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Thread: Inside Passage trip to Alaska, 2009

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Inside Passage trip to Alaska, 2009

    It looks like I will be running my boat up from the Seattle area to Juneau in the spring. Does anyone here want to come along? The catch -- you have to have your own boat. Currently I am planning on running by myself, and I would be interested in running with someone else, or at least being in contact with someone enroute in case one of us has an issue. I plan on leaving around May 8th or 9th, and I need to be in Juneau by May 25th.

    My cruise speed will be around 25-30mph in flat seas, and I plan on going fairly quickly through Canada and spending more time fishing and sightseeing in Alaska. Anyone that can offer king or halibut spots feel free to PM me and I promise to keep them a secret. If you have suggestions on places to see, I would be interested in those as well. I have bought about every Inside Passage book there is and have been reading up on the trip. By the way, many of the books are worthless, Case Harris (Can Can in Juneau) recently turned me on to the Exploring series by Don Douglass, which is by far the best in my opinion.

    Jim

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    Default Inside passage

    You shouldn't have any problems making it to Juneau. There are a couple of areas that are more open where you may have some bumpy water but probably nothing very bad. I had some running from the end of Victoria Island to the start of the actual inward passage but the distance isnít very far and there is a Canadian coast guard station nearby. I hit some stuff after I left Prince Rupert and when you leave Petersburg you have some open water. Running to Juneau is a fairly easy run compared to crossing over to Cordova or Valdez.

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    Default Watch the Narrows!

    When the guide books say you should transit the narrows at slack water, pay attention! Our first experience was almost our last trying to make it through Dodd Narrows what we thought was a little past slack water. Either our watch or our judgement was off. We knew we were in trouble when kids were running along the shore to watch what happened to us. Exiting the narrows we found ourselves faced with a massive whirlpool with telephone pole size trees circling in the middle! What fun! Luckily, we were able to power our way around the edge and made it through but it taught us a lesson about what those narrows could do. Watch the times for transit and don't be tempted to run it a little early or late.

    Have fun, it's a great trip. I don't know if Esso in Nanaimo still has the young bikini clad babes at the fuel float, but if so, one of the "natural" wonders to see along the way.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default Narrows

    Fish Witch,

    What type and speed boat did you have? I have been told that I don't need to be too concerned about the narrows in my boat. The main concern with the narrows is around displacement speed boats, whereas I can run at 40 Mph+ so they are less of an issue.

    I would still watch out for logs, standing waves and whirpools, but based on what others have said, I don't think that I will need to wait until slack tide to go. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

    Jim

  5. #5

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    You'll know after the first time.

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    Default Inside Passage

    I had forgotten about Dodd Narrows. Also as you leave Campbell River there is a narrows just north of the town and you will see a whole ďfleetĒ waiting for the tide, I went through with about 20 other boats when the tide turned. The largest non-nuclear blast was used to remove a dangerous pinnacle in that narrows. My boat would only do about 18 knots so you might be okay but the whirlpools might whip you around some.

  7. #7

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    What manner of craft can essay Queen Charlotte Sound at 25-30 mph?





    Seems a rather well appointed vessel, certainly fast. You may be better served by riding the rhumb on a taut bowline, "Afuera", with a bone in her teeth; or even better, make your northing under royals, courses, skysails, and studding sails a'low and a'loft, the prevailing souwesterly on the larboard quarter giving the helm two points of freedom off, the dog watch singing shanties on the foredeck...



    Sorry... She must be quite the boat by all accounts.

    But what manner of crew would not consider it a shame to fly by such wonders at such a pace? Jack considers it hard usage to speed ever onward through difficult tide races and narrow channels with scant thought of liberty ashore for fresh provisions, social variety, or Divine Worship, even though that shore be a close one.
    The strictist discipline must therefore be preserved if the master of the ship is to maintain force majuere in a region of such majestic splendor, fine ales, and friendly, hospitible natives.



    -----




    One of the classics of the Inside Passage is Joe Upton's


    Alaska Blues: A Season of Fishing the Inside Passage



    http://www.amazon.com/Alaska-Blues-Season-Fishing-Passage/dp/1570611564


    While not pertaining exactly to your passage, it holds a wealth of real info that's hard to find in a cruising guide. A really great read.


    Egg Nog Cheers!
    .
    .
    .
    .


    Killin' it!




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    Default Speed through the Narrows

    Jrodgers - we thought the warnings were for the slow pokes too. We had a 32 Bayliner, not really fast but capable of 20+ kts when we needed it, and we had it to the firewall. It was one of those days I wished I stayed below as we heeled over pretty good at the edge of the whirlpool and being on the flybridge made it seem like we were going over. BrianW has it right, you'll know the first time you try.

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    Default

    Thanks for the clarification Fitchwitch, I will use caution.

    Ishmael,

    I read Alaska Blues recently, and I agree that it is a great book. I plan on going by Pt Baker and seeing if I can figure out which bay it is he referrs to has Upton Bay. I ended up having a map with me while reading to see the spots he was referring to.

