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Thread: Inside Passage Charts and Info

  1. #1

    Default Inside Passage Charts and Info

    Hey guys,

    I just bought a beautiful 1979 34' Californian in Everett, WA and am planning on cruising it up to Seward with a couple friends in April. Do any of you have a set of charts for the inside passage that you no longer need and would be willing to sell at a reasonable price? Also, I am looking for any information on decent fuel stops, favorite anchorages, or must see places along the way. If anyone from SE wouldn't mind sending me a PM with coordinates for a few decent halibut holes, I'd appreciate it. I promise not to tell and I'll only be stopping once as I am on my way through.

    This should be a great trip and I am looking forward to it. I was actually considering barging the boat up but my buddies threatened to fit me for a pair of concrete shoes. What are freinds for?

  2. #2
    Member NewMoon's Avatar
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    There are lots of fuel docks in the San Juans, Gulf Islands, and along the BC mainland on the east side of the Strait of Georgia. There's fuel at Campbell River and a few other places in the Desolation Sound area. North of there fuel docks are further apart.

    We've been cruising mostly SE Alaska the last few summers, so may not be current on BC fuel dock changes - I've heard that some have closed down rather than upgrade facilities as required. The Waggoner Guide may be a good source of more current BC info. But, here are some we know of:

    Broughtons and Queen Charlotte Strait:

    Pierre's at Echo Bay
    Sullivan Bay
    Lagoon Cove
    Port McNeill
    Sullivan Bay
    Port Hardy


    BC North Coast:

    Duncanby Landing
    Dawson's Landing
    Bella Bella
    Shearwater
    Bella Coola
    Klemtu
    Hartley Bay
    Kitimat
    Prince Rupert


    SE Alaska:

    Ketchikan
    Yes Bay in Behm Canal
    Thorne Bay
    Wrangell
    Petersburg
    Kake
    Point Baker
    Angoon (M-F, I think)
    Tenakee Springs
    Sitka
    Craig
    Juneau
    Hoonah
    Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay)
    Elfin Cove
    Pelican
    Haines
    Skagway

    The smaller more remote locations are going to be more expensive than bigger towns like Ketchikan, Sitka, Juneau. Anywhere in BC is going to be expensive.

    Over the last twenty years we've built lists of anchorages that work for us, or from reading the cruising guides seem like they would. I could email to you if you'd like copies.
    Richard Cook
    New Moon (Bounty 257)
    "Cruising in a Big Way"

  3. #3
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    http://pages.uoregon.edu/dtodd/InsidePassage/
    There are numerous books out there on the topic.
    Exploring Southeast Alaska: Dixon Entrance to Skagway, 2nd Ed.

    Exploring the South Coast of British Columbia: Gulf Islands and Desolation Sound to Port Hardy and Blunden Harbor

    Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia: Blunden Harbor to Dixon Entrance, Including the Queen Charlotte Islands, 2nd Ed.

    Waggoner Cruising Guide 2011: The Complete Boating Reference

    I think there are as many books as there are routes.
    I 'm in the beginning stages of researching an Inside Passage cruise myself. There are a lot things to plan for. Like clearing Canadian and US customs, passports for all on board and other programs to speed the process. VHF station license and operator license, needed for Canadian waters.

    Randy

  4. #4

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    Be careful trying to cross the Gulf in April. I was hammered trying to cross then in a 48 foot sailboat, and this was after many transPacific crossings.

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    Longest distance between fuel stops along the Inside Passage is about 250 miles if I remember. Heading across the Gulf is another matter. Pay attention to what the guidebooks say about transiting the narrows at slack water. We almost got swallowed by Dodd Narrows before we learned. It's a new boat to you so make sure you've done a decent shackdown cruise or two to become familiar with how it performs before heading north and carry plenty of critical spares. It's a great trip and take your time to enjoy it!

  6. #6

    Default IP Trip

    Along with what SSN695 says, make sure U know the Canadian requirements for what U need on board. Last time I looked they wanted a set of local paper charts on board. U can post an ad on craigslist looking for charts, also check the Seattle and Bellingham craigslist for charts, someone will have a complete set they are willing to sell. Another thing friends are good for: buying fuel.
    Good boating, U are going to have a fun adventure.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the information so far guys.

    Newmoon, I'll PM you with my email address for your list of anchorages. Thanks.

    I suspected Canada would have their own requirements. That I'll be researching for sure.

    The only part of the cruise that I am a bit hesitant about is the Gulf crossing. When we get to Juneau we will be studying the weather and will make the call to go for it, wait for a few days or fly home and wait for a long stretch of good weather.

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    I plan to do the same trip in about 3-4 years, so please keep posting the information you find. I also signed up for "Active Captain"

    https://activecaptain.com/index.php

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
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    I'm in Petersburg. If you have any specific questions on this area feel free to ask away.

