Just a stroll
It was a drastic change, arriving back into civilization after months of very remote anchorages and the lifestyle of Alaska and the northern part of BC. No one in their right minds would call this a metropolis by any means, but it was to us.
Since we did not wish to go into the big-city just yet, our first encounter with said metro-life was the small village of Siontula, just across the strait from Port McNeil. We anchored just outside the marina (because we are cruisers man!) and took the dinghy into town to accomplish three simple tasks; laundry, showers, and burgers – in that order, yum. The following morning Kerri tricked me into a huge hike – practically around the entire island – saying it was just a stroll to see the town, which was shuttered by the way, as it was a Monday or something like that. It turns out Siontula operates on Alaska’s business philosophy of “eh, maybe”.
A short hop away, Port McNeil allowed for some serious grocery resupplies, and even a few restaurant choices – though we chose only one. Again, we anchored outside the marina and took the dinghy into town the multiple times we went in. We really only came here for fuel, but the fuel dock could not service us as their main fuel hose sprung a leak… into the bay, ugh. Always ironic when the harbors themselves cause the oil/fuel leaks. Refusing to take any photos, as is our norm in civilization, we moved on after a two night stay to get back to remote life.
Which brings me to Alert Bay – a small community and island we skipped last year on the way up to Alaska. It was nice enough. I got tricked into another “stroll” but this time I was on to her tricks before she sprung the trap. Alert wasn’t really a destination to us, just a launching pad for our next day’s sail across the Strait and back to remote-proper – the Broughtons.
And what a day sailing it was. Sure, we had a couple hours of motoring, with the current in our favor at least, to clear some islands. Once clear, the wind filled in as forecast (what?!?!) and the sails came out for the rest of our day. The wind was not too weak. Not too strong. But just right! There was a bit of our old game of log-dodging, which we won at once again… thankfully. We even got a last minute visit by a local whale right off our port side. It was the closest whale we have encountered this year, and he didn’t seem to care we were there at all.