    Jim

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    Default Inside Passage

    Watch for logs too. Unlike Alaska, the Greenies haven't shut down the logging industry in BC. They have a thriving industry but unfortunately, some get away.

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    Default in a few years

    Quote Originally Posted by PastorBob View Post
    Running to Juneau is a fairly easy run compared to crossing over to Cordova or Valdez.
    I plan to run from Seattle to Whittier. The run across the top does have me concerned. I will be making this trip in my 86 Sea Ray 300DB.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

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    Default AKBassking

    After you leave Elfin Cove you will be in the open ocean, run up to Yakatat which is a bit of a run. You could still fuel up at Elfin Cove when I went through but I have heard they will only sell to commercial fishing boats now. Hole up at the Yakatat harbor which is at least a mile from town. Cabs are hard to get and surly when you do so you will be walking to town in the rain (it is always raining) to get supplies. They only had paper sacks to put the stuff in which will melt in the rain before you get back to the harbor.

    There was no fuel dock when I was there and you had to call the cannery and see when they would be open and would sell you some fuel. Then you call in to the weather man each day to see what the marine weather is doing across the gulf. It never gets any better than 7í seas but if there is no storm or high winds forecast you go for it.

    Itís a great ride, take extra fuel, we had 200 gallons in the tanks plus we had five 5 gallon cans plus a 55 gallon barrel of fuel strapped down. At 17-18 knots the going was slow but some parts, particularly going past Canoe Island, was interesting, especially if you know the history of the area.

    Donít try to go in the back way to Cordova, it is tempting but donít do it, I think they call it Strawberry flats. A bowpicker came roaring up to us and said he was sinking to follow him in is how we ended up running aground in the flats. (He wasnít sinking he just had his scuppers full of trash.) If you have the range duck into PWS as soon as you can and go on into Whittier.

    Good Luck,
    Pastor Bob

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    Never a good idea, correcting a Pastor...

    ...but I assume you meant Kayak Island, not Canoe Island. The one with Cape St Elias?

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    Default Your right

    Your right Brian I did mean Kayak Island (Kayak, Canoe, oh well). When it came into view I had just gotten up from taking a nap Ė we had left Yakatat at about 2:30 a.m. Ė and Kayak Island didnít look like an Island. Coming from the east it looked like it was part of the land mass while on the charts it clearly looked like an island and that got our attention Ė this was before GPSís were widely available and we were relying on Loran but didnít have the right chip for that area. I couldnít afford to get a chip for every area all the way from Seattle.

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    Default

    you plan to skip through canada, then slow down once inside the u.s.a.....i made this trip & wished i would have spent more time in canada fishing & exploring.....once you get to juneau you'll be able to explore the u.s. all you want with a 40mph boat.........fwiw.....

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    Member jrogers's Avatar
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    I thought I wouold bump this up to see if anyone is planning on going. I will be leaving Seattle around May 10th. AKBassKing, are you still planning on going? When?

    Jim

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    You might want to contact these folks and see if they have any info about anyone who is planning to make the trip around the same time you are. Trouble will be finding someone else who is able to cruise at 30 kts.

    http://www.insidepassagenews.com/

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    Member AKBassking's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    I thought I wouold bump this up to see if anyone is planning on going. I will be leaving Seattle around May 10th. AKBassKing, are you still planning on going? When?

    Jim
    Hey Jim,

    I am still a few years off. Have my Sea Ray all tore apart. Take lots of notes! especially in the open water, fuel stops etc.

    ALASKAN SEA-DUCTION
    1988 M/Y Camargue YachtFisher
    MMSI# 338131469
    Blog: http://alaskanseaduction.blogspot.com/

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    Default Why would you even consider it

    Quote Originally Posted by jrogers View Post
    Fish Witch,

    What type and speed boat did you have? I have been told that I don't need to be too concerned about the narrows in my boat. The main concern with the narrows is around displacement speed boats, whereas I can run at 40 Mph+ so they are less of an issue.

    I would still watch out for logs, standing waves and whirpools, but based on what others have said, I don't think that I will need to wait until slack tide to go. Does this sound like a reasonable approach?

    Jim
    I fail to understand why you would even consider taking the chance. Is the 3-4 hour wait worth the chance of losing your boat - or worse - your life and others?
    Going fourty miles a hour thru a narrow channel would give you just about enough time to say "Oh Sh??" before you hit a log or fall into a whirlpool.
    How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

  20. #20
    Member bhollis's Avatar
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    Default

    I think he's already convinced.

    FWIW, the two narrows of greatest concern are probably Dodd Narrows and Seymour Narrows. Both can be quite nasty. There are also a number of other areas with "rapids" that warrant caution.

    Before I made my Inside Passage trip in the spring of 07, I installed Nobeltec's Tides and Currents software on my laptop. It will superimpose arrows over your chart showing the current direction and strength in real time, or for any time in the future you select. Kept me out of trouble.

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