Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 14 - Early Morning Cruising

Wednesday, July 21, 2010
We weighed anchor at 0506 to get through the Yuculta's at 0726 (slack at Gillard). It was a beautiful morning as we moved E down Cordero Channel. The morning's clouds and rising sun made for some very dramatic scenery. The winds were light - about 10 knots.

We made it to Gillard Rapids at about 0750 - a few minutes late. I didn't figure we'd be fighting so much of the ebb on our way to the Yucultas. A trick I learned over the years from watching fish boats is to motor very close (about 20-30') to the Cortes Island shore and you can ride a back eddy that instead of fighting a current, you can move along at 6+ knots. It's just spooky being so close to shore and going full speed. There's plenty of depth though as you never get above 60'.

There was no issue in being late to the rapids. The morning was cloudy but the clouds quickly burned off to clear skies. There wasn't too much boat traffic going S and only 1 or 2 boats going N through the Yucultas.

After the rapids we rode a healthy flood down Drew Passage and all the way to Von Donop Inlet. We got to the inlet early at about 1000. Many of the boats were leaving to get through the narrow pass before low tide. As such we found most of Von Donop open to wherever we wanted to anchor. I thought about the winds during the past few days and ventured farther in to Von Donop than we've been in before - all the way to the nook at the end. This little nook would provide us some shelter in case the winds decide to blow again - which they are likely to blow. We're anchored in 15' of water at near low tide. We dropped the hook at 1045. For now there's not too many other boats in around us and we're the only one anchored in this nook. However, as the afternoon wore on, so did the winds, and more and more boats wanted to anchor in the nook to escape the winds. Finally 2 sailboats and a Nordhavn found their way into our nook and are anchored in here with us.

We explored Von Donop Inlet by Zipper and found a campsite to stop and throw the stick for Hank. He so loves to play water fetch. We then slowly cruised around the shore of the Inlet poking in to the little bays here and there.

For supper I grilled some Bavarian Smokies and made some home fried potatoes - it was really good and hit the spot. For awhile it looked as if we were going to get rained on as the clouds really came in and we did get a few "spits" of rain. However, this disappated and we got no real rain. We did notice that out in the main part of Von Donop Inlet the wind was really blowing and making quite a chop. You could hear the wind blowing through the trees. We were quite quiet and snug in our little anchorage - the wind never really found its way into our nook.

Stats: 33.2 nm, average speed 5.9 knots, running time 5:38, ending engine hours 6021.6.

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