Days 5-6 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Varney Bay to Kokwina Cove

This morning we moved from Varney Bay over to Kokwina Cove, just 3.5nm away. We had little information about Kokwina Cove, so yesterday after anchoring the big boats in Varney Bay, we dinghied over for a look. Since it sounds like we’ll be waiting out some stormy weather tonight, we wanted to be as tucked in and protected as we could be, and Kokwina Cove seems to fit the bill! … Read more

Day 4 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Sea Otter Cove to Varney Bay

Environment Canada predicted light winds and a 1-2 meter swell this morning, not quite perfect, but pretty darn close. But by noon the winds were supposed to be blowing 15-25 knots from the southeast, and even more wind was predicted by the evening. Then, the real storm was scheduled to arrive the following day, with 45-55 knot winds. We needed to be somewhere safe and comfortable. We left Sea Otter … Read more

Days 1-3 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Port McNeill to Sea Otter Cove

We met the West Coast Vancouver Island group at North Island Marina in Port McNeill on August 14th. This gave us a few days to get to know people, do lots of provisioning, and answer questions before departing on the 16th. Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating. Winds on the 16th in Queen Charlotte Strait were predicted to be blowing from the northwest at 20-25 knots, which would make for a … Read more

Day 18 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Frederick Arm to Von Donop Inlet

We didn’t care much about timing Whirlpool Rapids and Greene Point Rapids yesterday, but we do care about the timing at Dent Rapids, Gillard Pass, and Yuculta Rapids. Thankfully, getting to the rapids at slack isn’t that hard. Frederick Arm to Dent Rapids is about 6.5nm (we’ll call it an hour) and Dent was predicted to be slack at at 7:01 a.m. So we left at 6:00 a.m., and as … Read more

Day 17 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Port Neville to Frederick Arm

We left the dock at Port Neville and headed east in Johnstone Strait, then peeled off at Sunderland Channel. Today’s destination is Frederick Arm, the inlet just east of Phillips Arm at the top of Nodales Channel.  We transited Whirlpool Rapids midway through the flood with a few small whirlpools and eddies, but nothing too dramatic. Greene Point Rapids was much the same. Four knots of extra speed was nice, … Read more

Day 16 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Alert Bay to Port Neville

Sharp-eyed readers may be wondering why we’re continuing down Johnstone Strait since this flotilla was set to end in Port McNeill and the next one is leaving from Port McNeill. Part of the reason is we need something to do for the next week. Part of the reason is that one of the boats we’re with is heading home after this leg, they haven’t transited the “five rapid” route before, … 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 14 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Pruth Bay to Skull Cove

We’ve been watching the weather at Cape Caution for the last several days, and today looked ideal. Environment Canada predicted variable 5 to 15 knot winds. Windy showed gusts in the single digits until mid-afternoon and seas of just two feet. Tomorrow looked just as good. We’d originally planned to spend another night north of Cape Caution. But when the weather looks perfect, why wait for it to possibly get worse?  … Read more

Day 13 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Shearwater to Pruth Bay

Forecast: Wind light becoming northwest 10 to 20 knots in the afternoon (Environment Canada Central Coast). Mostly sunny, high around 75. We didn’t have all that far to travel today (about 40nm), but we still wanted to get an early start. We were done with chores at Shearwater, and Pruth Bay—which we’d skipped on the way north—is a more fun place to spend time. We left Shearwater in thick fog, … Read more

Day 12 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Lambard Inlet to Shearwater

We left around 9:00 a.m. this morning. Shearwater is only 19nm from our anchorage here in Lambard Inlet, and there was no point arriving early just to find the docks at the marina still full from last night’s occupants, so we lounged around leisurely this morning before we pulled anchor. Shearwater is a busy place this time of the summer, so we made a point to call over a month … Read more