Day 0 | 2024 Flotilla to Alaska | A Spectacular Northern Lights Show at Prevost Harbor

We’re headed north again for another adventure up the Inside Passage to Alaska! We met two boats from this year’s group in Prevost Harbor at Stuart Island, and had a nice meetup on Airship to discuss tomorrow into Canada, and the overall plan. This is going to be a really fun group!!

Melissa Lynn, a beautiful Selene 53 (owners Missie and Russ), anchored in Prevost Harbor
Ithaka, a very cool Duffy 45 (with owner Dick, and two friends named Bill onboard) anchored in Prevost Harbor

We will meet up with our third boat in Ganges today (Mike and his brother Garry on a Selene called Two’s Out, who you may remember from last summer!)

One thing that was different this year: we had a potential huge bonus for the evening here at Stuart Island — the forecast for Aurora/Northern Lights was HUGE due to highest sun storms in 20 years, so we were really keeping our fingers crossed!

The red path of the forecast…looking promising for us!
Sunset from anchor
The kp index is a scale from 0-9, and when we get “OMG you might see them where you are” alerts on our Aurora app it’s 5 or so, and we mainly never see anything

We have seen the aurora before, twice, in the southern part of SE Alaska late in the summer as we were heading home…September or so, and mainly just greenish and not too bright, so we were really excited about tonight’s potential.

It’s starting!

It was faint like this for a bit, but changing. Sometimes it got bigger and reached all the way to overhead, and this was definitely NE rather than N. These faint striations were all around us and made us wonder if it was just a marine layer forming (nooooooo!) but pretty soon, this happened directly above us:

It reached down all the way to the horizon and seemed to surround our anchorage. I’m gonna stop talking and just show you what we got to see. Incredible.

The big dipper is right in the middle of this one:

We (reluctantly) went to bed around 1am. What an amazing start to the trip!!

Today we’re off to Ganges BC, on Saltspring Island, where we may get to see ANOTHER show of lights tonight. But if not, we’re pretty dang happy already.

p.s. For those of you following along…our AIS transmit seems to have quit working. Nice timing, right? We receive fine, but no one can see us. (I promise we didn’t turn it off.) You can always click the “Where is Airship?” button in the right column on the Slowboat website, but here’s a direct link if you want to know where we are: