Goodbye Safe Harbour, Hello Akeeva!

First of all, apologies for the looooong delay in posting. Much has happened since my last update here. After six years and more than 3500 hours on Safe Harbour, my Nordic Tug 37, I traded her for Akeeva, a Nordhavn 50. As that was happening, the coronavirus situation was rapidly deteriorating. Within days of buying Akeeva, and on the eve of Washington’s stay-at-home order, Anna (my fiancée) and I practically … Read more

Baja 2019 | San Diego to Ensenada

Most of the content on Slowboat focuses on cruising north from Puget Sound. This is the area where we have the most experience, and where most of us from the Pacific Northwest naturally go cruising. The Pacific Northwest is undoubtedly fantastic—plentiful and diverse wildlife, thousands of miles of sheltered “inside” cruising, and magnificent scenery—but it’s also cold much of the year. And there’s a big world to explore by water! … Read more

Day 26 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Effingham Bay to Port Renfrew

We were up early this morning to start the two-day trek into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The weather, for once, was cooperating. Windy showed gusts in the single digits, Environment Canada predicted light wind building to westerly 5-15 later in the day. The morning light station reports were encouraging, with calm winds and 1 foot chop. Even the current looked like it would cooperate: starting at about 10:15 … Read more

Day 23 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Nettle Island to Robbers Passage

Sam left the Nettle Island anchorage early this morning and headed for Robbers Passage on Fleming Island. Port Alberni Yacht Club has an outstation there where they welcome non-members (for a fee, no reciprocals), but because it’s a weekend we were worried it might be full, so having an early scout was helpful. The days have been getting shorter for quite a while, but recently it’s seemed particularly noticeable. Today … Read more

Day 22 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Joe’s Bay to Nettle Island

We woke to fog this morning, but it was peaceful and quiet and still beautiful out here in the Broken Group. Today’s cruise was another short day, just 3nm over to Nettle Island. One of the biggest surprises most people have on the trip to Alaska is how much we move. We go somewhere almost every day, and more often than not we motor for at least three or four … Read more

Days 19-20 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Hot Springs Cove to Ucluelet

Today’s 45nm cruise from Hot Springs Cove to Ucluelet takes us back out into the ocean. The Environment Canada forecast was for a southeast wind 5-15kts, and Windy showed light winds in the morning, building to southeast 10-15 knots along our route, accompanied by a lazy 5-6 foot swell. Why are we skipping Clayoquot Sound? The short answer is timing. We waited for weather in Port McNeill, at Brooks Peninsula, … Read more

Day 18 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove

Overnight the wind dropped and the swell (Friendly Cove gets some swell) died off. The 4:40 a.m. light station reports sounded promising (single digit winds, one foot chop or rippled), so at about 7:00 a.m. we got underway for the four hour trip from Nootka Sound to Clayoquot Sound. The morning light was particularly pretty: Sea conditions were perfect: a gentle swell, no wind waves, little current. As we neared … Read more

Days 16-17 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bligh Island to Friendly Cove

This morning before leaving Bligh Cove, we took a few aerial photos since the light was so pretty. After breakfast we cruised the 6-7nm over to Friendly Cove, some of us snaking our way through the smaller passages between islands to kill time and add scenery. We anchored in Friendly Cove, rejoining the two boats that skipped Bligh Island yesterday for more time at Friendly Cove. After hiking and lighthouse … Read more

Day 15 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Hisnit Inlet to Bligh Island

Environment Canada predicted southeast 15-25 knot winds today and Windy looked worse. Not our day to round Estevan Point. We decided to move about 15nm to Bligh Cove, in the middle of Bligh Island at the head of Ewin Inlet. Along the way, we stopped at Resolution Cove. Here, in 1778, Captain Cook became the first Briton to land in what is now British Columbia. Once anchored, the crew cut … Read more

Day 14 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Tahsis to Hisnit Inlet

Our pace over the next several days is dictated by weather at Estevan Point, one of the major headlands on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The only must-see Nootka Sound destination for our group is Friendly Cove, about 20nm from Tahsis. If the weather was perfect today, we could even leave Tahsis, stop for a few hours at Friendly Cove, and continue around Estevan Point in the afternoon. Alas, … Read more