Day 25 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bamfield to Effingham Bay (and a whale rescue!)

This morning, en route from Bamfield to Effingham Bay, Airship and Dog Star had just entered Imperial Channel near Diana Island, when Dog Star radioed to tell us (on Airship) there were whales off their port side. We kept an eye out, and eventually spotted at a couple of humpbacks a half mile or so west of our course. One of the whales looked like it was just floating on … 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 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 4 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Sea Otter Cove to Varney Bay

Environment Canada predicted light winds and a 1-2 meter swell this morning, not quite perfect, but pretty darn close. But by noon the winds were supposed to be blowing 15-25 knots from the southeast, and even more wind was predicted by the evening. Then, the real storm was scheduled to arrive the following day, with 45-55 knot winds. We needed to be somewhere safe and comfortable. We left Sea Otter … Read more

Day 18 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Frederick Arm to Von Donop Inlet

We didn’t care much about timing Whirlpool Rapids and Greene Point Rapids yesterday, but we do care about the timing at Dent Rapids, Gillard Pass, and Yuculta Rapids. Thankfully, getting to the rapids at slack isn’t that hard. Frederick Arm to Dent Rapids is about 6.5nm (we’ll call it an hour) and Dent was predicted to be slack at at 7:01 a.m. So we left at 6:00 a.m., and as … Read more

Day 10 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Penn Harbour to Meyers Narrows Cove

We were a little concerned about the weather this morning. Environment Canada predicted 25-30 knot northwesterlies out on Hecate Strait, and we feared this wind might make things a little bumpy, particularly as we exited Surf Inlet and turned south into Laredo Channel. This corner is somewhat exposed to wind and seas that originate in Hecate Strait but wrap through Caamaño Sound. Worse, we’d be leaving on the ebb, which … Read more

Day 9 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Patterson Inlet to Penn Harbour

The forecast called for improving weather today, at least in terms of precipitation. No rain was in the forecast, and it looked liked it might even get sunny, but the fog would need to burn off first. We had more than 50nm to travel, so we got an early start and spent much of the day navigating by instruments. Navigating by instruments is actually pretty easy, especially in the lightly … 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 10 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Explorer Basin to Egg Harbor

If there are two highlights on this leg of the trip, Coronation Island is one of them (the other is Endicott Arm/Ford’s Terror). Coronation Island sits just south of Chatham Strait, out in the ocean. It’s a big island—about 30nm around—with a dramatic, bold coastline and bare peaks. Because it’s in the ocean, it’s “off the beaten path” and seldom visited. Thankfully, the weather for our visit cooperated perfectly. We … Read more

Day 9 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Bay of Pillars to Explorer Basin

After weeks of sun, we finally awoke to overcast. With a short run and a good forecast, we weren’t in any rush to leave, and eventually pulled the anchors around 9:00 a.m. Not long after leaving Bay of Pillars, an active humpback surprised Airship as it breached several times about 100 yards from the boat!    Explorer Basin is a large bay at the entrance to even-larger Tebenkof Bay. We … Read more