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

Day 29 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pybus Bay to Red Bluff Bay

We awoke to the sun peeking through the clouds and light wind, perfect for the 40 mile run to Red Bluff Bay. This trip—through Frederick Sound, around Pt. Gardner, and across Chatham Strait—can be bumpy and miserable when the wind is blowing. We had no wind, no chop, calm seas.  Often we see many whales in this area, but not today. A few boats saw a few spouts, but nothing … Read more

Day 25-26 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg and Le Conte Glacier

We decided to spend three nights in Petersburg. Part of the reason was practical: we arrived late in the afternoon, will depart in the morning, and will spend a full day out at Le Conte Glacier. This barely gives enough time to get groceries, fix any boat problems, do laundry, or explore Petersburg. Plus we really like Petersburg; it’s a charming, proud small town. So the day after arriving in … Read more

Day 15 | Flotilla to Alaska | Khutze Bay to Lowe Inlet

Another gorgeous morning! Blue skies and very little wind made the cruise up from Khutze Bay to Lowe Inlet a very pleasant day. Today is another longish cruise (~54nm) through beautiful inside channels. Sunshine improves the view. We spotted a big black bear on shore as we transited Graham Reach. At first it looked like the bear was going to hightail it into the woods before we could get much … Read more

Day 14 | Flotilla to Alaska | Rescue Bay to Khutze Bay

We awoke to blue sky, light wind, and the promise of magnificent views. The day did not disappoint. Given the long(ish) distance we have to cover today (55nm) and our desire to enjoy the views and not feel rushed, we began leaving about 8:00 a.m. As we motored north towards Fiordland we were occasionally accompanied by Dall’s porpoises surfing bow wakes, which is always such a treat. We made a detour … Read more

Day 13 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shearwater to Rescue Bay

With chores completed and a good weather forecast, we headed out of Shearwater around 8:30 a.m. The course to Rescue Bay runs west in Seaforth Channel, almost to the ocean, and then through narrow Reid Passage to Perceval Narrows. When the westerly is blowing, Seaforth Channel can be awful, and with swells crashing on nearby rocks, getting into Reid Passage can be frightening. Today the weather cooperated. The route passes … Read more

Day 9 | Flotilla to Alaska | Blunden Harbour to Fury Cove

Around Cape Caution! When we fell asleep last night, Environment Canada (Central Coast zone) was calling for “wind light” and seas one meter all day. Windy (ECMWF model) was showing this: Forecasts don’t get much better than that, but forecasts aren’t always right. So when we woke up at 4:30 a.m. we checked West Sea Otter buoy, where the wind was gusting to 4 knots and the seas were a … Read more