Safe Harbour | Round Islet, Hobart Bay, Farragut Bay

Soon after the flotilla arrived in Juneau I had to leave the boat and return to the lower 48 by air. Juneau is a great place to do this since there’s first-come, first-served open moorage available (rather than hot-berthing), reasonable rates (~$230 for a month, with power!), and good airline service (Alaska and Delta fly multiple flights per day to/from Seattle). Leaving the boat in a strange port can be … Read more

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

Today we left the Broughtons. We’re constantly amazed at how quickly the miles tick by. A week after leaving the San Juans, we’re further north than many cruisers make it in a lifetime. Granted, our cruise thus far has skipped plenty of outstanding destinations, but that’s only because there are so many to see further up the coast. A week out, we’ve covered about a quarter of the distance to … Read more

Meyers Narrows and Kynumpt Harbour

We left Port Stephens with no particular destination in mind. Once again, rain poured down. Given the rainfall, not much scenery was visible and riding around in the dinghy wasn’t very attractive, so we figured we’d make miles. We hate to zoom through such an interesting section of coast, but frankly, we’re ready for summer. Outside of Port Stephens conditions weren’t very summer-like. Gusty southerly wind, 1-3 foot chop, sideways … Read more

Kassa Inlet and Hunter Bay | Prince of Wales Island

From Hydaburg we headed south in protected inside waters. After the coldest and wettest summer we can remember in SE Alaska, today’s sunshine was welcome! It looks like the sunshine is going to stick around for the foreseeable future…an Alaskan heatwave! Our first stop was Kassa Inlet. Its long shoreline with several bays looked like great exploring. We arrived in the evening and saved the dinghying for the following day. … Read more

Kuiu Island

Kake to Halleck Harbor We left Kake mid-day, since Halleck Harbor (in Saginaw Bay) was just 15 miles or so around the corner and we had to wait for the fuel dock…or, the fuel truck. Kake used to have a small fuel dock, but last winter the dock blew away during a storm that brought 80-knot winds for several days, then 70-knot winds from the opposite direction. For now, they’re … Read more

Windham Bay, Endicott Arm, Sandborn Canal, and Kake

After our incredible day at Pack Creek, we headed back down Seymour Canal, joined by a couple of humpbacks. Then, as we were cruising across Stephens Passage toward Windham Bay, we were greeted by about 30 Dall’s porpoises who played in Airship’s bow wake for about a half an hour. We never tire of these guys—they’re so playful!! We anchored in the southern nook just inside the entrance of Windham … Read more

Pack Creek Bears | Admiralty Island

The Pack Creek bear viewing area on Admiralty Island is permit-only between June 1 and September 10, and is located up near the top of Seymour Canal. The island is home to an estimated 1,500 brown bears — more than all the Lower 48 states combined. From Juneau via float plane, it’s probably only half an hour, but by (Slow)boat from Juneau, it’s about 74 nautical miles and takes two … Read more

Safe Harbour | Sitka to Juneau

After a few days of chores and goodbyes in Sitka, I headed for Juneau. I would have loved to continue cruising with the group, but commitments intervened and I needed to make it Juneau in time for a flight back to Seattle. I departed Sitka at 6:00 a.m. to make slack at Sergius Narrows. The earliest departure in weeks! After cruising in company for the last month, the quietness of … Read more

Day 25 | Flotilla to Alaska | Portage Bay to Pybus Bay

The cruise up Frederick Sound from Portage Bay to Pybus Bay is about 33 nautical miles. The wind was mostly calm (10 knots or so) with just the slightest chop. The sun was even out for a bit! We were hoping for some humpbacks today. Frederick Sound, especially around the Brothers Islands, is usually rich with whales. Today did not disappoint. We saw about a dozen of them, spread out … Read more

The Case for Alaska

“Can I call you right back? A couple orcas just surfaced right in front of the boat and I don’t want to hit them,” I frantically told the U.S. Customs officer as I eased the throttle back. “No problem, that’ll happen,” the officer responded. Welcome to Alaska. We were motoring north in Tongass Narrows, on our way into Ketchikan after a three-week transit through British Columbia. Anchored in Foggy Bay … Read more