Given the relatively favorable forecast, many boats who'd been holed up in Port McNeill 3 days waiting for the gale force winds to calm and seas to settle planned to depart early Sunday to begin their one or two day (depending on speed) rounding of Cape Caution. The alarm went off at 4:30a.m., and at 4:55 we dropped our lines, along with Kiwi friends Tom and Christine on "Takahe", headed north. Pretty soon we had a flotilla in our wake, though eventually boats broke up into separate groups having chosen different paths to Cape Caution.
Alaska-bound cruise ships make this leg of the trip too.
27 miles later during a routine check of the battery charger's status, we noted one bank of batteries was extremely low and the other was lower than normal. This shouldn't be the case when the engine and alternator have been running at cruising speed for 3 hours. We stopped the boat so Bob could go into the engine room with his multi-meter. He quickly reported that it seemed the alternator had failed. A quick VHF call to Tom and Christine explained our situation and told them to proceed without us. God's Pocket Dive Resort was only 9 miles away, so we called there to see if we could come in, and Bill, the owner, said he was on his way to Port Hardy, 10 miles away, and we should go there instead. So Port Hardy became the new destination for the day. Unfortunately it was Sunday and everything was closed.
Monday morning Bob was at the door of the repair shop when it opened at 8am, and soon James showed up at the boat to help change out the alternator for a new one. 11am found the batteries newly happy, the crew newly happy, and Next To Me ready to head, again, for Cape Caution. Whew!