Klemtu, Butedale, Bishop Bay Hot Springs

Friday May 27th – Saturday May 28th


Well this is something that I could never do with the C-Dory,  I am typing and driving as we leave Bishop Bay Hot Springs and on our way to Hartley Bay.  Of course I am constantly lifting my eyes and tweaking the wheel to stay on course and watch out for giant logs we have nick named “Kraken”.  Klemtu feels more like it was a week ago and not just yesterday morning and the days are starting to blur together and I am starting to feel rested and at peace.  It is hard not to enjoy a sunny day without barely a ripple on the water and after soaking in one of the most beautiful hot springs I have ever been to.  As we were sitting in the hot sprigs this morning a whale blew right out from our boat next to a sailboat at one of the 2 mooring buoys.  Bishop hot springs has a small dock and nice ramp and short trail up to the springs and has 2 pools, one for washing and one for soaking with a hose piping nice hot water into the rocky tub.  The main soaking tub is covered with a nice cedar building with a changing area and it is covered with messages from fellow ocean travelers from all over the world.  Hanging above your head in the soaking area is a myriad of colorful buoys with boat names, crew names, dates and destination.  One that stood out to me was Seward to Tahiti – what an amazing adventure that would be.  On the docks we met a nice family busily figuring out how to fillet a 100lb plus halibut and the boys quickly donned shorts and headed for the water.  It was a bit of a challenge to get the triplets all life jacketed up and up the hill, 1 for me, 2 for Cathy – she is amazing and in we went.  Diapers was a bad idea as they quickly grew 3 times their size and life jackets came off quickly as well and it did not take long to have 3 happy naked babies splashing in the water.  It took me a little while to relax as well as anytime you have an infant around the water and it is stressful, times that by 3 and you get the idea, sometimes I think this is absolutely crazy but if you look at their wonderful smiles and listen to their laughs as you pretend their are underwater fish getting their toes you quickly realize the strain and stress are way overweighed by the joy and future together.

We had to add our mark to the place so we drew a picture of the “Sundog” onto a buoy and all signed our names and hunt it amongst the other water travelers that have soaked here.  Good bye Bishop Hot Springs – hope to be back some day.

Butedale was a dump:) and I absolutely love it, seriously looked like a bomb had gone off but it had an amazing amount of charm and beauty to it.  The signs of hazard enter at your own risk were very accurate as Marika, 1st mate to the Wandrian took a wrong step and tumbled into the water.  Luckily nothing was hurt but her pride but it was  a more real lesson for the boys to be careful.  Butedale had been a cannery and such in the day and had about 500 people working and segregated by race.  As we walked into what was the old cook house their was an old newspaper article that featured Betty who had written “Bijaboji” which is one of the books that has been an inspiration that has led to this trip.  Betty rowed in a 14′ dugout canoe converted to a row boat from Washington up to Haines area and in 1937.  I am always amazed to read stories of people like this and they make trips that make this adventure we are on seem common place.  It is funny as we get off in different ports or anchorages and start talking with people they are always excited to hear that we are headed all the way to AK but then when we load up the stroller with triplets we always get a double take, or triple take and generally say we are crazy and heck, maybe we are.  Butedale has a massive waterfall and up above all the old buildings is a older hydro plant that the caretaker has a pipe of water turning a wheel that then turns an alternator and with the help of a car alternator keeps a bank of batteries charged and an inverter keeps their little house happy with power enough to watch movies and do the basics.

Caleb is driving and does not have much patience so I better get back to the helm, not sure he will be able to handle the gulf crossing but at this point not sure if I will either:)  Actually my confidence is growing in the boat and I am very sure it can handle much more than we can.

Sundog Out for now – off to Hartley for ice cream and to catch up with the Wandrian crew who overnighted in Butedale.