Prince Rupert, Kumealon, Bishop Bay, and super yachts…

(August 20th, 2017)

The next few days were sort of a blur….

We spent a whole day at Prince Rupert, aka Rainy Rupert, where it rained all day.  The Thursday gale came through and blew a ton of wind in Prince Rupert harbor as well as out in the open water.  Prince Rupert Coast Guard and Prince Rupert Traffic radioed gale warnings all day, suggesting anchored vessels have a second anchor ready.  The 237 foot yacht CloudBreak, complete with custom helicopter, sat along the breakwater, deciding in the afternoon that they should move closer to the airport (in the gale) so they could land the helicopter (in the gale) to bring the owner and his guests on board (in the gale).   Unfortunately the professional local pilot on board forgot to radio Prince Rupert Traffic and about 50 feet off the breakwater they got a call that was not literally, but pretty close to “What the hell are you doing, where are you going, why didn’t you tell us before you departed.?”   After apologizing, the skipper explained their plans (landing a helicopter on the deck of a yacht in a gale) they were offered two official anchorages to choose from, eventually settling on the second one due to the first having little to no wind protection.

As an aside, CloudBreak is pretty fantastical.   It looks a bit like a tastefully updated naval warship, no doubt influenced by that design, with ice belts protecting the hull for high latitude cruising.  There are 22 crew on board, with uniforms of course, doing all manner of work, and the captain and first mate are also both helicopter pilots.

That snafu out of the way, CloudBreak (who was headed for Antarctica from what I heard) stayed on her mooring until the next day, departing just a little bit after we did.

While all this was going on, Devon and girls went to Safeway, where they got thoroughly soaked by the rain, and I worked on the boat and discussed our Anacortes return plans with the crew of Breakaway, who’s transmission issues were not getting better.  They came over for dinner and we decided that we’d buddy boat with them back to Anacortes to ensure that someone could help if they lost the transmission at the wrong time.  Stan was reasonably sure he could keep it going if he put it straight into forward each day and never slowed down until we anchored or tied to a dock, so it wasn’t all bad.  And reverse always worked.

Incidentally, if you have a Yanmar Sail Drive 50, you likely have or will experience the same problem of not being able to get your transmission into forward gear.  If the yard or diesel shop tells you that resurfacing/lapping the cone every 250-500 hours is normal, don’t believe them.  There is a permanent fix, and it IS a factory defect.

The next morning we left for Kumealon Inlet, the same place we saw the wolf on shore on our northbound leg.

We anchored overnight, then moved on to Bishop Bay.   We had planned to go to Lowe Inlet, but decided that if we could get to Bishop Bay (a longer run) we could shorten the next few days and see a couple new places, namely Butedale and Klemtu.   In Bishop Bay we grabbed the two free mooring balls and watched the whales play in the bay for a few hours.   The next morning we went ashore to sit in the hot spring tub before a noon departure to Butedale.

John from Breakaway wanted to fish, as did Devon, so John joined us on the way to Butedale while we slowed down and trolled for a few hours.   Breakaway can’t troll since slowing down below 5.5 knots causes the transmission to slip out of forward, with no promise that it can get back IN to gear.  While we fished, I stayed below, making lunch and trying to find new ways to organize the galley.  3M Commandhooks to the rescue with lots of ways to use the little hooks and removable adhesive pads.

We caught a really nice coho salmon, our first in B.C., that we kept as well as a 14” king salmon that we threw back.  All the while whales played around us.  We eventually gave up and motored on to Butedale, a funny little place that has so much potential, it just needs a lot of work.  Butedale warrants it’s own post though, so goodnight!


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