Akeeva | Lituya Bay and the Gulf of Alaska

Southeast Alaska is among the finest cruising grounds in the world. Stretching more than 300nm from north to south and more than 100nm west to east, it’s a huge and diverse area. Most of it is protected, too, with calm water, relatively easy access to services, and no overnight cruising required. I’ve spent most summers for the last decade exploring SE Alaska and I haven’t seen it all, but Prince … Read more

Day 18 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Friendly Cove to Hot Springs Cove

Overnight the wind dropped and the swell (Friendly Cove gets some swell) died off. The 4:40 a.m. light station reports sounded promising (single digit winds, one foot chop or rippled), so at about 7:00 a.m. we got underway for the four hour trip from Nootka Sound to Clayoquot Sound. The morning light was particularly pretty: Sea conditions were perfect: a gentle swell, no wind waves, little current. As we neared … Read more

Days 16-17 | West Side of Vancouver Island Flotilla | Bligh Island to Friendly Cove

This morning before leaving Bligh Cove, we took a few aerial photos since the light was so pretty. After breakfast we cruised the 6-7nm over to Friendly Cove, some of us snaking our way through the smaller passages between islands to kill time and add scenery. We anchored in Friendly Cove, rejoining the two boats that skipped Bligh Island yesterday for more time at Friendly Cove. After hiking and lighthouse … 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

Building a Weather Picture

One of the most important skills for successful cruising is understanding the weather and how it impacts your plans. This doesn’t mean being a meteorologist, making your own forecasts, or interpreting esoteric weather charts. Rather, it means selecting the right forecast from professional meteorologists (NOAA, Environment Canada, European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), utilizing real-time weather data from the multitude of weather reporting sites along the coast, and adjusting cruise … Read more

Getting the Most from Windy.com

Windy.com is our single favorite weather resource for cruising the Pacific Northwest. We never ignore the official NOAA or Environment Canada marine forecasts, but Windy offers a much more granular look at the weather. Environment Canada and NOAA forecasts cover large areas over many hours with wind speeds expressed in big ranges (10 knots or more). Windy allows you to pan and zoom to the area you’ll be traveling, and to … Read more