Sunday, July 16, 2017

Funter Bay with the sailing club

     I'm a couple of trips behind now, so let's see what I can share. Last weekend, the sailing club took a trip to Funter Bay, which is about 11-12 nautical miles south of Pt. Retreat, which is the northern tip of Admiralty Island, and on the west side.

     We left Douglas Harbor Thursday afternoon and cruised around the back side of Douglas, anchoring at Spuhn Island in Auke Bay overnight. That way, we could meet up with the rest of the fleet when they were ready to start the race. Since nothing is ever typical of sailing in Southeast Alaska, it didn't come as too big of a surprise that there was zero wind at the starting line, plus one of the boats that had planned on racing hadn't even arrived yet! The decision was made to push the starting line forward, closer to Retreat, and the starting time to later. We were just along for the trip, not being racers, so while other boats caught up, we decided to go fishing! Joe had heard halibut were biting around Retreat, so we dropped a couple of lines in about 130 feet of water, and waited. Lots of rockfish that we decided not to keep, but then a small halibut hooked on. It was probably about 10 pounds, but that made for plenty of meat for dinner, with leftovers!
     There wasn't much wind on that side, but once we rounded Pt. Retreat and turned south into Chatham Strait, the wind got with it! We radioed the rest of the fleet that they may want to double check which sails they were going to use since the wind was coming out of the south at 16 knots and building to about 22! They were appreciative, to say the least.
     Kyrie is not an upwind boat, by any means, but sailing would make the 3.5-foot seas much more comfortable, so we gave it the old college try. I climbed up and helped get the main unfurled,
we rolled out the yankee, and brought out a half-reefed genoa. That was plenty of sail! Joe said we probably could have put more of the genoa out, but it was most likely more than we wanted to try handling at this stage. We're still figuring out how to sail by instruments on Kyrie. I have to say that we did pretty well and even with the pounding, we sailed about 2/3 of the way to Funter before it just stopped being fun and we fired up the engine. Haiku and Vitamin Sea II still made it in before us, but that's okay. We all had fun. Asterix and Little Red made it later, making the grand total of five sailboats at the Funter Bay dock.

     Saturday started out rather rainy, so while three of the boats went out to try racing, we stayed in and watched a movie! Once the movie was done, however, the rain stopped and the sun tried to come out, so it was definitely time to get out and explore a bit. I had only been to Funter Bay a couple of times before and hadn't really done any exploring. First thing, we had to go find the buoy swing Joe saw while he was checking the crab pot. There were a number of us who headed out to wander and a few brave souls who tried the swing.
Levi on the swing
One of the crew off Little Red, getting
ready to swing
Levi, after one of his swing sessions

Shana, from Asterix. She must
have swung six times!

New favorite photo of the Kyrie crew!
Thanks Shana, for taking this for us!
Funter Bay is an area with a fascinating history, from cannery to gold mining to WWII internment camp.  Our acquaintance, Gabe Emerson has a fascinating website with everything you would want to know about Funter Bay here.

   Our trip home was fairly uneventful.  Unfortunately, we had to make time to get home due to dinner plans, so we didn't end up sailing, but made it home safe and sound in about 8.5 hours.

One more lovely trip for the books!

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