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

Days 2-3 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Dawes Glacier and Ford’s Terror

We left our anchorage at Tracy Arm Cove at about 9:00 in the morning and headed up Endicott Arm for Dawes Glacier. Our destination for later today is Ford’s Terror, which we’ll pass on the way to Dawes Glacier, but slack/entry at Ford’s Terror won’t be until about 5:00 p.m., which gives us plenty of time to visit another tidewater glacier! Kevin’s brother Craig (visiting from Miami), is joining Airship … Read more

Day 8 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 2 | Hoonah to Neka Bay

After breakfast in town at Fisherman’s Daughter and one more quick trip to the Hoonah Trading Post, we departed Hoonah and headed deeper into Port Frederick toward Neka Bay. The sky was a bit gray but the water was calm, and we anchored and rafted in the North Bight of Neka Bay.  Commercial crabbing season opened on June 15, so Neka Bay proper was jammed with crab pots like we’ve … Read more

Day 31-32 | Flotilla to Alaska | Warm Springs Bay to Takatz Bay

With just nine miles to travel today, we didn’t rush off the dock at Warm Springs Bay. After a relaxed morning—more soaking in the hot springs, warm cinnamon rolls delivered to each boat, and more computer work—we headed north to Takatz Bay around 10:30 a.m. Chatham Strait was smooth once again, with a nice current boosting our speed. On the way into Takatz Bay Salish Spirit spotted a brown bear on shore. … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 2 | Nanaimo to Campbell River

We left the docks at Nanaimo just before 6:00 a.m. for the long cruise north to Campbell River (about 75nm). The forecast for the Strait of Georgia was quite good, so we figured we’d skip our planned stop in Comox and have a long (but hopefully calm) day on the Strait of Georgia. The downside to the calm conditions is smoke. Visibility was about one mile most of the day. … Read more

Airship | Victoria to Anacortes | Dragonboats and Orcas

The day we left Victoria also happened to be the day of the 2018 Victoria Dragon Boat Festival in Victoria Harbour. The dragon boats began racing at 8:00 a.m. and would continue all day until about 4:30 p.m., so getting out of Causeway Floats between a race (every 11 minutes) took a little bit of planning with harbour security. We got instructions and an escort for part of the way … Read more