Wednesday, July 6, 2016


Milestone day! In 2009 we spent two weeks as guests aboard "Gold Rush", a 60-foot pilothouse trawler, traveling from Port Angeles, WA to Ketchikan, AK with owners Greg and Terry. We were in awe of the fun, the scenery, and the vast amount of knowledge and skill Greg and Terry had in order to safely make this trip. We were blogging at the time and wrote that we "could never imagine being able to make such a trip ourselves". 

But unknown to them, Greg and Terry sparked a fire in our brains that led us to take 5 courses from the Power Squadron: Cathryn had to take the engine mechanics course twice :-(  !  And we bought a bigger boat, went on lots of trips including the Great Loop in 2012-13, made a lot of mistakes, learned from them, and tried to make it to Alaska on our own in 2015. And didn't make it (read July 2015 posts if you don't know this story). 
So today we woke at 4:30, cast off our lines, and began a 95-mile trip to try to complete this quest.

Early morning light, calm on Chatham Strait.

The NOAA forecast called for light winds 5-15 knots with six-foot seas crossing Dixon Entrance, the last open-to-the-Pacific Ocean segment with a long crossing, posing risk of weather and rough seas. Instead we found calm seas with ripples!

After so much time in remote territory, it was a shock to come into a developed town with a busy harbor, dodging the commercial fishing fleet that mostly occupies this city, Ketchikan.

So mid-afternoon we pulled into Ketchikan, cleared U.S. Customs by telephone (thank you, NEXUS cards!) and tied up to the dock where cruise ships and eagles are about equal in number.

Thank you Greg and Terry for introducing us to this form of travel, and for sparking our interest. While we'll never have the full range of skills and experience you two have acquired over the years, we managed to do this trip and have loved it!

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