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    I've made the trip twice from seattle area. Nice cruise, took us about 16 days going straight though with one day off due to wind on each trip, running about 12 hrs per day and straight though when crossing the golf. I have a set of charts for the entire west coast on my lap top if you want to copy them, worked very well for us with maptech. We did it in late may both times, I would wait til May or watch the weather very closely. Did it first in a 36' single and a year later with a 41' twin, no problems either time. Send pm if you need to contact. Bud
    Wasilla

  11. #11

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    Seen the CL Anchorage, you also posted the same thing in Seattle / Everett I hope.

  12. #12

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    Yep. Hopefully someone will have a set that they no longer need. As far as the laptop set, what type of software does that take?

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    Default found this online in Sitka...

    Nautical Charts For Sale
    Charts for the British Columbia coast from Washington to Alaska. $5.00 each - would make good backup in event of gps failure. 247-2371

    Posted: Sat, 29 Oct. 2011
    Expires: Mon, 28 Nov. 2011

    Found online in Sitka news...Hopefully they are still there!!!

  14. #14
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I did the trip a few years ago with a GPS and a backup GPS, as well as a laptop with charts. Paper charts were a lot of volume and cost, so I skipped them and did not miss them. I think you can count on the GPS satellite system to be up and running, or your position on the trip will be a minimal problem.

    As for the gulf crossing, the Elfin Cove / Pelican / Glacier Bay area would be a great area to hang out in waiting for weather. I would push back and do it in late May if I were you. The weather and fishing will be better then.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  15. #15

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    Just out of curiosity to educate myself, a few questions after reading this thread:
    How much do a full set of the paper charts cost new? (Why buy used?)
    Can you legally transit past Canada without carrying the paper maps?
    Can you legally transit past Canada without a passport if you never land?
    Does Customs come to your boat, or are you required to land somewhere?
    Do the Canadians randomly inspect boats the same as our Coast Guard?
    The benefits seem obvious; are there any downsides to the laptop maps?

    Thanks, I've only done this trip by ferry. I'd always dreamed of doing it myself when I was younger but I never had a boat capable of the journey.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

  16. #16
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    Can you legally transit past Canada without carrying the paper maps?
    No
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    you legally transit past Canada without a passport if you never land?
    Yes you can, but a prudent mariner would have all the required documentation in the event you had to land due to weather or a mechanical issue. Heres what I know, weather was coming up and we were gonna make our shot to Dixon entrance but we decided to hold up by Port Hardy. One of the seine boats (sister ships) grabbed a piling and hung off it while the other one dropped his pick. W/in a 1/2 hour here comes the Canadian coast guard. They board the seiner w/ his anchor out, and demand to see all the paperwork including passports. Long story short, and $7,000.00 and 3 guns confiscated later we were told to be on our way. We were fined for not checking in w/ customs, not having our documentation in order (passports and CG paperwork) and smuggling offensive weapons into Canada. We queried as to why the other seiner (who untied from the piling and left the area) wasn't boarded and the canook said the other seiner wasn't on Canadian soil because he never dropped his anchor!
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    Customs come to your boat, or are you required to land somewhere?
    You're not required to land, but if you do you check in on the radio prior to doing so and they will meet you
    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    the Canadians randomly inspect boats the same as our Coast Guard?
    Yes!





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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Can you share information on those ares where the current is bad and should wait for slack tide? I have heard some horror stories about sinkings. I have been in Cook Inlet, so is it any worse?

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    Dent rapids is one. I think there are around three you have to deal with, more if you want to go looking for them. Here is a video that shows some of the current and whirlpools:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNXDgFUzq8w&feature=related

    I
    f I remember right it is around 10kts of current. In a planing boat with good speed it is not an issue, but the sailboats have to time it so they pass at slack.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
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  19. #19
    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    People do the full inside passage in kayaks, so it is not really that tough or grueling. It was the best 10 days of boating I have had. A lot like Prince William Sound, but something new and a little different every single day. I would highly recommend it as far as Juneau, but I cannot speak about the Gulf crossing part.
    2009 Seawolf 31'
    www.seawolfmarine.com
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  20. #20

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    Thank you for those answers fullbush!

    Here are a few more questions:
    How much do a full set of the paper charts cost new? (i.e. Why buy them used?)
    The benefits seem obvious; but are there any downsides to the laptop maps?
    Are there any differences between the way the Canadians inspect boats from the way our Coast Guard does it?
    Quote Originally Posted by fullbush View Post
    We were fined for not checking in w/ customs, not having our documentation in order (passports and CG paperwork) ...
    Are you supposed to "check in" with Customs by radio even if you aren't intentionally going to shore?
    What documentation is required other than passports and boat registration?

    Thanks all!
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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