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 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 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 3 | Flotilla to Alaska | Montague Harbour to Clam Bay

With Thursday (two days away) still looking like our best bet for the Strait of Georgia, we are still pacing ourselves while enjoying the beautiful Gulf Islands. We left Montague Harbour mid-morning for the short jaunt up to Clam Bay – a nice anchorage on the east side of Thetis Island. There is an intertidal passage between Clam Bay and Telegraph Harbour which can be traversed by dinghy at higher … Read more

The Case for Slow

Fast cruising boats are all the rage these days. Pod drives, planing hulls, powerful twin turbo diesels, and even giant supercharged outboards deliver copious quantities of cruising knots to boaters with deep pockets and a need to Get There Now. Modern cruisers don’t have time to wait around, apparently. They’ve got people to see and places to be – and if a few hundred horsepower can lop several hours off … Read more

Getting the Most from Windy.com

Windy.com is our single favorite weather resource for cruising the Pacific Northwest. We never ignore the official NOAA or Environment Canada marine forecasts, but Windy offers a much more granular look at the weather. Environment Canada and NOAA forecasts cover large areas over many hours with wind speeds expressed in big ranges (10 knots or more). Windy allows you to pan and zoom to the area you’ll be traveling, and to … Read more