It rained hard all night and we had lots of noise from the Canoe Pass turbulence, when waves splashed against our stern as the current reached peak velocity. Between the rain on the deck and the waves on the hull, it wasn’t a great night for sleeping! Our barometer was still low this morning (1008 millibars) and it was foggy again and raining hard. We had our choice of leaving Dent Island when the current was slack at either 0600 or 1200. We decided to wait for the 1200 slack, hoping the fog would clear out and the rain would let up.
It was still pretty gloomy and cloudy when we left at 1200, but the fog had cleared and the rain had stopped. We had an easy trip through the rapids for a 1257 slack at Yuculta. The water was very calm and there was very little turbulence or whirlpools. We passed by the Sonora Resort, a rather large fishing lodge located on one side of Yuculta Rapids. We didn’t see any other boats for our entire run through the rapids. Can’t remember ever going through Gillard and Yuculta rapids without any other boats around. Of course, the weather is dreadful…
We set today’s destination for Toba Wildernest, a small marina located at the entrance to Toba Inlet. As we made our way south in Lewis Channel, we found the wind building from the southeast. The forecast called for southeast wind 15 to 25 knots for today and tomorrow. We figured we’d get out of it by turning into Raza Passage and continuing along Pryce Channel.
However, rather than getting better, conditions worsened as we turned into Raza Passage. It was raining again and fog patches were forming. When we reached Pryce Channel, the apparent wind turned on our nose at 20 to 25-plus knots. The waves kicked up pretty good and intensified as we passed the channels that opened onto Pryce Channel. We crashed into the brisk wind and were drenched in salt spray as the seawater splashed over the bow when we hit some of the larger waves.
We looked at Toba Wildernest as we passed by, and decided the conditions at the docks looked marginal in the wind. So, we regrouped, and decided to continue on to Prideaux Haven…a “bullet-proof” anchorage in Desolation Sound. It was about 2 hours further.
Years ago when we cruised in Desolation Sound with our sailboat, Carina, we frequently anchored in Prideaux Haven. The first time we came to Desolation Sound in 1980, it was our first anchorage there. However, we’ve only been there twice with Phoenix—in 2003 and 2004, as our travels usually have taken us further north.
We found calm water as soon as we turned into Homfray Channel. And the rain stopped! It was a calm and peaceful run the rest of the way. This is a very pretty channel—we’ve had some spectacular cruises here. However, the low clouds today robbed us of the frequently spectacular mountain views, as the clouds hugged the mountain tops. Also it’s been a warm winter and spring, and there just isn’t as much snow as we normally see this time of year.
At 1700 we navigated through the entrance to Prideaux Haven and found only 3 other boats in the outer anchorage. It was calm and we found a place to anchor in about 48 feet at low tide. It had been dry, but as soon as Jim started to put the anchor down, the skies opened and he got drenched. But at least we’re here and the anchorage will be a secure place to stay a day or two if the weather continues to be a challenge.