At the end of each summer here we have had the goal to take off to warmer waters, yet failed. The first year we didn't earn as much money as we hoped to make a trip south so we stayed for our first very wet winter. Not having the boat fully insulated & the confinement from numerous days of continuous downpours made for a winter we'd rather not repeat. Last year we didn't even untie lines from the dock as the night before departure it was discovered that the head of the engine needed rebuilt. Darn! So, flexible as we are... we stayed another winter. This is where Rule #20 was added – we'd kept telling ourselves that when we left Alaska and got to... we would fix and work on... Well, that wasn't happening! This past summer I cut out all activities for the kids except music lessons to keep ourselves from running everywhere which gave us the time to put into the boat. We even tried to think of anything that might go out on us right before pushing off that could keep us from leaving and fix that too. It did feel really good to mark off projects that had been on the list for years.
Katie fell and broke her wrist while roller blading right before Peter's last day. With a weather window opening up I was able to reschedule her appointment for a cast enabling us to leave right after and still be within it. It felt unreal when we were actually leaving, untying the lines and backing out of our stall. As we motor-sailed down Nichols Passage we all reveled in the fact we were moving again. The second night while in Queen Charlotte Sound we started to climb waves for for almost a full minute before falling off the other side. You could hear the hydraulic steering ram straining, we weren't making any headway and the Inside Passage sounded like a good idea. Funny thing was both passage weather before we left & XM weather were telling us there were 2 footers out there – bummer we couldn't see them. Once in protected waters we realized that we needed to backtrack up to Prince Rupert to check in, we were pretty sure the seas wouldn't allow us to cross over to Port Hardy. After checking in and looking at GRIB files the outlook of pushing farther south was looking dim with storm after storm piling up. There was however a small window to cross East Dixon and go back to Alaska.
So where are we now? Well... Ketchikan, where we discovered that many in town were awfully glad we failed.... again.