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

Day 8 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Kake to Bay of Pillars

We left Kake early hoping to beat the forecast 15 knot southerlies on Chatham Strait. As we motored out of Frederick Sound, the wind picked up and the seas built for a few minutes, then died entirely. Perfect! We anchored partway into Bay of Pillars, relaxed aboard for awhile (a few people went fishing), then explored by dinghy. A narrow, shallow channel leads back to the inner part of the … Read more

Day 2 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 2 | Klag Bay to Kimshan Cove

After a lazy morning, we left Klag Bay around 9:00 a.m. The aids to navigation on this section of coast could use some love but we found our way: Our first stop was Radioville. Several years ago we’d heard about this spot from Bill Pierre at the bar in Pelican. He explained that a guy named Joe used to live on an island offshore from Klag Bay. Joe was a … Read more

Day 34 | Flotilla to Alaska | Deep Bay to Sitka

Thirty-four days after we left the San Juan Islands for our journey up the Inside Passage, we are ready for this last leg of the flotilla into Sitka. It’s been a spectacular trip, and we’re excited and also a little sad to be reaching the end. We’ve had a remarkably smooth transit – with a combination of great luck and good timing on weather windows for the “gates” of the … Read more

Day 30 | Flotilla to Alaska | Red Bluff Bay to Warm Springs Bay

Red Bluff Bay to Warm Springs Bay is about 21nm, straight up Chatham Strait. As we mentioned yesterday, Chatham Strait can be challenging, and even 10-15 knots of wind can make for a bumpy ride. But we emerged from Red Bluff Bay to find another calm and glassy day on Chatham. Safe Harbour and Airship (and Jester, because he’s an early bird) headed out just before 7:00 a.m. The dock … Read more