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

Entering Fords Terror. June 27, 2013

24 July 2013 | posted at Craig
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: Currents at the entrance to Fords Terror

We arrived back at the entrance to the narrows into inner Fords Terror at 4:30 p.m., just a few minutes before high tide at Juneau. In previous years Steve and I had concluded that the narrows would be passable anytime from high tide at Juneau to an hour after. But this time we could see mist and standing waves just outside the narrows, indicating the tide was still flowing in too strongly to enter safely. The current would be with us but we could be dashed on a rock trying to negotiate the turns.

"I'm glad it's not foggy like yesterday," I said. "It would be terrifying not being able to see where we were going while hearing the sound of the current." Both Dave and I thought we could hear the sound of rushing water from the entrance but Steve was skeptical. "I think you're just hearing waterfalls," he said.

We took a turn around the outside basin, waiting for the current to slow. Two other sailboats were entering the outer basin and we knew Candor was inside already. Three other boats were two more than we'd ever seen inside before.

"That's what you get from writing articles about Fords Terror!" Steve told me.

As we watched, we could see the current diminishing and the mist that had been hovering above the narrows dispersing.

"It's time to go," said Steve. He lined up Osprey with the four stream braided waterfall, and headed 290. The other two sailboats fell in behind us.

In seconds we were in the current, picking up speed. Ahead we could see swirling water, green in the sunshine. We raced by the entrance and Steve turned Osprey to starboard to make the turn. I looked over at the side to see water boiling by the cliffs and up ahead to see the tall canyon walls of Fords Terror. It was terrifying and exhilarating.

"Wow!" said Karen. "This is the best place we've been in this whole trip!" I agreed with her. I'd been here two times before, but it still thrilled me. As the current slackened, we slowed down and had time to enjoy the scenery. We passed a tall waterfall with a powerboat anchored at its foot and looked up at the walls above us to see hundreds of smaller waterfalls. The canyon here is so narrow, we motored in the shade. We turned the corner into the West Arm and our anchorage opened up: green forested slopes with mountains above and plenty of room to anchor off the tide flats.

More photos of Fords Terror:

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 -