Airship’s New Power System

During the extended COVID quarantine this year, we took the opportunity to do a number of upgrades to Airship. We discussed a lot of them in this article, but we have gotten enough questions on the power system in particular that it merits its own discussion. This article will be closed-captioned for nerds, with a few extra-detail sections for those who want to dive into the kilowatts, amps, and volts. … Read more

Day 34 | Flotilla to Alaska | Deep Bay to Sitka

Thirty-four days after we left the San Juan Islands for our journey up the Inside Passage, we are ready for this last leg of the flotilla into Sitka. It’s been a spectacular trip, and we’re excited and also a little sad to be reaching the end. We’ve had a remarkably smooth transit – with a combination of great luck and good timing on weather windows for the “gates” of the … Read more

Day 3 | Flotilla to Alaska | Montague Harbour to Clam Bay

With Thursday (two days away) still looking like our best bet for the Strait of Georgia, we are still pacing ourselves while enjoying the beautiful Gulf Islands. We left Montague Harbour mid-morning for the short jaunt up to Clam Bay – a nice anchorage on the east side of Thetis Island. There is an intertidal passage between Clam Bay and Telegraph Harbour which can be traversed by dinghy at higher … Read more

The Case for Slow

Fast cruising boats are all the rage these days. Pod drives, planing hulls, powerful twin turbo diesels, and even giant supercharged outboards deliver copious quantities of cruising knots to boaters with deep pockets and a need to Get There Now. Modern cruisers don’t have time to wait around, apparently. They’ve got people to see and places to be – and if a few hundred horsepower can lop several hours off … Read more

Circumnavigate Vancouver Island With Us: Last Minute Space Available

We have had a last-minute cancellation for our flotilla around Vancouver Island which leaves from the San Juan Islands on August 19. If you’re interested in joining us, let us know right away! If you’re already cruising somewhere in the Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound, or the Broughtons, you don’t have to go back to the San Juan Islands — we’re happy to pick you up along the way! Trip leaders: … Read more

Knowing and Trusting Your Sources

When choosing navigation routes and anchorages, particularly in remote areas, there are numerous sources of information available to cruisers. There are paper and electronic charts, chartplotters, apps (such as Coastal Explorer, Navionics, and iNavX) for computers, smart phones, and tablets, as well as physical reference books. In SE Alaska, the books we typically use are (1) the Douglass’ guide “Exploring Southeast Alaska” and (2) “Charlie’s Charts North to Alaska.”  One … Read more

Day 27 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg and Le Conte Glacier

Le Conte Glacier is the first tidewater glacier we encounter on our trip north. LeConte is an easy day trip from Petersburg, so we all climbed aboard Fortunate and Cassidy to make the short trek across Frederick Sound to make our attempt at the glacier. Visiting tidewater glaciers by boat is always a hit-or-miss endeavor as far as actually making it to the glacier. As the face of the glacier … Read more

VHF/AIS Performance Upgrade – Morad Antennas

We depend heavily on VHF and AIS while cruising the Inside Passage between Puget Sound and Southeast Alaska. Both VHF and AIS are running at all times while we are underway, and a good deal of the time when we are not. We are constantly monitoring traffic, chatting with other vessels, listening to weather broadcasts, and confirming our intentions with traffic we encounter. Aboard Airship, we are generally scanning a … Read more