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Old 28-05-2015, 21:26   #1
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Juan de Fuca to Rupert

I would like to be in Prince Rupert early this summer and wish to sail non stop from west entrance of Straight of Juan de Fuca. Any sail plan comments would be appreciated. West side of Vancouver Island and Hecate Straight can be very dicey as I have sailed some of that region but not for an extended trip like this. Perhaps inside passage via Straight of Georgia better route? Thanks
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Old 23-06-2015, 22:04   #2
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Re: Juan de Fuca to Rupert

I think you've already left (I see the post is a month old? and no one answered?) but thought I'd post a reply. We did the route in late Mar-Early April 2014 from Neah Bay WA to Ketchikan AK.

From Neah Bay you can go up the West Coast of Vancouver Island nonstop, we did that but actually ended up popping into Sydney inlet and anchoring in Bottleneck Cove because about a day into our trip a storm was *suddenly* forecast and we decided to sail until we couldn't risk sailing further (another day or so) and duck in. We were in there 48 hrs while 50 kts raged outside and a buoy report was showing 5-6 meter seas just outside the inlet. Glad we ducked in.

We then were like the Israelites wandering around the desert -- but we were wandering our way up Hecate Strait. A very long slow slog with 20kt - 30kt winds against us. We actually *tried* to duck in one spot along Haida Gwaii (wasted 9 hrs diversion...the real beginning of the Israelites wandering in the desert activity) but crazy strong winds funneling into the fjord-like area made anchoring impossible. We turned around and beat feet out to clear waters when the winds (on the nose) hit a steady 50kts with gusts into the 70kt range. We had a white-out like I've only seen in hurricane conditions and literally (upon the turn) were sailing downwind w/o a stitch of sail up.

Out of the fjord area, we got back down to 25 kts of wind, put up the staysail (only) and exhausted and freezing cold began the process of getting back out into the Strait to sail downwind in a gale UP the Hecate Strait through the night.

Morning came and winds had shifted to come from abeam and we had the strangest breaking waves for hours and hours as the winds continued to shift to be on the nose (and the waves, and the tide...) so we made another wandering decision (motor sailing with still just the staysail up because it was too freaking cold to go outside in what was now sunshine with hail coming down (WTF? hail in the sunshine?) to turn downwind to the East towards Banks Island and anchor just a wee bit north of there (Porcher Island, as I recall) so we could get out of the zombie zone that my husband and I had fallen into. Cold, wet, and just exhausting days of sailing from Neah Bay to that point. It had been a WEEK and we weren't in Ketchican (yes 48 hrs at anchor in there but STILL...) and we were tired. So, we entered a protected anchorage, rested, avoided yet another gale and then motored up past Prince Rupert and on to Ketchikan. It was a totally weird trip.

Can you do it? yes, Nonstop? yes but we hope you don't encounter the conditions we did. It was spring when we went and that is certainly a part of our weather challenge but we wanted to be in AK in April and well, it worked out. One of my favorite pics of the trip is the clouds over Vancouver Island as we were entering Sydney Inlet before the storm. The sun was rising, we'd sailed through the night and were sailing from seaward towards the Inlet with the big ocean swell from the west pushing us along and since we'd turned to the East, the NW wind was helping out.
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