Day 3 | Flotilla to Alaska | Kanish Bay to Blunden Harbour

With Seymour Narrows behind us, the timing of our trip up Johnstone Strait was primarily about maximizing favorable current and miles covered. Thankfully the beginning of the ebb—which runs northwest in Johnstone Strait—was about 5:00 a.m., about the same time it’s light enough to spot logs in the water. Complicating matters was the forecast, which called for winds building to 25-35 knots in the afternoon. Both Environment Canada and the … Read more

Day 17 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Port Neville to Frederick Arm

We left the dock at Port Neville and headed east in Johnstone Strait, then peeled off at Sunderland Channel. Today’s destination is Frederick Arm, the inlet just east of Phillips Arm at the top of Nodales Channel.  We transited Whirlpool Rapids midway through the flood with a few small whirlpools and eddies, but nothing too dramatic. Greene Point Rapids was much the same. Four knots of extra speed was nice, … Read more

Day 16 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 4 | Alert Bay to Port Neville

Sharp-eyed readers may be wondering why we’re continuing down Johnstone Strait since this flotilla was set to end in Port McNeill and the next one is leaving from Port McNeill. Part of the reason is we need something to do for the next week. Part of the reason is that one of the boats we’re with is heading home after this leg, they haven’t transited the “five rapid” route before, … Read more

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island | Flotilla Day 5 | Forward Harbour to Port McNeill

Johnstone Strait has a reputation as a difficult body of water. Current can run to four or five knots. Surrounding terrain funnels wind through. The challenges for a boater are to avoid beating into the current (which can greatly prolong your time in Johnstone Strait), avoid wind-against-current situations, and avoid traveling in the dark (too much debris in the water). On a northbound trip, we want to ride the ebb … Read more