British Columbia Inside Passage

Sailing South for the Winter: Back to BC

Monday, February 01, 2016S.V. CAMBRIA

Regardless of where we’ve been or what kind of conditions we’ve encountered along the way, moving south is always a little depressing . . . and the first real sign that the season is coming to an end. Even this year, despite all the rain, the thought of leaving Alaska had us feeling down. But it wouldn’t too long before the first major storm of the season hit, so we needed to be on our way. We upped anchor early Sunday morning and left Kah Shakes, our final Alaskan anchorage, taking full advantage of the current across Dixon Entrance and down into Prince Rupert.

The conditions were good, but the sky was overcast and gray which made for a long day. We arrived around 3 o’clock, some ten hours later, cleared in with customs and anchored in Pillsbury Cove for the night: After more than three months, we were back in Canada.

The next day, we launched the dinghy and I went into town to provision while David stayed aboard. It was another gray and dreary day and the mist and drizzle did nothing to improve our moods, so we had to settle for chocolate – thank goodness for Cadbury . . . and Walmart, which sells it at a discount.

It was foggy Tuesday morning, but that was no surprise. Prince Rupert is close to the open Pacific and, this time of year, the fog and marine layer roll in most nights. We upped anchor at 10 am with limited visibility and started to make our way down to Lowe Inlet. As we passed the Skeena River, the sun began to burn through the fog. The conditions were good and we had a light northwesterly breeze that filled our headsail for a while but did more to life our spirits than move us along – we were headed in the right direction.

The anchorage at the head of Lowe Inlet was busy when we arrived and the midges were out in full-force. It’d been another long day, so we had dinner and kicked back for the night – the rest would just have to wait.

By 10 o’clock this morning, all of the other boats had left and we had the anchorage to ourselves until the afternoon. The sun was shining, so I spent the day in the kayak watching the salmon try to jump up the falls . . . and staying out of David’s way. He’d discovered a drip off the raw water pump when we were coming down Grenville Channel and wanted to prepare the spare in case it needed to be changed out, the preference being to do the work someplace with facilities like Shearwater in case there’s a problem.

Nothing physical had changed since we were here in May, but it felt different: Everything was new and we were heading north to areas unknown. And now we’re moving south, a depressing but necessary chore. Summer’s almost over; I can feel it in the air and that, more than anything, has left me feeling sad.

Note: This blog was written on Wednesday, 19 August 2015. 

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