Knowing and Trusting Your Sources

When choosing navigation routes and anchorages, particularly in remote areas, there are numerous sources of information available to cruisers. There are paper and electronic charts, chartplotters, apps (such as Coastal Explorer, Navionics, and iNavX) for computers, smart phones, and tablets, as well as physical reference books. In SE Alaska, the books we typically use are (1) the Douglass’ guide “Exploring Southeast Alaska” and (2) “Charlie’s Charts North to Alaska.”  One … Read more

Dixon Entrance, Prince Rupert, Baker Inlet

We’re cruising together again! Laura and Kevin picked up Sam from the Ketchikan airport around 11:00 a.m. (how cool is an airport that has a dinghy dock?!) and we set off together to cross Dixon Entrance. We have about ten days to get down to Port McNeill to start a flotilla trip around Vancouver Island, so no time for dallying. The weather today was good, tomorrow questionable, so we wanted … Read more

Airship | Vixen Harbor to Ketchikan

Frosty Bay was gray with drizzle when we awoke — first gray day in quite a few! We made coffee and pulled anchor just before 9:00 a.m. and continued down Seward Passage and into Ernest Sound. I had plotted our course all the way to Meyers Chuck, but we really wanted to stay somewhere we hadn’t been before. Between Anan and Meyers Chuck there aren’t many anchorages that seem like … Read more

Airship | Sokolof Island, Wrangell 4th of July, and Berg Bay

We left Point Baker and headed toward Wrangell, stopping to fish for halibut around Vank and Sokolof Islands in the afternoon. We didn’t catch anything and thought we’d fish again the next morning, so we anchored for the night in a little bight on the SE corner of Sokolof Island — a decent anchorage with a distant view of Wrangell. In the evening we saw a small brown bear on … Read more

Airship | Hidden Falls Hatchery and Red Bluff Bay

We left Takatz Bay this morning and headed back to Ell Cove so we could give the hatchery visit another shot. Conditions were gray with fog and light rain. We saw a couple of orcas just outside Takatz, which was nice. Here’s a really bad photo of one of them: We anchored in Ell Cove, dinghied over to Hidden Falls, and wandered around the hatchery grounds a little before we … Read more

Airship | Angoon to Takatz Bay

This morning we had intended to walk into the village at Angoon, then take the dinghy back to Mitchell Bay during the afternoon slack. However, when we did a bit more research on the currents, we realized that Bridge Point had a reporting station, and that slack current this morning (turning to flood) was just 15 minutes from the time we were looking it up! So, instead of walking into … Read more

Safe Harbour | St. John Harbor, Shrubby Island, McHenry Anchorage

From Petersburg I had two goals: see as many new anchorages as possible, and make it to Ketchikan (only about 110 nautical miles) before a flight out of town in a week. Easy! After a morning of chores in Petersburg, I rode the flood south, to arrive at Papke’s Landing (roughly the mid-point, where the flood current from each side meets) at high water. The timing worked out nicely, but … Read more