Day 15 | Flotilla to Alaska | Lowe Inlet to Kelp Passage Cove

The forecast today was for strong southerly winds (30-40 knots), and we weren’t totally sure how they would affect our trip up Grenville Channel. We departed Lowe Inlet a little after 10:00 a.m. in calm conditions and took advantage of the end of the flood to give us an extra few knots of speed. As we continued north the wind built, but we never lost the current. By the time … Read more

Day 14 | Flotilla to Alaska | Butedale to Lowe Inlet

We left Butedale early this morning — just before 6:30am — to beat the current in Grenville Channel. Grenville Channel floods from both sides, and currents run to several knots. Ideally you ride the flood in, and the ebb out. Theoretically, the current was supposed to turn against us about an hour before we reached Lowe Inlet. Instead, we had over a knot of current with us the entire trip. We’ll … Read more

Day 13 | Flotilla to Alaska | Bottleneck Inlet to Butedale

When we woke up in Bottleneck it was totally calm—glassy, except for rain drops, and not a breath of wind. Just outside, though, it was unexpectedly rough. There wasn’t much wind, but the southerly swell worked its way up Finlayson Channel. We spent a few minutes rolling around as we left, but things quickly settled down and we had an easy run up to Butedale. Butedale is an awesome stop. It’s … Read more

Day 12 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shearwater to Bottleneck Inlet

Winter has returned. We’ve been spoiled by warm, sunny weather. Now temps are in the 40s and 50s and the rain has been pouring down. Oh well, it’s part of boating on this coast…but we are all grateful for heating systems and interior helm stations! Today’s route was lots of fun, even with the dreary weather. We headed west out Seaforth Channel, and just as we began feeling the ocean … Read more

Day 11 | Flotilla to Alaska | Ocean Falls to Shearwater

Today the forecast was rain, rain, and more rain. The winds were forecast to pick up (to 20-30 knots) by about noon, so we headed out of Ocean Falls and Cousins Inlet a little earlier than we’d planned (8:30 a.m. or so). Boating is not all about humpback whales, fresh crab, and beautiful vistas. Occasionally real life calls…laundry, grocery shopping, catching up on business stuff. Today was that day. We … Read more

Day 10 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pruth Bay to Ocean Falls

As we move north, the scale of everything changes. The mountains rise higher, civilization grows sparser, and bodies of water are bigger. Today’s trip up Fitz Hugh Sound is a prime example–nearly 50nm  due north with hardly a building in sight. Imagine running from Seattle to Port Townsend with no structures on shore! Our destination was Ocean Falls, at the head of Cousins Inlet. Ocean Falls is lost in time. … Read more

Day 9 | Flotilla to Alaska | Fury Cove to Pruth Bay

We left Fury Cove around 10:00 a.m. and headed up Fitz Hugh Sound toward Pruth Bay, and quickly found ourselves in the middle of a pod of orcas just 10 minutes or so after departing. We hung out and watched them for a bit. Kevin went out on the bow of Airship and got some fantastic photos with the Fuji X-T2 100-400mm lens-on-a-monopod setup. We had high hopes that this lens was … Read more

Day 8 | Flotilla to Alaska | Rounding Cape Caution

Rounding Cape Caution is often the least comfortable stretch of the entire Inside Passage. Ocean swells roll in, wind chop often builds by the afternoon, and strong currents can cause waves to stack up. And no matter which route you take, the seas are mostly on the beam. We had a nearly perfect weather forecast, and when we woke up all the pertinent weather reporting stations looked great. The crab … Read more

Day 7 | Flotilla to Alaska | Echo Bay to Blunden Harbour

We’re skipping Port McNeill. The weather is awesome—sunny, warm, calm winds—and the boats (and boaters) are all super capable. We’ve got plenty of fuel, water, and supplies to keep going, so instead of diverting to Port McNeill, we headed for Blunden Harbour. Not only is Blunden Harbour an amazing anchorage, but it also makes our trip around Cape Caution way shorter (~50 miles instead of 80 miles). After a lazy … Read more

Day 6 | Flotilla to Alaska | Port Harvey to Pierre’s Echo Bay

The Broughtons are a world-class cruising destination. Hundreds of islets and islands, snowcapped mountains, and protected water, combined with a half dozen mom-and-pop marinas, each with their own charms. We’re rushing through, providing flotilla participants a taste so they can choose where to go on the way home. Today’s route took us through the Broughtons. We navigated Chatham Channel near slack current, then headed out Knight Inlet towards Queen Charlotte … Read more