R2AK Day 11 – Inside Passage’s Spectacular Greville Channel
Colin is currently anchored in Klewnuggit, just outside the Marine Provincial Park. He’s about 40 kilometers south of where the Skeena river flows into the Pacific. Dale McKinnon, who is very familiar with these waters, describes the confluence of the Skeena and tidal waters as notorious in a flood tide and even challenging in an ebb tide. Tomorrow he’ll be travelling these waters, so fingers crossed that all goes well.
Today he left his anchorage at about 5 am, crossed over to Gribbell Island and hugged the southern coast of it before making a 10 km crossing of Wright Sound. Wright Sound is where in 2006, BC Ferry’s Queen of the North disastrously ran aground and sunk, killing 2 people. Colin then entered the Grenville Channel, a 70 km long channel that is described as the most spectacular channel along the Inside Passage. It is sandwiched by towering mountains and narrows to a mere 1400 ft in some areas.
According to the weather report it’s been a grey rainy day with light winds in that area. However, the high mountains and narrow inlet can create a funnelling effect for both winds and currents. Colin pulled into his current anchorage around 4:30 pm, which is early for him, so I suspect conditions were not ideal.
Update: Colin called Small Craft Advisor and left an update. Here it is, courtesy of their FB page.
Colin (Team Angus Rowboats) checked in from a nice anchorage near Klewnuggit Inlet. He says he made good progress today courtesy of strong tailwinds and a tremendous favorable current that had him doing a long stretch at 8 knots.
He’d planned to push on further tonight but came around a turn in the narrow channel route he’s chosen to find a 20-knot headwind stacking up against the current, so he decided to aim for the nearby inlet and anchorage.
Colin says the steep mountains come right down to rocky shores and there are far fewer anchorages and almost no beaches to be found. In fact he says it was a bit disconcerting at his anchorage last night when the wind clocked around onshore blowing over lots of fetch at the craggy shoreline. And I’m guessing it probably didn’t help that he’d seen his first bear on that same strip of land earlier in the evening . Fortunately the winds never really came up.
He and the boat are doing great, although his auto-pilot, which had been making funny noises and which he’s come to rely on, finally quit entirely. He installed his backup unit and says it’s performing great. Who says you can’t carry everything you need on an 18-foot rowboat?