Cruising Down the West Coast in a Nordhavn 55 | Leg 2 | Grays Harbor WA to Crescent City CA

Thursday, 4:15 a.m. — Our original plan was to catch the early morning high slack at the Grays Harbor bar, which meant heading out before dark, again. However, in the morning we didn’t get an agreeable bar report (boooo!), so we opted to wait until the midday low slack and went back to bed (yaaaaay!). Thursday, 11:15 a.m. — We left our slip at Westport Marina after a few more … Read more

Day 25 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bamfield to Effingham Bay (and a whale rescue!)

This morning, en route from Bamfield to Effingham Bay, Airship and Dog Star had just entered Imperial Channel near Diana Island, when Dog Star radioed to tell us (on Airship) there were whales off their port side. We kept an eye out, and eventually spotted at a couple of humpbacks a half mile or so west of our course. One of the whales looked like it was just floating on … Read more

Day 24 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Robbers Passage to Bamfield

We leisurely left the docks at the Port Alberni Yacht Club this morning. Today was another short hop (across Trevor Channel over to Bamfield), and most boats lingered a bit in Trevor Channel to watch the whales. It was gray and rainy this morning, but whales don’t mind. Yesterday we noticed a white stripe on the back of one of the humpbacks, but today with the long lens and little … Read more

Day 13 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Nuchatlitz to Tahsis

With just 2.5 hours to travel today we didn’t rush out of Nuchatlitz this morning, which turned out to be extremely beneficial. Last night at about 1:30 a.m. (and again at 4:30 a.m.), we heard wolves howling over on shore in what sounded like a new meal celebration, but it was too dark to see anything. Laura went out into the cockpit of Airship and recorded what we were hearing … Read more

Day 7 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Kokwina Cove to North Harbour

The weather for rounding Brooks Peninsula continues to be problematic. Today looked like a relatively light day of wind, but tomorrow it’s supposed to be blowing from the south (again) at 30 knots or so, possibly making Columbia Cove (one of our favorite anchorages) uncomfortable. So even if we were to go around Brooks today, we’d have to find wait somewhere for a couple more days before backtracking to Columbia … Read more

Day 15 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Skull Cove to Alert Bay

We departed Skull Cove (in fog, again) and headed for Alert Bay via Ripple Passage. We soon spotted a small pod of orcas in the distance, and slowed to take a few photos. While we were focused on the distant pod, a few more surfaced much closer to our boat (almost too close to capture them with the long lens we were using!) Queen Charlotte Strait was shrouded in fog … Read more

Day 10 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Explorer Basin to Egg Harbor

If there are two highlights on this leg of the trip, Coronation Island is one of them (the other is Endicott Arm/Ford’s Terror). Coronation Island sits just south of Chatham Strait, out in the ocean. It’s a big island—about 30nm around—with a dramatic, bold coastline and bare peaks. Because it’s in the ocean, it’s “off the beaten path” and seldom visited. Thankfully, the weather for our visit cooperated perfectly. We … Read more

Day 9 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Bay of Pillars to Explorer Basin

After weeks of sun, we finally awoke to overcast. With a short run and a good forecast, we weren’t in any rush to leave, and eventually pulled the anchors around 9:00 a.m. Not long after leaving Bay of Pillars, an active humpback surprised Airship as it breached several times about 100 yards from the boat!    Explorer Basin is a large bay at the entrance to even-larger Tebenkof Bay. We … Read more

Day 5 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Gambier Bay to Pybus Bay

We had a short day today so we slept in, pulled crab traps, and eventually motored out of Snug Cove between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. With four people aboard Nereus and several days to go before the next spot to fill the water tanks, Safe Harbour rafted and transferred water before departure. The delay turned out to be serendipitous: as we left Gambier Bay, a small group of orcas blocked … Read more

Day 4 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Ford’s Terror to Gambier Bay

Regular readers know by now that Ford’s Terror can only be accessed at high water slack (actually, our recent dinghy excursion indicated low water slack is probably doable, but we don’t want to try it with a group the first time!). Today, that meant either about 6:00 a.m. or 6:45 p.m. Not wanting to motor through happy hour and dinner, we decided to take the early morning slack. We pulled … Read more