before high-tide slack we weighed anchor and motored to Berg Bay located just after the narrowest point of the Passage, only about ten miles from Madan Bay. We stayed two days in Berg Bay crabbing and waiting for the weather to improve. The waiting payed off weather-wise as it stopped raining during our second night there. Crabbing-wise we were not as lucky; we only got one Dungeness crab which is now in the deepfreeze waiting for company.


Our next stop was Anan Creek where we dropped anchor in a rather open bay but since there was no wind to speak of (and no rain either!!) it felt safe to leave the boat there unattended. Anan Creek is home to the largest run of pink salmon in Southeast Alaska, but the stream contains all the five different species of salmon as well as Dolly Varden, steelhead, and cutthroat trout, and this abundance of fish attracts large concentrations of bears. Historically, Tlingit Indians established summer fishing camps at Anan and gave the creek the name still used. 


The trail leading to the rapids is about half a mile long, winding through a most beautiful moss-draped rainforest. While walking along the trail we kept talking and singing (Riitta) loudly in order to alert bears of our presence, because a startled bear can be dangerous. The only bear we saw was a brown bear wading in the shallow waters between the creek and the bay. But as we reached the rapids, there were a number of black bears, both young and old, fishing on both sides of the creek. Most of the bears we had seen in Alaska so far had been brown bears or grizzlies and therefore it was extremely interesting to observe black bears for a change, and at such a close range. 


The bears differed from each other both in appearance and in their fishing techniques. Although all the bears were black, some had short fur, some had so long fur that it even had a parting, and a few had partly curly fur. Also the tone of their fur varied ranging between pitch-black and brownish-black. But black bears can also be born with white fur. These white-coated black bears are known as Kermode bears or Spirit Bears. Ranging across British Columbia’s north coast Kermode bears cluster on Princess Royal Island and Gribbell Island. The white bear may owe its survival to the protective traditions of the Indians who never hunted them or spoke of them to fur trappers.


We spent several hours watching the Anan Creek bears, and returned to our boat with more than a thousand photos and everlasting memories. On our way back, after a blind corner, we came literally face to face with a black bear.  We stopped dead in our tracks and waited to see what the bear decided to do. When the bear started to lumber towards us we had but one option and that was to back away ever so slowly (and calmly!!). After getting out of his way, we stopped again but as the bear continued heading towards us we had to back away for another ten metres or so. Now that the bear had plenty of room, he decided to leave the trail and disappeared into a thicket.


When hiking in bear country i.e.anywhere in Alaska, there is Bear Etiquette that you should be familiar with. You should make noise (talk, sing, whistle) so that bears know you are there. You should be alert at all times because bears can be anywhere. If you encounter a bear you should remain calm, speak firmly and let the bear know that you are human. You should never imitate bear sounds or positions because this may be interpreted as a challenge. You should never run because you cannot outrun a bear, and running may trigger the chase instinct. And you should never ever get between a sow and her cubs. 


A sow defending her cubs and a young male wanting to show off are the most dangerous of the bears. Our bear was neither a sow nor a teenager but a big adult bear that didn’t pose a threat to us. But although we knew all this, we have to confess that the experience was quite exciting. We have often been very close to brown bears in our dinghy so that we always had a means to escape if necessary. But here in the forest the situation was quite different.


Our next anchorage was in Santa Anna Inlet just a few hours’ motoring from Anan Creek. We dropped our shrimp pot on our way into the bay and lifted it the next morning on our way to Meyers Chuck. There were eight big shrimp which made a nice lunch. On the way to Meyers Chuck, the wind picked up from 0 to 40 knots in an instant after entering Clarence Strait. The wind and the current that came from opposite directions made the seas so choppy that we had no chance of getting to Meyers Chuck. We did a U-turn almost in front of the village and sailed to Vixen Inlet where we spent the night. In the evening we studied the GRIB files and decided to leave next afternoon. There was nothing left of yesterday’s winds when we motored to Meyers Chuck, and after just a few hours, we dropped anchor in front of the village public floats. 


Less than ten hours later at 4 am, we weighed anchor again and headed for Clarence Strait. According to the tide tables, there was supposed to be 3 to 4 knot current that should have speeded our way to Ketchikan but, for some unknown reason, this current never materialised! And when the wind picked up soon after our departure from Meyers Chuck, we were tacking against the current and the 25 - 30 knot winds (small craft advisory!) across Clarence Strait again and again all the way to Ketchikan where we arrived at 4.15 in the afternoon. The distance between Meyers Chuck and Ketchikan is about 30+ miles but for us it was 50+ miles, and instead of the normal six hours, it took us about 12 hours to reach Ketchikan!  


