Day 13 | Flotilla to Alaska | Bottleneck Inlet to Butedale

When we woke up in Bottleneck it was totally calm—glassy, except for rain drops, and not a breath of wind. Just outside, though, it was unexpectedly rough. There wasn’t much wind, but the southerly swell worked its way up Finlayson Channel. We spent a few minutes rolling around as we left, but things quickly settled down and we had an easy run up to Butedale. Butedale is an awesome stop. It’s … Read more

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

We’re skipping Port McNeill. The weather is awesome—sunny, warm, calm winds—and the boats (and boaters) are all super capable. We’ve got plenty of fuel, water, and supplies to keep going, so instead of diverting to Port McNeill, we headed for Blunden Harbour. Not only is Blunden Harbour an amazing anchorage, but it also makes our trip around Cape Caution way shorter (~50 miles instead of 80 miles). After a lazy … Read more

Day 6 | Flotilla to Alaska | Port Harvey to Pierre’s Echo Bay

The Broughtons are a world-class cruising destination. Hundreds of islets and islands, snowcapped mountains, and protected water, combined with a half dozen mom-and-pop marinas, each with their own charms. We’re rushing through, providing flotilla participants a taste so they can choose where to go on the way home. Today’s route took us through the Broughtons. We navigated Chatham Channel near slack current, then headed out Knight Inlet towards Queen Charlotte … Read more

Day 5 | Flotilla to Alaska | Shoal Bay to Port Harvey, BC

We woke up this morning to reports of blustery winds on Johnstone Strait: 16-18 knots from the northwest, right on the bow. Conditions were borderline for the go-no go decision, so we punted. We’d continue towards Port Harvey as scheduled, but if we didn’t like what we were experiencing, we’d duck out and anchor for the night. Right off the bat, we had lots of current pushing us along. Greene Point Rapids … Read more

Day 4 | Flotilla to Alaska | Squirrel Cove to Shoal Bay, BC

We’d planned to be up early to arrive at the rapids (Yuculta, Gillard, and Dent) in time to hit Dent at the morning slack (because Dent is the most hazardous). That would have required us to leave at about 6:30 a.m. But the morning looked windier than the afternoon. And we like to sleep in if we can. It didn’t take long to convince ourselves and our group that the … 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

Entering Ford’s Terror

(Updated June 2024). Ford’s Terror  might just be the most beautiful place on the planet. Cliffs—absolutely enormous granite walls, really—rise from water’s edge to snowcapped bowls and peaks 5000 feet above. Countless waterfalls, some trickles, others torrents, plunge from these peaks. Bears forage ashore. Dolphins frolic around anchored boats. The scale of Ford’s Terror is difficult to comprehend and impossible to convey. It’s like Yosemite, but with water in the … Read more

Airship to Alaska | Day 7 | Port Harvey to Pierre’s at Echo Bay

We slept in at Port Harvey this morning…had some coffee, pulled the crab traps (two too small Red Rock crabs) and chatted with George a bit more before leaving the dock and heading toward Echo Bay to see Pierre. It’s still early in the season, so it’s fairly quiet here at Echo Bay…four boats or so. We chatted with Pierre for a bit before he had to go rearrange the … Read more