Voyages North

03 June 2018
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

Alaskan Cruising for California Boaters

03 April 2014
Elsie Hulsizer
Photo: SV Sonamara of San Francisco sailing in Sumner Strait, Alaska

"Alaska? Why would I want to go there?" a former California boater who recently moved to Seattle told me when I asked him if he had any plans to Cruise to Alaska.. "Cruising is about sun and fun, and swimming from your boat," he said

Alaska cruising is a different kind of cruising than California cruising -- what SAIL Magazine calls Adventure Cruising -- where the unexpected can happen and the goal is to see new things and experience new cultures. For Californians Southeast Alaska can offer a whole new world: scenic anchorages, protected waters and lots of new things to see and experience.

No Name Cove
Photo: No Name Cove, Tracy Arm, SE Alaska

Highlights of cruising in Alaska include calving glaciers; whales, sea lions, brown bears, black bears and sea otters; the fantastic carvings and elaborate costumed dances of Alaska Natives; and eating salmon, halibut and crabs. And although you may not want to swim from your boat in Alaska, nothing beats soaking in an Alaskan hot spring while a waterfall roars a few feet away.

Baranof Warm Springs
Photo: Boaters relaxing in Baranof Warm Springs

A week after the conversation with that former California boater, Steve and I gave a talk and slide show called "Why We Sailed to Alaska Five Times" at the Puget Sound Cruising Club (see the post below). The California boater was there. Afterwards he came up to me and said, "I'm embarrassed. If I had seen your slide show before we talked, I never would have said what I did. Of course we're going to Alaska. We have to!"

Not all California boaters need as much persuading. Although I never expected to see many California boats in Alaska, last summer there seemed to be one in almost every major anchorage. But none of them had heard of my book, Glaciers, Bears and Totems: Sailing In Search of the Real Southeast Alaska, which means They lacked easy access to the science, history and unique Alaskan stories that can enrich a trip to SE Alaska. Obviously I needed to remedy that. What better way to spread the word among California boaters than to attend the Strictly Sail Pacific boat show in Oakland? An email and accompanying resume sent to Sail America, Strictly Sail's organizers, garnered me an invitation to speak about cruising in SE Alaska and sell my books at the show's author corner.

For more information about Glaciers, Bears and Totems, go to

I'm still putting together my slide show for the seminar. It will be based on the popular seminar that I give at the Seattle Boat Show with some added information for California boaters including a brief discussion of how to get there from California and more importantly, where to get more information on the nuts and bolts of cruising there.

Cover of Glaciers, Bears and Totems
Photo: Cover of Glaciers, Bears and Totems

Strictly Sail Pacific is the West Coast's largest all-sail boat show, set for April 10-13 in Jack London Square, Oakland.

Hours for Strictly Sail Pacific are as follows:
• Thursday, April 10th: 10am-6pm
• Friday, April 11th: 10am-6pm
• Saturday, April 12th: 10am-7pm
• Sunday, April 13th: 10am-5pm

The times and locations of my Cruising Southeast Alaska seminars are:
• April 12 1:00 pm D Exhibit Hall
• April 13 3:30 pm D Exhibit Hall

My seminars are free for all ticket holders at the show.

To learn more about Strictly Sail Pacific or to purchase tickets online, visit Find Strictly Sail Pacific on Facebook at and on Twitter @StrictlySailPac.

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 -