Day 17 | Flotilla to Alaska | Kelp Passage to Foggy Bay

We’ve had really good weather at all the gates so far. We had to wait, but the Strait of Georgia ended up being lake-like. Johnstone Strait was placid. Cape Caution had a bit of swell: the boats definitely moved, but there was almost no wind or wind chop. For the last week, we’ve scarcely seen more than a ripple on the water. So the pressure is on: can we make … Read more

Day 16 | Flotilla to Alaska | Lowe Inlet to Kelp Passage

Occasionally we expect a day to be a grind and are pleasantly surprised when it’s not. Like today. Conventional wisdom says that the current in Grenville Channel floods in from both sides and meets in the vicinity of Evening Point. To maximize speed and minimize fuel burn (currents run to four knots!), we’re supposed to ride the end of the flood in, arrive at Evening Point near high water, and … 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 12 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ocean Falls to Shearwater

Cruising on the Central Coast is mostly about anchoring, so the occasional visit to a marina is usually accompanied by a flurry of chores. No other marina or town on the Central Coast offers the convenience and capability of Shearwater. Within just a few steps of the top of the dock is a surprisingly well stocked grocery and liquor store, coffee shop, pub and restaurant, excellent laundromat, chandlery, and boat … Read more

Day 11 | Flotilla to Alaska | Codville Lagoon to Ocean Falls

The flotilla left Codville Lagoon this morning between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. We had a total of three crab traps out and one prawn trap, and the shellfish haul before we left consisted of two Dungeness crabs and six big spot prawns. Not too bad!  We had a nice cruise up Fisher Channel, then up Cousins Inlet, and found ample space on the docks at Ocean Falls.  This early in … Read more

Day 10 | Flotilla to Alaska | Fury Cove to Codville Lagoon

We’ve been focused on “gates” since meeting in the San Juans a week and a half ago. First we had the Strait of Georgia, then the next day the rapids and Johnstone Strait, then a few days later Cape Caution. The “gates” are heavily front-loaded on this trip, and it feels good to have four of the five behind us. Now, for the next several hundred miles, as we work … 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

Day 8 | Flotilla to Alaska | Echo Bay to Blunden Harbour

Queen Charlotte Sound—rounding Cape Caution—is probably the most significant of the “gates” along the Inside Passage. Here, every vessel is forced from behind the shelter of Vancouver Island into the open Pacific for 40 miles. Since we left the Gulf Islands, we’ve been looking ahead for our opportunity to round Cape Caution. Tomorrow looks to be the day, so this morning we put the Broughtons behind us and headed northwest … Read more