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Old 20-02-2008, 16:19   #1
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Inside Passage to Alaska

Greetings:
We are planning to cruise this summer from our current base at Pleasant Harbor Marina on the Hood Canal in Washington to southeast Alaska via the Inside Passage. We hope to leave in mid-May. We have reviewed the usual suspects of cruising guides, Douglas, Charlie's Charts etc, but would like some experienced, "local" knowledge/tips from anyone who has done this trip.
All input would be appreciated and if any forum members are making similar plans we would like to stay in touch and maybe rendevous on the way north.
Let us hear from you. Thanks.

David and Jo
S/V Spirit
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Old 20-02-2008, 16:27   #2
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Did it in 1995 on a Fortune 30 sailboat. BC Coast north of Port Hardy until you hit Prince Rupert is rather shy on towns/fuel/groceries. However tons of nice anchorages, it's easier than it may appear and be prepared for lots of motoring in light NW winds....
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Old 20-02-2008, 21:20   #3
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Talking Some suggestions

Get a good set of tide and current tables, especially for the narrows.

Prepare for steep rocky anchorages.

You have to stop in at Pender Harbor.

Listen to the wx channel each eve and/or morning.

Prepare for windy nights, NWers that come down between the Islands and Mainland (August).

And, there is a bad season for the rock oysters (red tides).

Enjoy the view!!!

BTW - What dates do you plan the cruise.
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Old 20-02-2008, 22:28   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Get a good set of tide and current tables, especially for the narrows.

You have to stop in at Pender Harbor.

Listen to the wx channel each eve and/or morning.

I agree with all Del says but want to emphasize Pender harbor is lovely.

Also find a system that allows you to run out and retrieve a stern line. They are used frequently I understand. Exploring the South Coast of British Columbia will get you nicely to the Queen Charolette Sound area.
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Old 21-02-2008, 01:44   #5
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On the bottom end of Johnson Straights, an area you may want to avoid is Kelsy Bay /Hardwick Island. The currents and tides can be really confused there and combine with the winds that come down the river valley to make ugly seas (a friend had a 54 foot commercial boat roll over there: BUT the boat was top heavy at the time).
For the last few years the route that I favored going north is through Yulclata, Green Point, and Wellbourne rapids. You have to pay attention going through Yuclata, and may infact decide to lay over at the "Big Bay' govt wharf at Stuart Island before tackling the only other mean rapids at Dent Islands. Greene Point rapids are merely moderately fast water, and Welborne rapids (though they have a 'warning' on the chart) have never been a problem in my experience but I do try time it to be there close to slack water.
If you do decide to go the suggested route there is lots of good anchoring grounds and there are (Govt =cheap) wharfs at Stuart Island and Shoal bay. The is crab fishing is excellent in Shoal Bay and Lockburough Inlet. The only downside of this route is that there is seldom any wind (even when it is blowing gale force in Johnson Straight).
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Old 21-02-2008, 01:57   #6
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I should have been more clear in my previous message; The Yulclata/Wellborne route will allow you to bypass Kelsey Bay.

I would also suggest that you leave yourself a bit of extra time to bop around Robson Bight: There are usually killer whales hanging around there.
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Old 08-05-2008, 17:12   #7
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I am also interested in doing the Inside Passage from Portland to Alaska. I was wondering what size sailboat would experienced sailors consider appropriate to handle the rigors of this journey. I am just getting into sailing so I want to buy a boat that my wife and I can sail on the Columbia River for a couple of years before attempting this trip. Due to budget limitations as well as the river sailing limitations I don't want to go any bigger than a 36' boat.

Thanks.

J.
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Old 08-05-2008, 18:55   #8
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Be sure to carry enough fenders for both sides because rafting is required at most places you might moor. And the worst neighbors have the least fenders. Extra ground tackle is also a must.
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Old 21-05-2008, 08:11   #9
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We are currently in Grenada, but will be heading home (via plane) to Juneau in early June. Give us a call if you get there and want some local on land touring! 907-789-3546. Louise
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Old 23-12-2015, 10:24   #10
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

I am purchasing a 1981 Alberg 30 in BC after its marine survey in February. I've had a career running 90+' tenderboats from Seattle to Bristol Bay (200 ton license) 20 years ago. I also was the engineer for mechanical work. I've enjoyed sailing but that too has been years and I just crewed on them.
Now I'm planning to arrive in BC in early March to do boat maintainence and upgrades in the yard. The boat has been taken care of with and upgraded and appears in pretty good shape. Mostly local sailing. The 2 cyl Volvo inboard has been rebuilt with 410 hours on it. It has a Simrad TP22 autopilot which should be very handy.

I'll then practice sailing in the Puget Sound area soloing a lot or with friends & sailing teachers. Then planning to start North hopefully in May with a couple other crew members. I live in Homer, but am thinking of leaving it in Juneau this year. Then Homer next year.
-I'm debating about installing a radar & two solar panels for the trip & future sailing.
-I'm thinking of a rubber raft & small outboard. When not towing I'm wondering what size would fit upside down in front of the mast or?
I'm open to all opinions and advice. This is great format for learning from those with experience. Thank you!
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Old 23-12-2015, 14:25   #11
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

The passage from Puget Sound to Alaska is filled with lots of beauty as well as peril. There are several cruising chart books available. We live in Juneau and are quite familiar with the waters around here. Last summer we went north to Prince William Sound and spent time there. It is all beautiful. The biggest advice is to keep an eye on the weather and take your time.
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Old 23-12-2015, 14:37   #12
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

If you do not have a water maker be very aware of your water capacity and consumption. Last summer in the Broughtons finding good fresh water was a challenge. Many places had cedar water and / or boil water advisories. You don't want to contaminate your system (boat and personal) if you can avoid it.
As many have mentioned it is often steep and deep so have good ground tackle
and i would suggest a minimum of 300 feet of stern line
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Old 23-12-2015, 16:32   #13
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

I think I saw the ad for that one... Dragonfly? The one thing I thought I saw was low volume tanks... I know as you come more north the fuel points are a little scarce... If you get up towards Prince Rupert let me know an ill buy you a beer.


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Old 23-12-2015, 16:33   #14
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

Doh, realized the Alberg 30 is not the original poster, the beer offer is still on the table for anyone coming up that way though


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Old 23-12-2015, 20:25   #15
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Re: Inside Passage to Alaska

Thanks for your insights.
I planned to add 5G jugs of diesel in the lazarette after doing the math for the longest distance between ports. A 10G fuel tank seems really small. The Volvo MD6A supposedly burns about a qt an hour. So theoretically 40 hours X 5Kts = 200 miles or maybe a safe 150 miles.
If not too big a job & expense it would be good to replace or add another tank. Ditto for water. I could also add a salt water pump at the sink. I've never washed with salt water as the last boat I ran held a couple thousand gallons.

As sailing & this boat will be new for me I'm also debating about just sailing in the Puget Sound region and lower Canada this summer. With more experience I could then make the upgrades I think necessary when stored for the winter and be ready to go for next year. May seems like the best time to head North.

Having a radar and solar panels to help with the amps needed seems smart for the trip up and in Alaska. I'm used to Furuno but will check around. Any advice on brand and mounting locations?
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