Day 12 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shearwater to Bottleneck Inlet

Winter has returned. We’ve been spoiled by warm, sunny weather. Now temps are in the 40s and 50s and the rain has been pouring down. Oh well, it’s part of boating on this coast…but we are all grateful for heating systems and interior helm stations! Today’s route was lots of fun, even with the dreary weather. We headed west out Seaforth Channel, and just as we began feeling the ocean … Read more

Day 11 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ocean Falls to Shearwater

Today the forecast was rain, rain, and more rain. The winds were forecast to pick up (to 20-30 knots) by about noon, so we headed out of Ocean Falls and Cousins Inlet a little earlier than we’d planned (8:30 a.m. or so). Boating is not all about humpback whales, fresh crab, and beautiful vistas. Occasionally real life calls…laundry, grocery shopping, catching up on business stuff. Today was that day. We … Read more

Day 10 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pruth Bay to Ocean Falls

As we move north, the scale of everything changes. The mountains rise higher, civilization grows sparser, and bodies of water are bigger. Today’s trip up Fitz Hugh Sound is a prime example–nearly 50nm  due north with hardly a building in sight. Imagine running from Seattle to Port Townsend with no structures on shore! Our destination was Ocean Falls, at the head of Cousins Inlet. Ocean Falls is lost in time. … Read more

Day 8 | Flotilla to Alaska | Rounding Cape Caution

Rounding Cape Caution is often the least comfortable stretch of the entire Inside Passage. Ocean swells roll in, wind chop often builds by the afternoon, and strong currents can cause waves to stack up. And no matter which route you take, the seas are mostly on the beam. We had a nearly perfect weather forecast, and when we woke up all the pertinent weather reporting stations looked great. The crab … Read more

Day 7 | Flotilla to Alaska | Echo Bay to Blunden Harbour

We’re skipping Port McNeill. The weather is awesome—sunny, warm, calm winds—and the boats (and boaters) are all super capable. We’ve got plenty of fuel, water, and supplies to keep going, so instead of diverting to Port McNeill, we headed for Blunden Harbour. Not only is Blunden Harbour an amazing anchorage, but it also makes our trip around Cape Caution way shorter (~50 miles instead of 80 miles). After a lazy … Read more

Day 6 | Flotilla to Alaska | Port Harvey to Pierre’s Echo Bay

The Broughtons are a world-class cruising destination. Hundreds of islets and islands, snowcapped mountains, and protected water, combined with a half dozen mom-and-pop marinas, each with their own charms. We’re rushing through, providing flotilla participants a taste so they can choose where to go on the way home. Today’s route took us through the Broughtons. We navigated Chatham Channel near slack current, then headed out Knight Inlet towards Queen Charlotte … Read more

Day 5 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shoal Bay to Port Harvey, BC

We woke up this morning to reports of blustery winds on Johnstone Strait: 16-18 knots from the northwest, right on the bow. Conditions were borderline for the go-no go decision, so we punted. We’d continue towards Port Harvey as scheduled, but if we didn’t like what we were experiencing, we’d duck out and anchor for the night. Right off the bat, we had lots of current pushing us along. Greene Point Rapids … Read more

Day 4 | Flotilla to Alaska | Squirrel Cove to Shoal Bay, BC

We’d planned to be up early to arrive at the rapids (Yuculta, Gillard, and Dent) in time to hit Dent at the morning slack (because Dent is the most hazardous). That would have required us to leave at about 6:30 a.m. But the morning looked windier than the afternoon. And we like to sleep in if we can. It didn’t take long to convince ourselves and our group that the … Read more

Day 3 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pender Harbour to Squirrel Cove, BC

Cruising on a boat is fundamentally a big, complex, real-life puzzle. We’re balancing weather challenges, mechanical issues, the need for shoreside supplies, time on shore vs. time at anchor or underway, and so much more. It’s important to keep a flexible schedule (which is more difficult the more boats there are) yet deliver a reasonable level of certainty to flotilla participants. Today’s weather forecast created quite the challenge. The Environment Canada … Read more

Day 2 | Flotilla to Alaska | Silva Bay to Pender Harbour, BC

We awoke in Silva Bay this morning to coffee, pastries, and fruit provided by the folks at Silva Bay Resort and Marina. They were completely full (turning away many boaters) for the Victoria Day holiday weekend, yet still found the time to deliver fantastic service and hospitality. Thank you! The Strait of Georgia is one of the significant gates of the Inside Passage. Thankfully, we had an ideal weather forecast. Environment … Read more