Day 8 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Captain Cove to Patterson Inlet

Today was an easy day: no weather concerns, simple navigation, and not far to go. Along the way we spotted a few dolphins. A long, narrow, easily navigated channel leads to Patterson Inlet, which indents Pitt Island. Along the way we saw this sign. We’re not sure who made it, but we’ve seen others like it at nearby anchorages. A little further in we saw this eagle, preening its feathers: … Read more

Day 7 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Prince Rupert to Captain Cove

We’d hoped for a lazy morning in Prince Rupert—time to catch up on a few more chores or go out for breakfast, perhaps—but the weather conspired against us. More accurately, the forecast conspired against us. Windy predicted southerly wind near 20 knots by mid-afternoon at the confluence of Ogden Channel, Grenville Channel, and Arthur Passage. A few years ago, we’d been in the same area with slightly more wind and … Read more

Day 6 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Foggy Bay to Prince Rupert

Goodbye Alaska! We’ve had a great couple months wandering around Southeast—the best weather we can remember (except for that one week of smoke), excellent bear and whale watching, and just a few boat gremlins—but in order to have a leisurely trip down the outside of Vancouver Island with decent weather, it’s time to head south. NOAA predicted 10 knot winds and Environment Canada said wind light. Windy showed single digit … Read more

Day 4 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Walker Cove to Punchbowl Cove

Today we headed south from Walker Cove to Punchbowl Cove, about 19 nautical miles. Punchbowl Cove is normally our second preferred anchorage in Misty Fjords, but definitely not for lack of beauty, which it is rolling in! The reason is that normally Punchbowl Cove is very heavily trafficked…float planes and tour boats are in and out of the cove ALL day, making it feel almost as busy as the city … Read more

Days 2-3 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Marguerite Bay to Walker Cove

Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the most scenic places in Southeast Alaska. Waterfalls of all types, from dainty-looking ribbons to furious torrents, plunge into the ocean. Sheer walls rise thousands of feet into the misty skies. In the places sufficiently horizontal for soil to gather, scars from landslides abound, illustrating just how tenuously the soil and vegetation cling to the cliffs. We’ll visit two of the most dramatic … Read more

Day 1 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Ketchikan to Marguerite Bay

Several weeks ago we stumbled upon some information about the Margaret Creek Wildlife Viewing Area near Ketchikan. Exploring Southeast Alaska (the most popular cruising guide for the area) had almost no information on the bay or the wildlife viewing area, but the anchorage in adjacent Marguerite Bay looked spacious and well-protected with moderate depths. The description of the wildlife viewing area was tantalizing: a 1.25 mile walk to a platform … Read more

Day 17 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Tolstoi Bay to Ketchikan

The 34nm route today from Tolstoi Bay to Ketchikan crosses Clarence Strait and transits south down Tongass Narrows. Traffic increases exponentially as we near the “big city”  — cruise ships, tour boats, float planes, ferries, fishing boats, pleasure boats, and so on. The rest of the group headed for the docks at Bar Harbor (closest to groceries and laundry), while Airship found a spot at city floats in town. Kevin’s … Read more

Day 16 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Exchange Cove to Tolstoi Bay

We departed Exchange Cove and headed south through Kashevarof Passage towards Clarence Strait. Water was glassy for the first couple hours of our 44nm transit, then picked up a little in Clarence Strait. We saw a few humpback spouts in the distance but otherwise an uneventful, calm cruise. Tolstoi Bay is on the west side of Clarence Strait near Thorne Bay. We anchored in the west cove, near a couple … Read more

Day 15 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Point Baker to Exchange Cove

We weren’t in any rush to depart Point Baker, but we all got underway fairly early for the short cruise to Exchange Cove. Right off the bat, strong opposing current slowed our progress. Watching the speed over ground drop into the 5s, then 4s is painful, but thankfully the water was calm and we only had 25nm to travel. Around Point Colpoys the current finally released us from its grip … Read more

Day 14 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Devilfish Bay to Point Baker

Our route today from Devilfish Bay to Point Baker is via El Capitan Passage. El Capitan Passage is a narrow, winding, shallow pass (dredged to 6 feet in some places), but it is well-marked and well-charted. Unfortunately, low tide this morning was at about 7:30 a.m. and is a -1.6ft, so we opted to leave Devilfish Bay around 10:00 a.m. to ensure we would have plenty of water under our … Read more