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Old 22-12-2022, 20:12   #16
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
Will call is another option.

We have a couple of what you are considering in ourt collection. They are tools in the wilderness.

I had one modified to also handle .457 Magnum (as well as .45-70) by Wild West Guns in Anchorage. (They are absolute Marlin specialists...)

They also make a take-down pilot model.

Buffalo bore ammo for large mass, and Hornady LeverRevolution rounds will make it a 200 yard hunting rifle.

Since you brought it up...

Cheers! Bill

PS: The outdoor range is reasonable walking distance from the City Harbor on Wrangell Island...

Bill,



If I had a dollar for every round of Hornady ammunition I have fired in my lifetime, well I could afford a lot more Hornady ammo! 🤣

It is good stuff, I run their 200 gr XTP/HP's in my 10mm, great ammo!



I am working out my Route in Alaska now, Going to mix it up a bit, my friend who is also a photographer is going to fly in and meet me in Sitka in late may, and we are going to head for Glacier bay as quick as we can, and try to extend that stay with a permit into June.

Then going to do the Haines, Skagway, Juneau route down to Petersburg and Wrangell before heading back to Ketchikan, so I can get back down south of Commiefornia before winter locks me in again!



P.S. and by the way, I checked out your page, you have a nice boat, I like that pilot house!
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Old 22-12-2022, 20:15   #17
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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Understand the pew pew concern. I did the inside passage two times over the last few years and chose to leave the pew pews at home. Though it did involve more motoring, the scenery was spectacular and lonesome anchorages were a joy.

IMHO the risk reward ratio wasn't worth it to go outside and eliminate possible foul weather / mechanical stops in BC for the sake of a pew pew that I never needed. For peace of mind, long guns are allowed by Canada if barrel length is 20" (As I recall).

With regard to your dream to sail to Alaska, go for it for sure ... I suggest considering ports farther than busy commercial Ketchikan for your final AK destination. Wrangel, Petersburg, Thorn Bay (and more) are worth a visit and are more the 'typical' AK personality and dock availability is much better. Also, to enable more time to make the passages, I wintered once in SE AK and found that the temps were not largely different than in Washington. This gave much more time to enjoy the up and down trips during the prime seasons.

In any case, I hope you are able to make the passage.

Oh absolutely, we are headed all the way up to Glacier bay.

It is good to hear the temps were not far off Washington, although I am sitting in Bremerton right now and it's 26 degrees!



It has been a cold one this year, and I'd say right here we have seen 5-7" of snow. Luckily all the insulating I did over the last few months has paid off well and the only thing condensing now is the windows.



Hanging out in SE over the winter, did you move much, or just stick in one spot?
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Old 23-12-2022, 11:50   #18
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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Oh absolutely, we are headed all the way up to Glacier bay.

...

Hanging out in SE over the winter, did you move much, or just stick in one spot?
Do your homework on getting a permit for Glacier Bay. I tried and did not succeed in getting a permit.

Mostly stayed in one spot through the coldest months.
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Old 23-12-2022, 13:10   #19
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

I'm from Juneau, grew up commercial fishing all around SE Alaska. Now cruising with my family (brought it from Vancouver to WA, to Juneau, then down to Panama, now up to Jamaica). For the record as well, I am a lifelong hunter, and my guns are left at home in Alaska with family.



#1, just leave the guns at home transiting through Canada - not worth the hassle and bear spray works well. Your friend can bring them with them on the plane direct to Alaska - no issues.


#2, Do not skip BC. The inside passage of BC is some of the most amazing cruising we've ever done. Miles and miles of very little human influence. Empty anchorages, incredible wildlife. Not worth missing just for the sake of the guns. The passage north outside offshore will be miserable - not worth it at all. Heading south offshore is another thing entirely though, and could relatively easily be done if you wait out a good weather window. The Hakai Beach Institute in Pruth Bay is an amazing stop for a few days. Best sand beaches we've ever been on.



#3, Sailing is generally lousy in SE Alaska, and the inside passage of BC. It can be done, but the winds are very fluky and not at all reliable. Make sure you have a good motor and spare parts - you will use them a lot more than you think. We motored over 75% of the time when not on the ocean. YMMV, however, depending on how long you are willing to sit there drifting at less than a knot, or are willing to tack upwind in a 2 mile wide channel in 25 knots of wind.



#4 Glacier bay is amazing, but check the permit process. You are only allowed a certain amount of time up in the bay (around a week if I remember correctly). Tracy Arm, however is amazing with lots of glaciers and no permits necessary.


