Voyages North

22 September 2017 | Posted in Seattle
08 September 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
18 August 2017 | Posted at Spencer Spit, San Juan Islands
17 August 2017 | Olympia
22 August 2016 | posted at Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
29 July 2016 | Posted at Hakkai, Fitz Hugh Sound
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet
08 July 2016 | Posted at Ucluelet

Rocky Pass to Wooden Wheel Cove. July 26, 2011

03 August 2011 | posted at Metlakatla
Elsie Hulsizer


Photo: Devil’s Elbow in Rocky Pass, Keku Strait.

I have always liked the story of how the Coast Guard took out the beacons in Rocky Pass because they thought it was too dangerous then had to put them back in because boats were going through without beacons. I understand why boaters would do that. Rocky Pass can save at least a day of transit time. And after getting beat up in Chatham Strait’s rough waters, the prospect of quiet waters, even with rocks, is just too appealing.

Rocky Pass is one of those passages in Alaska that are more dangerous in reputation than reality. The chart does indeed look terrifying, full of rocks and twisty turns, especially when you realize the soundings are in feet, not fathoms. And with a 4ft sounding at the Summit (roughly half way through), it’s critical to time yourself with the tide to ensure you have enough water under your keel. But as long as you do that and as long as you pay attention and remember “red right north,” you’ll be fine. We like to schedule our passage so we reach the Summit at high water, then ride the ebb out the rest of the Pass. The currents aren’t swift because they aren’t anywhere near max ebb, but it still helps.

We’ve now been through Rocky Pass three times: all three uneventful, the way a passage should be. This year’s passage was in the rain, but even with reduced visibility we didn’t have any trouble seeing the beacons because there are so many of them and they’re close together.
Comments
Vessel Name: Osprey
Vessel Make/Model: Annapolis 44 sloop
Hailing Port: Seattle
Crew: Steve and Elsie Hulsizer (author of Glaciers, Bears and Totems and Voyages to Windward)
About:
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
Extra:
2017: local cruising including South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands 2016:north up West Coast VI, across QC Sound to central BC coast 2015: trip to SE Alaska 2014: Seymour and Belize Inlets through Nakwakto Rapids 2013: SE Alaska and back. 2012: from Seattle up the west coast of Vancouver [...]
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Osprey's Photos -