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Old 25-02-2011, 14:07   #1
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Inland Passage from Bremerton Wa. to Juneau Alaska

My husband and I are planning on cruiseing in our 28ft cabin cruiser boat to Juneau Alaska the first part of July from Bremerton Washington, is there anyone out there that is planning this trip or has done it before, any info you can give us would be great, also my husband wants to take a navigation class before we go and not sure where to go for that. We are just getting started on finding the right books,marine navigation gps, charts and other info for this big trip.
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Old 25-02-2011, 14:15   #2
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Welcome aboard! You can check out the Power Squadron's website up in Bremerton for some classes. Bremerton Sail and Power Squadron

They offer a piloting course which if I remember is the first step in their navigation series:

Bremerton Sail and Power Squadron
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Old 25-02-2011, 14:31   #3
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Olympic College in Shelton Washington is offering a Coastal Navigation for Boaters class on Saturdays May 7th and 14th. 830am to 200pm. $119.00. We live between Shelton and Bremerton and it isn't that bad of a road trip, probably an hour, if this isn't too late in the spring. Sounds like you have a fun summer planned.
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Old 25-02-2011, 15:23   #4
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Pick up the Waggoner Cruising Guide. Lots of good info there.
Once you get north of Pender Harbor the rock formation starts to change in and out of the water. So, keep an eye on the charts. There are unmarked underwater rocks. And calculate for tides every morning before setting out, especially thru Johnstone Strait. It's best to go with the tide, saves fuel and time.
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Old 25-02-2011, 15:34   #5
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

We did the same trip 2 years ago and are heading back this summer. It is truly and epic trip and one of my favorite places I have been. There are several guide books published by Fine Edge press by Don Douglass and Dianne Hemmingway-Dpuglass. Tons of great detail on out of the way places.

On our trip we got some rain pretty much every day. Living in Bremerton you are used to it but it is even wetter the farther north you go. Fog is also an ever present possibility so a radar or plenty of time to sit and wait it out is helpful.

Have a great trip.
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Old 25-02-2011, 15:42   #6
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

I am planning a similar trip, from Olympia to Ketchikan, with a side-trip to the Queen Charlottes on the way home, from May to September this summer. I've been researching it heavily.

The very best $20 you can spend is to pick up the 2011 Waggoner Cruising Guide.

Amazon.com: Waggoner Cruising Guide 2011: The Complete Boating Reference (9780935727357): Robert Hale & Co. Inc.: Books

The "Exploring" series of books by Don Douglass and Réanne Hemingway-Douglasshave been highly recommended to me. Your trip is covered by four books, they're about $50 each but from what I've been told by several people they are absolutely worth it:

Cruising Guides

Another book that's been highly recommended to me is "Best Anchorages of the Inside Passage: British Columbia's South Coast from the Gulf Islands to Cape Caution".

Amazon.com: Best Anchorages of the Inside Passage: British Columbia's South Coast from the Gulf Islands to Cape Caution

In addition to my current Puget Sound and San Juan Island charts, I will be using this paper chart set:
SET A: Inside Passage Canadian Charts

I am hoping to purchase these paper charts used, or borrow them, but if I can't manage that in time, I will buy the new set.

For electronic charting, I have a laptop set up with OpenCPN, CM93 raster charts, and the NOAA USA charts. I also have Garmin Homeport loaded, with a Garmin Bluechart G2 Vision map set for the area (borrowed from a friend). I would like to have purchased the official electronic CHS charts for Canada, but they are prohibitively expensive.
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Old 25-02-2011, 15:56   #7
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

If you have a Garmin plotter there are two chips. The CA015R goes to Glacier Bay and the US039R-US goes all the way out the Aleutian Islands.
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Old 25-02-2011, 16:43   #8
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Pretty easy passage if you watch the tides and currents. Once you get into Johnson Straits there are a few decent spots to drop a hook and relax. At the top end, plan on stopping in Bull Harbor on Hope Island and wait for weather for your dash across Hecate Strait to the QC islands. Good holding ground at the top end of the bay. It is not difficult but watch the weather window carefully to get you in the lee of the Charlottes within your window. You know your boat speed and distance across Hecate, just do the math. I spent many years commercial fishing, towing barges and bundle booms across Hecate Strait and you don't want to be caught out there, believe me! Once in the Charlottes it is easy peasy to Ketchican... Capt Phil
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Old 26-02-2011, 07:24   #9
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Hi Curious,

My wife and I have traveled the Inside Passage in small power cruisers for many summers, first in a 22' C-Dory and more recently in a 26' Bounty. Just for fun, here are some photo links:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sred...yAE&feat=email

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sred...oAE&feat=email

I'd strongly recommend two of the Douglass "Exploring" guides in particular, those for the North Coast of BC and for Southeast Alaska. I'd also recommend the "Ports and Passes" tides and currents guide for BC.


