British Columbia and Alaska

I think in my last update we had arrived in Seattle, Washington and were just planning on our trip through British Columbia to Alaska for the summer. The trip up was a real eye opener! It’s really a different type of cruising, through the inside passage. There are winds sometimes but even with that, it is just flat calm because it is so protected. On our way north from Seattle it did not take me long to run aground. We entered the river to La Conner, which is a smallish town in northern Washington. The boat we are traveling with went in first and radioed kind of frantically “Steve, stop your boat and don’t run into me….I am hard aground!” Yikes, I slammed it into reverse but it was too late as the boat settled into a pile of muck about 4 feet under the murky water and tipped over on its side about 25 degrees. I am not a novice at running aground and fortunately Nordhavns are fairly well protected underneath so it was just a matter of waiting out the tide or trying to wiggle off somehow. Scott (on the other boat) took his portable depth finder and found it was a bit deeper in the back of the boat so he radioed me to try to wiggle off. After a few tries, we were successful and meandered our way back out the inlet and waited until high tide. After that, no problem.



 We visited Friday Harbor, Todd Inlet, Vancouver, Egmont, Dent Lodge, Blind Channel. They were great places and the only thing you need to be concerned with is the currents. Between some of the islands, the current can run as fast as 15kts at full flood. On a boat like this, with our slow speed, it would be disastrous if we picked the wrong tide. We went to a beautiful spot called Princess Louisa sound, which is a ¾ mile wide inlet and about 5 miles long. The water is about 500 feet deep for the most part. At the beginning of the harbor is a channel about 150 feet wide and only 20 feet deep. All of the water which exits during the tide goes through that small area (called Malibu Rapids) creating a very dangerous situation. We were just ready to enter when another boat exactly like mine went in ahead of us. We watched him through the binoculars and saw that when he turned the corner the current slammed against the boat and started taking him sideways toward the rocks at a high rate of speed. The guy turned out to be a pretty good boatsman. He was able to swing the boat around by cutting hard to the right with full power and he must have used his bow thruster too. He did, however, scare us sufficiently enough to get us to wait another hour to slack tide. We made it in with no issues and had a beautiful stay at Chatterbox Falls (see pictures on our website).


No boat issues this trip other than a cracked rubber end cap on our main generator. Normally it’s no issue but getting parts to remote places is not easy. We originally arranged it to be stowed aboard a seaplane. Unfortunately they canceled the trip so we had to pay to have it flown in on a special trip just for us($$$$$$$).


Lastly, I should mention the floating towns. I guess Canada has an issue with people building in these areas so to skirt the law, entire marinas with homes and all are built on floating docks with no access to land. Power is supplied by diesel generators and internet by satellite. Mind you, these “floating villages” are in the middle of nowhere and the people are very colorful, to say the least.


Anyway, we are now in Alaska, and have been for weeks, but that is a whole nuther story….too much to put in this update so it will be coming later.

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