North to Alaska 2022

Fully vaccinated, we look forward to getting back into cruising through Canada up to SE Alaska!

03 August 2022 | Octopus Islands, BC, Canada
31 July 2022 | Lagoon Cove, BC, Canada
30 July 2022 | Echo Bay, BC, Canada
28 July 2022 | Port McNeill, BC, Canada
22 July 2022 | Oliver Cove, BC, Canada
22 July 2022 | Windy Bay, BC, Canada
19 July 2022 | Hartley Bay, BC, Canada
18 July 2022 | Kumealon Inlet, BC, Canada
17 July 2022 | Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
16 July 2022 | Foggy Bay, Alaska
15 July 2022 | Meyer's Chuck, Alaska
14 July 2022 | Dora Bay, Alaska
13 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
12 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
06 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
05 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
02 July 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
26 June 2022 | Ketchican, Alaska
23 June 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska
20 June 2022 | Ketchikan, Alaska

The Five Rapids of Desolation Sound

03 August 2022 | Octopus Islands, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
The islands that make up Desolation Sound pay for their rights to the sea through the twice daily passage of swift waters making up The Five Rapids. Everything is timing when it comes to passing the Rapids. The book 'Ports and Passages' forecasts currents and tides for areas from Puget
Sound, British Columbia, and SE Alaska. On August 1 we left Lagoon Cove for Forward Harbor which God placed just before the Whirlpool Rapids, first of the five Rapids. To make things interesting, you have to pass Whirlpool Rapids at 'slack before flood' (Rapids are never really slack!),
but this means you will have to go through the next Rapids, that is, the Green Point Rapids with a few knots of flood current with you. If you misjudge the timing, you can easily find yourself in dangerous 6-8 knots of current. So on the afternoon of August 2, after passing the first two Rapids,
we motored into Frederick Arm which is a quiet, seldom used anchorage which we have enjoyed in times past. It was here that Sue spotted our first black bear of our trip. We were in our dinghy tending our crab pot when she spotted the bear on shore. Lots of birds caught our attention as
well. On the morning of August 3 we headed out in pea soup fog with chartplotter, radar, and VHF radio at hand. We went through a diminishing flood tide at Dent Rapids and Gillard Passage with 2.5-3 knots of current. Then we came to a tide line going into Yaculta Rapids where several
logs and trees were floating in the debris. We immediately had a couple of knots of current against us at what was supposed to be slack before flood. Passing through Yaculta Rapids, we had just a couple of miles before entering into 'Hole-in-the-Wall' Rapids which we passed shortly after
slack before ebb. Finally we were passed all Five Rapids, and headed a short ways to the Octopus Islands which we now share with twenty other boats. Now just imagine doing this in 95% fog, with nearly 20 other boats going both directions. Everyone watched carefully, and we all made
it through!

A Shrimp Feast at Lagoon Cove

31 July 2022 | Lagoon Cove, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
Tradition continues at Lagoon Cove every afternoon at 5pm. All boaters at the marina come to a 5pm Meet And Greet, bringing a favorite appetizer to have with a bucket of shrimp caught daily by the owners and crew. Conversation tends to be exclusively on boats and boating! Go figure.
We learned alot, and shared alot. And hope we helped some new friends to further their journey in the cruising life! Tomorrow we go to Forward Harbor which is the northern entrance into Desolation Sound. Cheers!

Visiting with Billy Proctor at Echo Bay

30 July 2022 | Echo Bay, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
While in the Broughton Islands, we have always stopped at Echo Bay to visit with Billy Proctor. It's an enjoyable walk on a winding trail through a mixed forest from the Echo Bay Marina to Billy's house, museum, and gift shop. Billy is now 88 years old. His mind is still sharp even though he
is having more difficulty getting around. Billy has been a logger and a fisherman on these local islands most of his life. With the help of a local artist friend, he has written and published two books about his life and the local settlers. His homespun sense of humor, and clear historical
perspective have brought island life and its prospects alive. He has recently sold his fishing boat 'Ocean Dawn' to another local. We have a treasured painting of the boat in our Friday Harbor condominium. After conversing with Billy, we returned to our boat knowing he as lived a very full
life.

Passing Cape Caution in Central BC

28 July 2022 | Port McNeill, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
Since our last post, we passed through Shearwater, Ocean Falls, Pruth Bay, and around Cape Caution to the Walker Group and now in Port McNeill. The weather has been sunny with blue skies that add to the beauty of the mountain peaks that still have snow fields on them! The crux of
this stretch is passing around Cape Caution. It's main problems are two fold. First, numerous small islands and rocks litter the coast line. Many of them are just below the surface causing the ocean swells to break over them. Second, the weather and ocean swells combine to make the timing
of rounding the Cape a serious safety issue for smaller boats. For example, our passing Cape Caution started with flat calm seas at 0800 in Fitz Hugh Sound. When we were off Cape Caution itself at 1400 (2pm), the seas had built to a mixture of 6-8' ocean swells from the NW, and a
confusion of 4-5' waves coming from the West, along with reflective waves bouncing off the Cape and the Islands from all other directions. If there is a stiff enough breeze, a sailboat can hold its line through this mess. But the winds had died to almost nothing, leaving the aftermath of mixed
seas. We were grateful to find an anchorage in the Walker Group at 1745 (5:45pm) well on the way to Port McNeill where we are currently at a dock provisioning and laundering. Tonight we had dinner ashore at the local pub: halibut tacos, green salad, and dessert while watching a MLB
game on TV between the Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers!

Running in the Sun

22 July 2022 | Oliver Cove, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
Sunny skies make the snow-capped mountains glisten, the green forests rich with color, and the smooth waters a mirror finish. We ran seven hours to Oliver Cove where we were skunked again at crabbing (they were too small). But we had a leisurely triip in our kayaks around the cove.
Probably the best thing about the day was the fresh batch of brownies that Sue baked!

Lunch Spot turned into an Overnight

22 July 2022 | Windy Bay, BC, Canada
George Stonecliffe
Stopping for lunch in Windy Bay was a delightful respite. The weather was sunny, and calm. Sue kayaked over to the stream entrance for a low tide tour of the area. We picked up our crab catching five in the first hall, none of which were keepers. Two subsequent crab pot attempts
didn't catch any keepers! While in the bay, we had to move the boat. But when we attempted starting the motor, the engine starter spun not engaging. So we had to replace our starter motor: SURPRISE! At least we had a new spare on board. And now we arre back in business!
Vessel Name: Julia Max
Vessel Make/Model: 45' Passport/Peterson Custom Ketch
Hailing Port: Portland, Oregon, USA
Crew: George and Sue Stonecliffe
About: Fully vaccinated, we are positioning ourselves to head north through Canada to Alaska's amazing Glacier Bay NP and back. Have a wonderful summer. Cheers to all!
Julia Max's Photos - Main
Cruising through BC , Alaska, and home
18 Photos
Created 16 June 2022
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Created 5 May 2011