Ketchikan is our last port of call in Alaska. The marina we are in is called Bar Harbor and it’s quite a funny coincidence that when we arrived in the USA for the very first time about twelve years ago, the town where we obtained customs clearance was also called Bar Harbor (Maine). 


Although we are in rainforest area, the rains of the past fortnight or so have been abnormally heavy and are partly due to Typhoon Banyan that left behind a sky-bound column of water vapour carrying an amount of water nearly equivalent to the average flow at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the largest US river in terms of volume. The Ketchikan International Airport reported yesterday that more than 30 cm of rain fell during the past three days. 
We’ll depart for Prince Rupert as soon as the weather permits, and hope to see bluer skies in Canada!





Monday, 14 August 2017

Petersburg 14th of August


Inside Passage 6th - 14th August


We had gone to Cordova because of foggy and rainy weather but surprise, surprise, during our two day visit in Cordova, the weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was such a waste of good sunshine but the main thing was that Pekka got the ever-so-vital maintenance work done on the boat. We are now ready to sail to Inside Passage and eventually to Canada, hopefully within a couple of days.


We left Cordova early Monday morning, and while motoring in Orca Bay on our way to Comfort Cove, Sarema was surrounded by a pod of about a dozen Orcas (Nomen est omen!)
In Prince William Sound, you can see two different types of orcas (aka Killer Whales), namely Residents and Transients. Residents, as the name implies, reside in PWS and the surrounding area and feed on fish only,  whereas Transients are meat eaters whose diet includes e.g. harbour seals and sea lions, and they visit PWS only occasionally. The orcas around us were clearly residents enjoying a scrumptious salmon breakfast.


The next morning before leaving for Olsen Bay, we dinghied to the mouth of the salmon stream at the head of the cove and caught two fish, one by angling and the other by snagging. These are the two terms used for catching a fish with a line and a lure/hook: to hook a fish in its mouth is to angle, and to hook a fish elsewhere than in its mouth is to snag. At the moment, the streams here are so thronged with salmon that wherever you cast your line you are bound to catch a fish, either by angling or snagging.


During the less than two hour trip from Comfort Cove to Olsen Bay, the sun disappeared behind heavy clouds. While casting anchor, it began to drizzle and soon the whole bay was engulfed in thick fog. Extremely disappointed in the miserable weather, we’ll weigh anchor early tomorrow morning (3rd of August) and commence the about 400 nm voyage to Inside Passage, where we hope to see the sun again.


We had a reasonably comfortable but uneventful crossing from PWS to the western entrance of Inside Passage. It was cloudy and the wind was between five to ten knots straight from behind so we were motor-sailing as usual. When we eventually reached Inside Passage, we were welcomed by blue skies and the warm sunshine we had so craved for while in PWS! 


We spent the first night in Inian Cove near the entrance of the Passage, a place where you should only anchor when it is absolutely windless. The williwaws that came roaring down the hills were a surprise and not a pleasant one. So the next morning we weighed anchor and headed for Hoonah, the largest Tlingit Indian community in Alaska. 


The village of Hoonah or Xunaa was originally settled by the Huna Tlingit aka the Xunaa K√°awu tribe i.e. the People from the Direction of the North Wind, because of the excellent protection this location offered from winds and foul weather. In fact, the name of the village Xunaa translates in the Tlingit language Lingit as ‘Protection from the North Wind’. 


Hoonah is renowned for its skilled fishermen, hunters and artisans. Today, the community supports three traditional dance groups, the Tlingit language Lingit is taught in all school grades, and many of the traditional ways of life still continue.  


Traditional Tlingit art is visible everywhere in Hoonah. Wooden wall panels, shop signs, park benches, and the numerous intricate totem poles erected to honour the departed, to share stories, and teach lessons manifest that Tlingit art is alive and thriving!


We stayed two days in Hoonah, partly because it was such a nice place and partly because Pekka had to reattach the propeller shaft seal that had come loose. But then it was time to go bear watching again!


We overnighted in Pavlof Harbor where there is a salmon stream on the western side of the bay. It was already early evening when we dinghied up the stream, and the intense light of the setting sun nearly blinded us. But, after a while when our eyes had become accustomed to the light, we could see a bear standing in the stream. 


The bear stood still for quite some time until she saw a fish in the stream and started slowly advancing towards the place where the fish was splashing. Maybe her fishing methods were no good or maybe she was just unlucky but she didn’t catch a single fish while we were there watching her fishing. She had two healthy looking cubs that were patiently waiting for their mom on the shady side of the river.


