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

Day 7 | Flotilla to Alaska | Boughey Bay to Echo Bay

We awoke to very different weather than we’ve had: overcast, temps in the high 40s, and light mist. The wind was also blowing, still from the northwest but at 15-25 knots, building to 25-35 knots. Given the wind, we chose the “inside” route around the east side of Gilford Island to get to Pierre’s. This is a little longer than the “outside” route, but it minimizes time spent in Knight … Read more

Day 6 | Flotilla to Alaska | Campbell River to Boughey Bay

Today looked nearly perfect for running up Johnstone Strait to the Broughtons. Environment Canada called for light winds, building to northwest 15-25 knots late in the afternoon. Windy indicated “late in the afternoon” meant about 3:00 p.m. Given the 62nm cruising day, this weather forecast would suggest an early start. Getting north of Campbell River, though, requires transiting Seymour Narrows, which must be done near slack since currents can run … Read more

Day 5 | Flotilla to Alaska | Newcastle Island to Campbell River

We departed the docks at Newcastle Island this morning at 5:00a.m. Today our cruise would be a long one — all the way up the Strait of Georgia to Campbell River — about 75 nautical miles. The forecast was what we’d been hoping for, a little breezy in the morning but dying off as the day progressed and as we got further north.  The conditions at the Ballenas Islands at … Read more

Day 4 | Flotilla to Alaska | Clam Bay to Newcastle Island

We’ve been patiently waiting for the Strait of Georgia to cooperate for several days now, and we’re finally ready to move into a position to seize the good weather that’s forecast for Thursday and Friday. Our plan is to put the Strait of Georgia behind us on Thursday, by running all the way from Nanaimo to Campbell River. Then, on Friday, we’ll (hopefully) hit the morning turn-to-ebb at Seymour Narrows … Read more

Day 2 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ganges Harbour to Montague Harbour

With the weather still looking windy on the Strait of Georgia until Thursday, we didn’t have far to go today. Our goal is to meander through the Gulf Islands slowly, visiting new places while getting to know each other and providing an opportunity to shake down the boats. So today we made the long, eight mile trip from Ganges to Montague Harbour! Montague Harbour is huge, with room for hundreds … Read more