You might find it worthwhile to check out my book "Cruising in a Big Way". Here's a link which includes an extensive preview:

Cruising in a Big Way by Richard Cook in Travel

It's not a detailed cruising guide like Douglass or Waggoner. Much of it is about choosing and equipping a small boat and its systems for the Inside Passage. But there's also a good bit on what to expect (huge tides, rapids, weather, planning how far to go in a given time frame, particularly challenging areas, etc), what kind of stuff to bring (clothing, food, fishing gear, etc), some on skills (anchoring, understanding and using weather forecasts, etc), and some on the nature of the various areas you'll be cruising through, including some key tips on Glacier Bay. There's an extensive list of useful books guides and links. It's also available from Lulu in pdf download and ePub formats, in the iBook store, and on Amazon.
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Old 26-02-2011, 07:40   #10
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Just for warm up you could go to Youtube.com and search for cruising the inside passage. There are several great videos to watch.
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Old 26-02-2011, 13:12   #11
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Nice thread and lots of information already.
I'm also looking at doing this same trip from the Puget Sound area up to Alaska, probably in 2012 on my Pacific Seacraft 25. I did the lower section from Bellingham to Port Hardy on Vancouver Island in the spring of 2009 and had a fantastic time. We took almost three months to cruise around the island, but I want to see more of the inside sections and head further north. I'd like to combine the sailing journey with some kayaking to really explore all the nooks and crannys of area.
Good luck with the planning and the journey. Look forward to more info.
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Old 28-12-2011, 08:02   #12
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Originally Posted by NewMoon
Hi Curious,

My wife and I have traveled the Inside Passage in small power cruisers for many summers, first in a 22' C-Dory and more recently in a 26' Bounty. Just for fun, here are some photo links:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sred...yAE&feat=email

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/sred...oAE&feat=email

I'd strongly recommend two of the Douglass "Exploring" guides in particular, those for the North Coast of BC and for Southeast Alaska. I'd also recommend the "Ports and Passes" tides and currents guide for BC.

You might find it worthwhile to check out my book "Cruising in a Big Way". Here's a link which includes an extensive preview:

Cruising in a Big Way by Richard Cook in Travel

It's not a detailed cruising guide like Douglass or Waggoner. Much of it is about choosing and equipping a small boat and its systems for the Inside Passage. But there's also a good bit on what to expect (huge tides, rapids, weather, planning how far to go in a given time frame, particularly challenging areas, etc), what kind of stuff to bring (clothing, food, fishing gear, etc), some on skills (anchoring, understanding and using weather forecasts, etc), and some on the nature of the various areas you'll be cruising through, including some key tips on Glacier Bay. There's an extensive list of useful books guides and links. It's also available from Lulu in pdf download and ePub formats, in the iBook store, and on Amazon.
I can't find 'Cruising in a Big Way' in iBooks or Kindle. Am I looking in the wrong place?
Ron
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Old 29-12-2011, 08:28   #13
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

Hi Ron,

I just checked the iBook store, and my book is no longer listed there. Not sure why. It is not in the Kindle store either - I have not been able to figure out how to publish it in the native Kindle format without a conflict with the original publisher, the self-publishing site Lulu.

It's available in hardcopy format on Amazon and on Lulu. On Lulu it's also available in PDF format (which works on Kindle), and in ePub format (which I understand works on iBooks apps).
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:11   #14
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

With any kind of luck, I'll be heading up there too. I've got 10 round trips to Sitka & beyond on my fishing boat. Never been sailing up there before. I expect a long motor boat ride going up but should be able to sail all the way back. I'd suggest to you to go up earlier if you can. May / June is what I'd suggest because of fog, rain, mosquitos, etc. I dont know what Juneau is like - never been there. I expect it's alot like Ketchecan - rain!
Be prepared for anything. Dont run at night. Take your time but plan your trip with the tides. Dont push your luck on fuel stops - keep your tanks full. Be carefull going up into bays to anchor - if you go up to far, you might run aground before you know what happened - most bays tend to silt in long before you get to the end of them. Never go full blast into an anchorage area in Ak - you might wind up on a rock. Make sure you have decent charts. If you have I-Phone or I-Pad you can buy Navex for $50 and you'll have a gps / plotter with all the charts. Make sure you have good screens on your windows & doors or the skeeters will getcha! My favorite spoon is a #7 Superior hammered chrome/brass or a Tom Mack - Go get em!
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Old 29-12-2011, 09:20   #15
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Re: inland passage from Bremerton Wa. to juneau alaska

If you have a smart phone, iPhone or Android, get one of the tide prediction apps. Very handy.

If you plan on marina hopping, be prepared and equipped to raft against workboats and dock fingers of "lower" quality.

If you are a ham radio operator and so equipped, check out the BC Boaters Net on 2 meter VHF along Vancouver Island. Also check out the Great Northern Boaters Net on 80 meter HF. Both of these are great for meeting and keeping in touch with other boaters cruising in the area. If you are not a ham, I highly recommend becoming one. The tests are not very difficult and there is no longer a morse code requirement.

BC Boaters' Net Home Page

Northwest Boaters Net
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