The next morning, on our way to Ell Cove, we spotted through our binoculars a black bear on the beach. After a while the bear disappeared into the bushes but soon reappeared this time followed by three tiny cubs. There was a salmon stream winding across the sandy beach, and the sow went there to fish. Suddenly, a brown bear appeared from behind the bushes, also with three cubs only these were one year older than the black bear cubs. When the bears became aware of each other’s presence, all six of them stopped dead in their tracks. And we onboard Sarema were holding our breath! Ever so slowly, the brown sow began advancing towards the black sow who saw it best to yield and started to head towards the trees. The brown sow and her cubs followed her but remained on the opposite side of the stream. Soon the bears vanished from our sight. The black bear sow had left her wee cubs by the salmon stream where they obediently stayed until their mother reappeared from behind the trees and called them. The last thing we saw was the black bear family reunited once more. What a memorable experience, the only downside being that we were much too far away to take any photos. 


While in Ell Cove, we decided to put our shrimp pot to use again. So, after dropping anchor, we dinghied out of the snug cove and while slowly motoring along the shoreline trying to figure out the best place for the pot, we saw a humpback whale dive at a distance. When we had finally decided where to drop the pot and Pekka had turned off the outboard, there was an almighty splash as the lunge-feeding humpback surfaced like a torpedo less than 15 metres from us!!! Pekka immediately started the outboard and we hurriedly reversed out of the whale’s way. Riitta had her camera with her as usual but this time the surprise was of such magnitude that all she could do was to stare at the whale in awe. Hence no photos - and we didn’t get any shrimp either!


Sunday, 30 July 2017

Cordova 30th of July


Prince William Sound 8th -30th of July 


Fishing and Shrimping


On the way to Prince William Sound I (Riitta) passed the time watching the birds swimming and diving around Sarema. As usual, I also wanted to photograph them. But, as the birds seemed to be exceptionally camera-shy that day and also because there was a strong swell that kept continuously tilting the boat from side to side, it was a real struggle trying to get any decent photos of the birds. However, amongst the many unclear pictures there was one of such a cute looking bird that I want to show it to you. So, despite being out-of-focus, here he is, the Rhinoceros Auklet alias Cerorhinca monocerata! 


On our arrival in Prince William Sound, there were Pink Salmon (Humpy) jumping around the boat anxiously waiting for the high tide that would enable them to swim upstream to spawn. While watching their apparent anxiety, we couldn’t help but wonder whether they would be in such a hurry if they knew that the inevitable result of their race, unlike for their Atlantic cousins, is death. 


We spent the first night in Fox Farm Bay wherefrom we continued to Icy Bay. We wanted to visit its arm Nassau Fjord, in particular, at the head of which there is a still beautiful glacier although ever faster melting away. Because the current had moved most of the drift ice away from the front of the glacier, we managed to get very close to it. 


We had to keep a sufficient safety distance to the glacier’s edge because this is a so-called calving glacier i.e. it sheds pieces of ice, some big enough to be called growlers or icebergs, into the sea. According to our chart printed twenty years ago, we were not in front of the glacier but upon it, which means that the glacier has retreated about 150 metres in a mere two decades!


When heading back to Icy Bay and our anchorage, we passed Black Legged Kittywakes and Harbour Seals resting on pieces of ice that keep drifting from Nassau Fjord into Icy Bay and back twice every 24 hours by means of tide energy.


In Icy Bay, we stopped at a place which according to our chart is 100+ metres deep, and dropped our shrimp pot there. As bait, we use Friskies Mariner’s Catch (i.e. cat food) which has produced excellent results, our record so far being 51 shrimps in a single pot.


When we lifted the pot early next morning, after a restless night due to drift ice from Tiger Glacier banging on the sides of the boat, there were 21 gigantic shrimps (the biggest 20 cm!) which we had for lunch with garlic and sweet chilli sauce.


Before arriving at our next destination, Seven Fathom Hole, we again dropped our shrimp pot into 100 metres of water. But when we lifted the pot the following day, there was not a single shrimp inside but instead two Tanner Crabs. 


The crabs were far too big to get through the shrimp holes, so how on earth had they managed to get into the pot?!? The mystery was solved when we saw that the pot’s escape hatch, c. 15x15 cm, was open. The hatch is closed with cotton thread so that if, for some reason, the pot is left in the water for a long period of time, the thread will decompose leaving the hatch open for the shrimp to escape. It seems that the three years our good boat Sarema was left on the hard was long enough for the cotton thread to rot.


