Day 1 | Flotilla to Alaska | Roche Harbor to Silva Bay

Underway at last! In the past, we’ve taken groups through the Gulf Islands in a couple of nights. This year, we’re spending just one night in the Gulf Islands. It’s not that there’s nothing to see—there are tons of neat communities, anchorages, and marinas—but there’s only so much time. Over the next month, we’ll cover about 1000 nautical miles. Everyone on this trip has already spent time in the Gulf Islands, so we’re zooming through, leaving more time in new places.

Snow-topped mountains in the distance
Transiting Gabriola Passage near slack tide

Each flotilla brings new challenges. So far (let’s hope it continues!), this year’s challenge has been…sunburn! After a record-breakingly wet, cold winter, the last few days have been magnificent. Warm, dry, calm winds. Perfect boating weather, but tough on the skin that has been sheltered by layers of fleece and Gore-Tex for the last six months.

We left Roche this morning a little after 8 a.m. Right off the bat the current pushed us along at a couple extra knots, seas were flat, and traffic was light. Within a few hours we were in Canada. Every participant has a Nexus card, so clearing Canadian Customs was easy. A quick phone call, confirmation that we carried neither firearms nor hugely excess liquor, and a drive-by of Montague Harbour and we were on our way.

By mid-afternoon we were secure at Silva Bay Marina. Although the wind picked up as we approached the docks (and the Victoria Day holiday weekend brought out a bunch of boaters), we avoided drama and property damage at the marina. Happy hour in the sun (where’s the sunscreen?), dinner at the pub, and sleep.

Waiting to grab lines for the final boat’s arrival at Silva Bay Resort and Marina
Akeeva (Nordhavn 50) on the dock
View from dinner up at the Silva Bay Restaurant and Pub
Airship (Nordic Tug 34)

Tomorrow we’re crossing the Strait of Georgia to Pender Harbour. Conditions look ideal—northwesterly wind 5-15 knots. We’ll test ground tackle, davits, and tenders, fill the fridges with fresh food, and then continue north towards wilderness. Life is good!

Today’s mileage: 43.5 nautical miles
Total mileage: 43.5 nautical miles
~6 hours dock to dock