#5 Wintering in Alaska is not for the faint of heart. Lived aboard our boat there for 3 years and would never choose to do so again. Cold, extreme wind (60+ knots), and lots of snow were the norms. Other than very well found fishing boats, not much goes out of the harbor in the winters. The winter storms can be very fierce, and deadly. Our liveaboard experience was in Juneau, and it will be more temperate on the outside coast in Sitka or south in Ketchikan. Still cold, but not as bad.


#6 Time your trip south to be leaving WA by mid-September, arriving in CA by the beginning of October. Much later and you risk nasty winter storms, and the Pacific West coast is not an easy patch of water to navigate.


#7 generally the best time of year for weather in SE Alaska is July through mid-August. It is wet year round though.

You might find some good information in our blog:
https://cruisingkyrie.blogspot.com/


Hope that helps your planning.
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Old 23-12-2022, 19:48   #20
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

Echoing Scorpius' sentiments, I heartily recommend that you go up "the outside".

But do make sure you know what you are letting yourself in for in terms of required seamanship. And because you are most unlikely NOT to have to rely on Canadian hospitality along that challenging way unless you go by way of Hawaii, DO make sure you understand, and respect, the cultural differences twixt here and there!

Bonne chance

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Old 26-12-2022, 09:29   #21
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

I would go up the inside if you want to make good time. Not so weather dependent and come down the outside with following seas, fun.
A short story of what the coast can be like.
Alaskan purchased a steel 43í sailboat In Astoria. Sailed out the mouth of the Columbia with his new purchase heading windward , north up the coast. 2 days later back in Astoria.
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Old 26-12-2022, 11:10   #22
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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I've gone northbound up the west coast of Vancouver Island late May-June one year ... took me about a month hopping between protected inlets waiting for weather windows between southerly gales and northerly gales to get round the headlands.
[/I][/I]

I did the route in early May 2008 in a 31 foot Aires with a crew of two. Just to be able to escape into a dog-hole in case of untoward weather we did register with the Canadian authorities. We waited a while for a southerly breeze then started sailing north. around 2 PM the awaited breeze started blowing and increase in velocity. Around 12 PM, outside Brook's Peninsula, the breeze increased to a strong gale making sailing quite hazardous. at 2 AM we were not able to keep the boat follow a controlled direction which forced us to lie ahull until daylight when we were able to steer the boat. We sailed north of the Peninsula and took refuge in a little hamlet called Winter Harbor where people who had seen our mast top light came to receive us. The wind velocity that we had experienced, according to the Canadian Coast Guard vessel in the harbor, was 63 knots. Moral of the story: in Canadian Waters, do register your boat.
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Old 26-12-2022, 11:26   #23
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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FWIW, most rural dwelling Canadians we have interacted with over the years have been pro-gun. Like in the US it seems that the city dwellers are more anti-gun.
Yes, and for very good reasons: both sides.
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Old 26-12-2022, 13:12   #24
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

Lots of things to consider RE inside vs. outside north from Puget Sound to Alaska. I have lived in and sailed/motored around Southeast Alaska all but two years since 1970. The first 48 I was in Ketchikan and for the past two years we have lived aboard our boat in Sitka. I have made the trip north on the inside on three different sailboats a total of four times, last in 2021.
If you want to mostly sail, head way offshore with a minimum of four total crew and expect to be challenged right to--and possibly past--your limits of strength and endurance. You may luck out and have a memorably wonderful time, but you might be wiped out, as well. Low pressure systems have thousands of miles of warm water to build up enormous forces. Look at PredictWind with the scale out far enough to see the entire Gulf of Alaska and the Pacific down to Hawaii to see what I am writing about.
If you go up the inside, expect to motor just about the whole way, being respectful and observant of tidal currents in the long, narrow passages. Inside can be done solo, and certainly with doublehanding. In my opinion radar is essential, as is AIS to see other (bigger) boats and to have them see you.
The most dangerous accessory you can have on a sailboat in Southeast Alaska is a schedule. Be prepared to wait things out when conditions are unfavorable. And unless you don't mind bumping into floating logs avoid running under power at night.
I hope that you are able to make the trip, and that you have the opportunity to see the small part of Alaska you will have time for in a few weeks in summer. Each town has its own advantages and disadvantages. And be sure to ask folks you encounter on the dock where to hide in a storm between where you are and where you plan to go next: most folks will point out places you never would have considered, and for me more than once those tips have saved my bacon.
Good luck!
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Old 26-12-2022, 14:11   #25
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

Contrary to one post, you will encounter a southbound current along the coast most of the time, driven by the prevailing northwesterlies. This is typically around 1 knot but can be higher - I have experienced 1-1/2 knots off the Washington coast. When tacking into the wind it really slows the trip down. Obviously less of an issue further off.