While in Seven Fathom Hole, we experienced the beginning of a salmon run for the first time. When we came here, unlike in Fox Farm Bay, there were no salmon in the nearby bays or streams. We went to check the situation almost daily, as did our neighbours the harbour seals and bald eagles. Then one day, when returning from Jack Pot Bay where we kept our shrimp pot, we saw at the mouth of the bay a big shoal of silvery fish. The salmon had arrived - and everyone had his share! 




From Seven Fathom Hole we continued to Perry Island where we had to stay for a total of four days because of strong winds and heavy rain. In order to see more of Prince William Sound during the limited time we still have before heading for the Inside Passage and Canada, we have decided to spend only one or two days (weather permitting of course) at each anchorage from now on. 


While admiring the scenery on our way from Naked Island to Jade Harbor, we once again experienced the magic of PWS. Because of the numerous islands and the surrounding snow-capped mountains, one can simultaneously be looking at two totally different views, one opening beyond the other. 


Although the weather was drizzly and foggy when we left Jade Harbor, we made a detour to see the nearby Columbia Glacier. Sadly, this glacier like so many others is retreating fast. According to our chart, we were once again on the glacier although in fact we were about 300 metres from the glacier’s edge. As far as we know, there is only one glacier left in PWS, namely Meares Glacier, that is still advancing. The reason for this anomaly we do not know.


A few facts about salmon and salmon fishing:
There are five species of Pacific salmon in Alaska: King (Chinook, Tyee, Blackmouth), Coho (Silver), Sockeye (Red), Chum (Dog, Keta, Calico), and Pink (Humpy). Each of them has its own distinct size, flavour, texture, and value in the market.


Above female Pink (Humpy) and below male Chum (Dog, Keta, Calico)
Spawning male Chums exhibit large canine-like teeth, hence the nickname Dog


By far the most common fishing vessel type here is Purse Seiner which has five or more crew members. A big open net is set by an open skiff that tows one end off the stern of the seiner while the other end of the net remains onboard. After a period of time, the two boats close into a circle which creates a purse trapping the salmon. 


Gillnetters are the second most commonly used fishing vessels. They are usually small aluminium boats with only one or two fishermen onboard. The net is unrolled from a drum through a kind of fork, and anchored near the shore. When there is enough fish in the net, it is pulled back to the boat onto the drum. The fish are removed from the net between the fork and the drum. 
By July 19, professional fishermen had caught in PWS alone nearly 18 million salmon, and the statewide commercial harvest amounted to 77+ million fish.


On the way to Landlocked Bay we passed a biggish Steller’s Sea Lion colony. Several dozens of these massive and rowdy animals were lying on a rocky beach just waiting to be photographed. But that was easier said than done as you are obliged to keep a sufficient distance to the animals so as not to harass them. Well, as you can see we didn’t (harass them!), and therefore we had to stretch our zoom to its ultimate limit.


In just a few decades, there has been a serious decline in the number of Steller’s Sea Lions and today, they are regarded as an endangered species. However, this colony seemed to be flourishing!


Landlocked Bay has an interesting history. The bay was the scene of considerable mining activity for copper, zinc, silver, and gold during the early part of the 20th century. The small mining community even had its own post office. The mines as well as the post office closed in 1918 as a result of WWI (according to A Cruising Guide to Prince William Sound). 
There are two salmon streams at the head of the bay which were thronged with spawning salmon. It took Pekka less than five minutes to catch a fish while Riitta was admiring the bald eagles flying around by the dozen.


As we arrived at the next anchorage Two Moon Bay’s Eastern Arm, we saw a black bear on the shore. As soon as we had cast anchor, we dinghied to the nearby stream to check out the salmon and bear activity there. At the mouth of the stream there were humpies in abundance, and when we walked further upstream we saw a bear trail along the river bank, but no bear. A few hours later when surveying our surroundings through the binoculars, we saw a bear coming from the salmon stream after his evening meal. But, to our surprise, the bear was not black but brown! We didn’t know that the two species could live so close to each other but then again, we know very little about black and brown bear relations. Anyway, this was the first time we have ever seen both a black bear and a brown bear at the same anchorage.


The weather has been depressingly foggy and rainy for quite some time. Yesterday, when we came to St. Mathew’s Bay to see mountain goats that graze on the alpine peaks of the surrounding mountains but couldn’t even see the mountains properly, we decided that it was time to return to civilisation, in this case to Cordova.  


We arrived in Cordova yesterday and will leave tomorrow morning at the latest i.e. as soon as the generator, engine and transmission have been serviced, the water and fuel tanks filled, and reprovisioning done. We’ll stay in PWS for a few more days while waiting for a weather window that would allow us to sail to Inside Passage in comfort.