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

Five Finger Light and cell phone hotspots in SE Alaska waters.

27 June 2011 | posted at Juneau
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: Five Finger Light in Stephens Passage.

On one of our earlier trips to SE Alaska, I read the mystery, Murder at Five Finger Light by Sue Henry. The resolution of the mystery depended on a cell phone call from the lighthouse area. I was skeptical. Was there really cell phone service out in the middle of Stephens Passage? We hadn’t found any along the shore, why should there be service in the middle. But later that year, at Taku Harbor, we met volunteers who worked at the light and I asked them about the cellphone service. They assured me it was there and the author had visited the lighthouse and confirmed it.

We would be sailing right by the lighthouse on the way to Pybus Bay so I decided to test the service. As we left Cleveland Passage near Cape Fanshaw, I turned on my phone: nothing. But a few minutes later I tried again: one bar! A bit farther and I had two bars, then three. Quickly, I made a call, then Steve made a call too. As we passed the lighthouse, the three bars dropped to two then one.

Five Finger isn’t the only cellphone hotspot in remote locations in SE Alaska’s waters. Of course, just about every town of any size has service including Hydaburg, Klawock, Ketchikan, Petersburg, Wrangell, Juneau, and Hoonah among others, but not including the very small ones like Meyers Chuck or Whale Pass.

Here’s a list of the more remote hot spots that we’ve come up with so far.

Ratz Bay on Prince of Wales Island. The bay is deserted but there’s a cell phone tower on a hill above the bay. I made a call using it this year as we sailed by the entrance.

Offshore of Gambier Bay, Admiralty Island. Someone else told us about this one. When we sailed by we found only one bar, briefly two, so if you’re desperate it might be worth going closer and sailing back and forth to find the best place.

Icy Strait near Sisters Island. We were sailing west in Icy Strait in 2008 when I surprised to hear my cell phone ring., A friend was calling us from his boat, somewhere ahead of us. I’ll need to check the exact location of this hot spot but I think it’s real.

Cross Sound within view of Cape Spencer.

Any more? Add them by comment or email me and I'll add them to the list.

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)
Elsie and Steve Hulsizer have sailed northwest waters since arriving in Seattle via sailboat from Boston in 1979. [...]
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 -