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Old 21-10-2011, 00:35   #16
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

My backyard is the North Bc Coast. The weather was wet and miserable this year with the normal high pressure never getting hold. probably worst summer in 25 years for Sailing.

The normally inside passage was almost deserted, never seen so few boats, of any description. Mostly low pressure crap from the south east to south west.

Fuel on the inside passage once you leave Vancouver island is as follows : Rivers Inlet, Nanu,Bella Bella and Sheerwater, Klemtu Hartley Bay and Prince Rupert. Then Ketchican in Alaska.

The outside passage offers, very remote cruising but with good anchorages. Hecate Strait be careful. We often get summer gales of 40 to 60 knots. The Eastern shore of Banks island is a rock garden and not a place you want to find yourself in heavy seas. Tides are very strong and the North Western section around Graham island is very shallow. So with wind tide and shallow water and Ocean fetch you can imagine what it can turn into.. In the inside and outside passage the winds tend to blow up and down the channels. Often very strong catabolic winds at night, screaming of the mountains. Very local sort of wind patterns in unsettled weather.

So that is the scare news.Many small boats do the passage up and down the coast. It is very doable. Unfortunately many Sailboats with a destination in mind end up motoring the whole way.

My advice set off and enjoy rather than endure. Many fantastic places to see, but if you are in a rush you will miss most of them.
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Old 21-10-2011, 01:38   #17
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

The inside passages are protected waters. If you fear them, stay close to your marina.

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Old 22-10-2011, 20:16   #18
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I must agree with call sure hope better weather next year I hope to get in some sailing winter just moved from great lake sailing boat would be out of water
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Old 22-10-2011, 20:36   #19
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

Went north this year as far as Shearwater, Ocean Falls and Bella Bella. Furthest north I've been yet (in my own boat). Each year I try to get a bit further... this year's goal was the Hakai Luxbalis area. (Quite an interesting little archipelago in itself!).

I'm also pretty much a diehard sailor but this year I motored more than ever before. There wasn't much wind on the nice days. I holed up on the bad ones. That's the catch. If it's blowing too hard or on the nose and you've got miles to make to fit it all in, in your time frame, you have to motor when the weather is calm. I had 5 plus weeks, longer if I wanted but the Admiral was ill during the last two weeks so I had to expedite coming south.

Some day I'm going to do it all sailing.... well, maybe not. Johnstone Strait is a bugger when the NW'ly (prevailing) wind is blowing and you're headed N. So I go early and I motor hard to get to the Broughtons. While I might like the idea of toughing it out under sail, I'm pretty sure my other half wouldn't make anymore trips. She's already getting tired of the I-5 corridor of the Inside Passage. I may take my time coming up with some of the boyz and having her fly up for the 'new territory' next year.

We went in late May and June. Half and half sun and rain. Not much warmth, but nice long days. It is before the fog season starts as well as the full on summer season when things get a bit more crowded. This year, well, there were no crowds, hardly even a trickle. Canadian fuel was $6/gal give or take.

Next year I'm skippering a small passenger vessel in SE Alaska for a couple weeks (see Alaska small ship cruises, Cruise the Inside Passage on a small ship. Pacific Catalyst, Alaska Cruises, Wilderness Cruises, Adventure Cruises to Southeast Alaska, British Columbia, Washington's San Juan Islands and the Inside Passage ) in June so I won't get to leave on my boat until the end of June
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:09   #20
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

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Originally Posted by markpierce View Post
The inside passages are protected waters. If you fear them, stay close to your marina.

That sort of advice gets a lot of people in over their depth. Fear? don't be dramatic. Respect an area that is often less than protected! Seen the whole spectrum, people who made Alaska from Seattle in a day in a Cig Boat with no charts.
Others who use a road atlas for The lower 48 to Alaska. They would agree that it is a simple day trip. mentality. Others may disagree. My simple advice is enjoy one of natures special places, but it is an untamed place and can turn very unfriendly, very quickly.
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Old 23-10-2011, 15:23   #21
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

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The inside passages are protected waters. If you fear them, stay close to your marina.

Unfortunaately the "inside passage" isn't all in protected water, as the name implies. north of van isle to queen charlottes can get very rough...
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Old 23-10-2011, 17:51   #22
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

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Unfortunaately the "inside passage" isn't all in protected water, as the name implies. north of van isle to queen charlottes can get very rough...
... and then there's the tidal rapids such as Okisollo.
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:04   #23
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

Yeah some pretty interesting challenges even in the lower part. I remember being at anchor at.... BIg Bay?..... not sure, but I looked out at the passage and there was a waterfall all the way accross! I believe it's called an overfall.... two tidal currents meeting head on .... on one side the water was 3 or 4 ft higher than the other side! wierd...
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Old 24-10-2011, 10:22   #24
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Re: Inside Passage: Best Season ?

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... and then there's the tidal rapids such as Okisollo.
A picture is worth

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Old 09-07-2013, 22:36   #25
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Old 09-07-2013, 22:37   #26
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