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

Day 1 | Flotilla to Alaska | Roche Harbor to Silva Bay

Underway at last! In the past, we’ve taken groups through the Gulf Islands in a couple of nights. This year, we’re spending just one night in the Gulf Islands. It’s not that there’s nothing to see—there are tons of neat communities, anchorages, and marinas—but there’s only so much time. Over the next month, we’ll cover about 1000 nautical miles. Everyone on this trip has already spent time in the Gulf Islands, so … Read more

Slipless in Seattle: Full-Time Cruising on Puget Sound

Since buying Safe Harbour three and a half years ago, I’ve been fortunate to spend each summer cruising British Columbia and Alaska. As spring rolled around I’d let the marina know that May would be my last month. And each fall I returned and lived aboard through the winter, spending most of my time at the dock. This winter was different. Unlike my previous job, working on Slowboat doesn’t mean … Read more

Where Can I Anchor on Lake Washington?

For the last couple weeks, I’ve been cruising Lake Union and Lake Washington. As a boater who prefers anchoring to tying up at marinas, these lakes present a bit of a problem. While several bays look appealing, anchoring is highly restricted. Apparently anchored boats have caused problems in the past. Lake Washington is surrounded by the area’s most expensive residential real estate, and the wealthy waterfront residents don’t like when … Read more

Safe Harbour | To Princess Louisa Inlet!

Princess Louisa Inlet is iconic. It’s a “holy grail,” and with good reason. It’s not too far from the major population centers (200nm from Seattle, for instance), yet it is among the most scenic spots on the coast. Cliffs rise from the water all the way to peaks thousands of feet above. Waterfalls tumble down. Trees cling for dear life. A classic fjord. About 10 years ago, Princess Louisa was … Read more

Safe Harbour | Winter Boating in the San Juans

Three weeks have elapsed since I wrote from Sucia Island. Since then, I’ve been wandering around the San Juans, trying to stay warm and avoid the worst of the windy weather we’ve been experiencing. Destinations have included Jones Island, Fisherman Bay, Blind Bay, Friday Harbor, Sylvan Cove, Brigantine Bay, Cypress Island, and more. I haven’t been in the San Juans since August, and it’s amazing how different they are this … Read more