The first two days were rough but the seas calmed right down by the time we were south of Oregon.
We arrived into San Diego on the 21st of October.
The crew is anxious to have some much needed time off and the boat is looking forward to some extensive TLC.
Next Stop Mexico…
We cruised through Glacier Bay and into Juneau. We definitely arrived late in the season. We are the only yacht or cruise ship here. It’s nice to walk the shops in Juneau without having all the crowds. The stores were happy to see some last minute crew spending some money.
We left Juneau on the 5th of October and started to cruise south the Ketchikan. Our first stop was Tracey Arm. The fog was thick as we approached the entrance. We were nervous because this was our only day to experience the arm. Five minutes up, the fog decided to lift. The sun came out and the conditions were perfect. The ice was super concentrated but we pushed our way all the way to north Sawyer. We were moving chunks bigger than Volkswagens. It has been 6 years since I’ve been to Tracey Arm and it was scary to see how far the glacier has receded. We drove almost half a mile off our electronic chart to get close to the glacier. A massive chunk fell off the glacier and sent a 6ft swell throughout the bay. It was unbelievable. A few brave souls jump in the freezing water and Charlie paddled his way out through the ice. We had an amazing day.
We steamed over night to arrive in Petersburg the next morning in order to meet our pilot to take us through the Wrangle Narrows. The fog was super thick so we needed to wait for an hour in order for the float plane to land. Once we got through the narrows, we headed straight for Annan National park. The weather was stunning and we took a beautiful walk through the forest.
We arrived late that night into Ketchikan. Once again we were the only boat in town. A few of the shops were closed but all the locally owned stores stay open. They’re the best shops for any type of authentic art or souvenirs.
We departed Ketchikan on the 10th to head south to San Diego. The weather had a different idea and we ended up pulling over in Seattle.
We spent two nights in Seattle. It’s always a great stop on the west coast.
Looks like the weather will be slowing down a little bit and we should be able to squeeze through some fronts on the 15th.
Next Stop San Diego.
We decided to do one last night at anchor in Kodiak before heading across the gulf. It ended up being an awesome decision.
We cruised around the east side of the island and found a massive group of sea otters. They were super curious and a couple of them swam right up to the boat.
A few hours later we spotted some whales about 5 miles away from the boat. None of us have ever seen such big sprays. Fortrus drifted around for a while as the whales came closer. They were enormous. One decided to say hello by surfacing just a few feet off the bow. They were Blue Whales and absolutely incredible.
We are half way across the gulf right now and should be arriving in Glacier Bay tomorrow.
Let’s hope that our experience over in the southeast is as amazing as our time in Kodiak.
Due to some weather, we decided to stay in Cambridge Bay for a few extra days. Levi and Charlie took the guests fishing up a fresh watercreek. They pulled in some good fish and had a great time. They met a retired local named Jimmy and made arrangements to meet up with him the next day.
Jimmy came by the boat and took us to meet his sister and brother in-law who rented us some quads and a truck. We followed Jimmy up to Mount Pelee. The weather was fantastic and the ride was super fun. A few of us ran up the mountain and Jacob spotted a small herd of Muskox. Steve got some amazing video of the herd running strait down at him. We were lucky enough to get some great pictures right up close to these wild creatures. Amazing… On the way back we found a weasel and also pulled in some Arctic Char with Jimmy.
The people of Cambridge Bay have been very helpful and Fortrus is now fully provisioned for the next leg of it’s journey. We tried to fuel while we were here but due to ice the town’s delivery of winter fuel is late and they can’t afford to deplete their supplies any more.
We all had a very memorable time in Cambridge Bay….
Next Stop, Tuktoyaktuk.
We headed around the east side of Cornwall Island to see how high we could climb. We made it to 75 degrees when the ice surrounded the boat. It was amazing to be surrounded by new forming ice but we new at this point that we couldn’t keep heading north. Fortrus was digging a perfect channel through the Ice. We did a few turns and made some cool designs in the ice. The Scout was riding in a trench of water with ice on both sides. Amazing…
We headed south down Prince Regent inlet and got into some pretty heavy weather. The winds were gusting from the North at over 50 knots. The boat handled the stern seas of 5 to 7 feet with no problems at all. The Scout was doing some pretty impressive surfing. We think that it might have gotten barreled a few times.
We tried to anchor around Fort Ross but the wind was too much. We contacted the coast guard and together we agreed to shoot through the Bellot Straights. We ran into 7knots of current as we went through the narrows. Our speed dropped to less than 2 knots over the ground.
We knew that we would be running into some pretty serious ice once we got to the other side. The wind decided to drop off as we entered into the ice fields. The first wave of ice was pretty easy. It was around 3/10th of concentration. We knew that the second wave was going to be between 4/10th and 5/10th.
The ice in the second field got pretty thick so thought that it would be a good idea to put the jetskies in the water and have some fun. The guests and crew all jumped and floated around on chunks of Ice. The jet skies aired over a few icebergs and Sam decided to swim around the ice in a dry suit. We almost lost Notti as he floated away on a small piece of Ice. Sam rescued him on a Jet ski.
Once we were done playing around, we needed to punch through some heavy ice before making it into open water. Some of the bergs stopped Fortrus completely in her tracks. The Steel hull thumped against the ice so hard that people almost fell over on deck. It was pretty scary but we don’t have any salt water coming in. That’s a good thing.
We made it through and are now off to Cambridge Bay. The wind is a steady 28 knots and to seas are 4 to 6 on the nose, pretty bumpy weather but we need to bang out some more miles.