It’s an early 5 AM departure from Foggy Bay for our first open water crossing of our inside passage trip. This body of water is know as Dixon Entrance and is notorious for its rough water. In the past we have waited up to a week for a calm water crossing but toady we have a good weather forecast. Thankfully, we have no fog for our exit of the anchorage with it’s narrow rocky channel. Just as forecast, we find Dixon Entrance flat calm with just a three foot ocean swell. It is again a bright sunny 70 degree day. Alaska has had record high temperatures for the past week.
Just off Dundas Island we spot a group of Humpback whales feeding along the shore.
As we get closer, we can see that they are bubble net feeding.
We spend an hour watching the six whales as they repeatedly dive and lunge to the surface in a coordinated effort to coral the herring in a circle.
After crossing over into Canada, we pass the Green Island Lighthouse. The seas remain calm for the remainder of our passage.
Our stop for the next three days is the town of Prince Rupert. After securing Idyll Time at the Cow Bay Marina, we call Canadian Customs and are soon cleared to enter Canada.
The Eagles keep us entertained as they appear each evening searching for fish scraps with the return of the charter fishing boats.
Departing Prince Rupert, we are enveloped in thick fog. Wouldn’t you know a big container ship is entering the narrow channel just as we are exiting. She appears out of the fog just as we are passing.
The 45 mile long Grenville Channel brings us to our anchorage for the evening at Klewnuggit Inlet. It is a gorgeous anchorage with a waterfall at the head of the bay and high mountain peaks surrounding us. Very few boaters make the five mile trip up the inlet but instead choose one of the anchorages closer to the Grenville Channel. That is just fine with us as we have the beautiful spot all to ourselves.
For the next few days we meander though the various channels of the inside passage. This part of the trip is relatively easy being in the protected waterways. Around every bend we see cascading waterfalls tumbling from over 1000 feet above.
It looks like the fishing fleet is heading to Alaska. We pass over a dozen boats heading north.
Just off Princess Royal Channel is Khutze Inlet. In the past we have bypassed the Khutze Inlet anchorage due to its challenges. We decided to give it a try this year as we have heard that it is a spectacular anchorage with the possibility of seeing brown bears ashore. It is a difficult spot to anchor. Depths go from over 100 feet to shoaling very quickly. To make it more challenging, the charts are incorrect and there is an unknown wreck somewhere just off the waterfall in the anchorage. We drop our anchor in 110 feet and cautiously back down towards the shallows until we are in about 75 feet. We can only let out 200 feet of chain due to how close we are to the shore. At low tide, we are only about 200 feet from the mud flat and still in 70 feet of water.
Normally we would have much more anchor chain out. There is no wind forecast for the next few days so we feel pretty good about our anchorage.
The challenges were well worth the efforts. Khutze is one of the most spectacular anchorages we have been to on the BC Coast. From our anchorage, the river works its way up a wide valley surrounded by mountains on all sides. A 1000 foot waterfall is just off our port.
What we thought was a log from a distance, turns out to be a group of seals hauled out on a rocky ledge. They stay as long as they can but eventually the high tide forces them to abandon their perch.
This evening we see a Brown Bear sow and two small cubs grazing on a small grassy flat. We don’t try to get very close as Mom would be skittish with her cubs around.
Khutze is an idyllic anchorage and we will be sure to stop here again. Tomorrow we will continue down Princess Royal Channel as we work our way south along the Inside Passage. Thanks for following along.