Day 5 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shoal Bay to Port Harvey, BC

We woke up this morning to reports of blustery winds on Johnstone Strait: 16-18 knots from the northwest, right on the bow. Conditions were borderline for the go-no go decision, so we punted. We’d continue towards Port Harvey as scheduled, but if we didn’t like what we were experiencing, we’d duck out and anchor for the night. Right off the bat, we had lots of current pushing us along. Greene Point Rapids … Read more

Day 4 | Flotilla to Alaska | Squirrel Cove to Shoal Bay, BC

We’d planned to be up early to arrive at the rapids (Yuculta, Gillard, and Dent) in time to hit Dent at the morning slack (because Dent is the most hazardous). That would have required us to leave at about 6:30 a.m. But the morning looked windier than the afternoon. And we like to sleep in if we can. It didn’t take long to convince ourselves and our group that the … Read more

Day 3 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pender Harbour to Squirrel Cove, BC

Cruising on a boat is fundamentally a big, complex, real-life puzzle. We’re balancing weather challenges, mechanical issues, the need for shoreside supplies, time on shore vs. time at anchor or underway, and so much more. It’s important to keep a flexible schedule (which is more difficult the more boats there are) yet deliver a reasonable level of certainty to flotilla participants. Today’s weather forecast created quite the challenge. The Environment Canada … Read more

Day 2 | Flotilla to Alaska | Silva Bay to Pender Harbour, BC

We awoke in Silva Bay this morning to coffee, pastries, and fruit provided by the folks at Silva Bay Resort and Marina. They were completely full (turning away many boaters) for the Victoria Day holiday weekend, yet still found the time to deliver fantastic service and hospitality. Thank you! The Strait of Georgia is one of the significant gates of the Inside Passage. Thankfully, we had an ideal weather forecast. Environment … Read more

Day 1 | Flotilla to Alaska | Roche Harbor to Silva Bay

Underway at last! In the past, we’ve taken groups through the Gulf Islands in a couple of nights. This year, we’re spending just one night in the Gulf Islands. It’s not that there’s nothing to see—there are tons of neat communities, anchorages, and marinas—but there’s only so much time. Over the next month, we’ll cover about 1000 nautical miles. Everyone on this trip has already spent time in the Gulf Islands, so … Read more

Safe Harbour | To Princess Louisa Inlet!

Princess Louisa Inlet is iconic. It’s a “holy grail,” and with good reason. It’s not too far from the major population centers (200nm from Seattle, for instance), yet it is among the most scenic spots on the coast. Cliffs rise from the water all the way to peaks thousands of feet above. Waterfalls tumble down. Trees cling for dear life. A classic fjord. About 10 years ago, Princess Louisa was … Read more

Nine Boats to Alaska: Failure Analysis

Last summer I took eight boats (nine including mine) from Anacortes to Southeast Alaska. Naturally, we experienced a few failures along the way. Below is an accounting of those failures, how we addressed them, and what lessons can be taken away. Failure: Inverter cabling This “professionally-installed” inverter cabling was woefully undersized—2 AWG rather than the specified 2/0 AWG, and the lug was 2/0 sized and poorly crimped to the cable. … Read more

Safe Harbour to Alaska | Day 8 | Pierre’s Echo Bay to Fury Cove

Rounding Cape Caution can be a challenge. Queen Charlotte Sound is one of the few places where the Inside Passage goes outside. Normally we go to Port McNeill before rounding Cape Caution. This gives everyone a chance to resupply (there’s a supermarket!), fill boats with fuel, and catch up on chores. Last year we got stuck in Port McNeill for several days waiting for strong winds to die down. Read … Read more