Greeting Canada like an old friend, and drinking a bit of its beer

Back in Canada: Golden evening light sets aglow the handsome British Columbia flag as it flutters over our Prince Rupert dock.

AHOY FROM PRINCE RUPERT. Here’s the most recent late-night-if-I-remember-it scrawlings in my “There and Back Again” journal from M.V. Osprey.

Friday, July 15

Departed Ketchikan in steady rain and low clouds. Got soaked while fueling up: $580 for 100 gallons. (Got soaked by the rain, too.)

Good things:

(1) A safe southbound crossing of Dixon Entrance, one of our two open-to-the-ocean passages along the otherwise “inside” Inside Passage. Got some ocean swells and mixmaster seas with 15 knots+ on our bow, but no biggie after the recent shenanigans of Clarence Strait. Back to Canada!

(2) Found a beautiful, protected cove by a stream outlet in Brundige Inlet on wild Dundas Island, B.C., where a sailing friend has promised us we’ll see (or, at least, hear) wolves. We’ll see; we’ve been told similar stories about a variety of absentee wildlife at several other bays. Delicious dinner of Chicken Adobo, thanks to Barbara M.

Atop Osprey, your author raises the Canadian courtesy flag after we anchor at Brundige Inlet, B.C. The yachting cap was my father’s. Barbara Marrett photo.

(3) I struck the Alaska state flag and raised the red maple leaf courtesy flag on Osprey’s short mast. Canada feels like a happy reunion on our homeward journey. One catch: Listening to the VHF radio weather reports, you never know when the computerized voice will launch into five minutes of rapid French. We dub the digital polyglot “our friend Pierre, le weather homme.”

Saturday, July 16

Three good things:

(1) Awakened to sunshine, our first real rays in a week, on pristine and unsullied Brundige Inlet. The wolves, if they were there, stayed off the beach and kept mum overnight (and this just two days after the full moon). The good thing: We all slept like marathoners after a run. But, as I said to Bill, it’s begun to feel as if aliens have beamed up most of the wildlife on this coast. Except for eagles. The aliens must not like them. We’ve seen enough eagles to populate a planet.

We motored through flat seas past the Canadian light station at Green Island.

 (2) What’s a new way to say “flat” without referring to a pancake? “Flat as a roadkill possum”? “Flat as a North Dakota freeway”? “Flat as the index charting Donald Trump’s rising moral sensibilities”? Whatever. Such non-elevation is what we enjoyed in the way of seas from Brundige Inlet to Prince Rupert. Smooth all the way. Passed Melville Island, whose name raised questions. Had author Herman served on an exploration ship in these parts? Barbara M. asked Siri, as she is wont to do with some alarming frequency, who reminded us that (A) Melville was American (a nationality for whom few British Columbia geographic landmarks were named), and (B) He lived in the mid- to late-19th century, rather than the late 18th century when Captain Vancouver was sailing about seemingly naming every bump, hollow and indentation in this coastal landscape after every cabin boy, able seaman and annoying young lieutenant on his ship. Maybe this island commemorated Melville’s grandfather, Vancouver’s favorite cook, who did a really good soft-boiled egg. We don’t know. Do you?

Lighting distant hills, sunshine burns through afternoon clouds over Prince Rupert Harbour.
The eponymous town’s nickname: “Rainy Rupert.”

(3) Dinner at the Breakers Pub, overlooking our marina. After a long day on the water, I down a quart of good Prince Rupert-brewed pale ale and watch the light get all golden on the harbor as crewmate Bill watches the bar’s giant-screen TV with Canadian football (yes, they have it, though hockey is the sport of choice in most Canadian watering holes, we’ve found).

Onward tomorrow to revisit Baker Inlet, one of our favorite northbound stops. We’ll be back with internet in a few days, perhaps. Who knows. I’ve read virtually no news of the outside world in seven weeks, and I’ve been kind of fine with that. In fact, I recommend it. Fair winds.

4 thoughts on “Greeting Canada like an old friend, and drinking a bit of its beer

  1. One of the joys for me of traveling in Alaska (and some places here Outside) is the lack of internet, to allow one to simply be present with time and place. It’s wonderful hearing your descriptions of being in and out of touch – and so glad you’ve found places to catch your readers up on Three Good Things.


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