I don't see sailing up the Gulf of Alaska in April/May as being a very wise move, but ultimately it depends on the weather. In some years it may work well and in others you may get the crap kicked out of you. Conditions that are very dangerous to small yachts are possible. At a minimum be prepared for a cold passage (the water is coming from the north and is very cold) and probably a rough one. That is not cruising to me.

Probably the best way to get to Alaska if you don't want to motor up the inside passage is to head to Hawaii first - April/May is the time for the races to Hawaii - and then head north to Alaska after a short stay and before the hurricanes start at the end of May. Then you can return downwind from Alaska.

Generally speaking cruising with guns is a giant PITA. However, assuming you have a hunting rifle, the Canadians will happily let you bring one through and even expect you to carry it when hiking in the woods - grizzlies are a real threat in BC and Alaska. Handguns and military style rifles need to stay home, as well as police shotguns. Look around for more info. Bear spray (but not human pepper spray) is allowed as well - there are restrictions.

Whichever you decide have a good passage.

Greg
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Old 26-12-2022, 14:16   #26
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

OP, I don't think the movie, Race to Alaska, will give you great insight. However, you may find it very interesting and entertaining.

It is about the 650 mile annual non-motorized race from Port Townsend to Ketchican. It shows some of the hardships and dangers of the route. It may give you a feel for the scale of the passage. The contestants can chose to go inside or outside or both.
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Old 26-12-2022, 15:12   #27
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

Iím a commercial fisherman from Wrangell Alaska. Iíve made this voyage many times from Seattle. If I was you I would travel up the inside passage on the eastern side of Vancouver Island.
Although the weather can at times be foul my reason for this route is two folds. First the inside passage is very beautiful with countless anchorages, wildlife and many small fishing villages to visit. The second reason is taking the offshore passage shall have you sailing at night and this is very hazardous. This coastline has a lot of large logs just waiting for you. Iím not joking, try to not travel after dark unless you need too. My vessel has a very powerful A/C sodium light system and even then itís still a risk.
Your going to encounter big tides, most likely SE/SW winds and rain. Southeast Alaska is a temperate rain forest so have good foul weather gear. As you enter an anchorage you might want to drop a crab pot in 4-10 fathoms soft bottom and then pull it in the morning when you leave.
Look up Bishops Bay hot springs in B.C. . These free water front and remote hot springs are worth the stop. In The summer months often bears are hanging out where salmon streams empty into the bays so you might want to keep an eye out to see them feeding. June 15th dungee crab season opens in SE Alaska so be aware of the many crab pots near shore.
Your going to have a wonderful adventure, just take your time and enjoy. All the towns are supper friendly and welcoming to sailboats.
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Old 28-12-2022, 06:16   #28
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

Plenty of guns available in Alaska. I cruised the west side of Vancouver Island to Tofino one summer iin my power boat. Just as nice as SE Alaska and warmer, better weather. I keep a 34 ft sailboat in KTN. I spend summers there. Be prepared for bad weather most of the time. I would cruise the inside from the North end if Vancouver Island to KTN So much to see. It would be a shame to miss it. I would allow a month for the trip.
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Old 29-03-2024, 13:03   #29
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

My nephew tried to make that trip last year. He returned to port without completing it. Not because of weather but because he took the inside passage and made the mistake of dropping anchor. He had a marijuana conviction long before it was legalized. When stopped by Canadian Coast Guard he was sent packing and lucky to not have been in jail. They would not let him continue on as Seattle was closer than Alaska. Canada is not our friend.
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Old 29-03-2024, 13:19   #30
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Re: North to Alaska, OUTSIDE Vancouver Island?

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My nephew tried to make that trip last year. He returned to port without completing it. Not because of weather but because he took the inside passage and made the mistake of dropping anchor. He had a marijuana conviction long before it was legalized. When stopped by Canadian Coast Guard he was sent packing and lucky to not have been in jail. They would not let him continue on as Seattle was closer than Alaska. Canada is not our friend.
What flag does his vessel wear? Just asking.
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