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Thread: Interior Passage... anyone done it?

  1. #1

    Default Interior Passage... anyone done it?

    Looked around for a while and can't find much for firsthand accounts, has anyone here flown in to Ketchikan and paddled North? Are those waters usualy as calm as the tour guide brochures make them look? Do the airlines have reg's for how big of a boat they will fly?... Looks like a fun trip, any input is appreciated (also any input re: good size sea kayaks for giants would be apreciated... I'm a good 6'7"+)

  2. #2
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Its been done

    Inside passage has been done, my sisters stepson did it several years ago, and I am sure others have too.
    Don't understand the driving force to do it, but some like to do that stuff,
    what would be your reason for doing it?
    as far as being calm?
    It is not all protected, and even though it looks narrow, it can be miles apart and have big seas.

    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    I plan on making a similar excursion this summer except in reverse. Leaving Juneau and spending the summer island hopping.

    Need2leave: The waters are not always calm, and, are frequently what you might call ugly! That's why I am keeping my plans real vague. I am not looking to drown. Lumpy weather will keep me camping.

    AlaskaCanoe: I think everyone is motivated by different factors. In my case, I have given up the last two years of my life to a bunch of crap. Both figuritively and literally. In that time, I have come to terms with my own mortality, and, am just hoping to find some peace "out there." It will be my one grand adventure where I can depend solely and entirely upon myself while spending some real time in the world I love most.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  4. #4

    Default Why do it...

    It looks like an great opportunity to travel some beautiful country... I think if planed for a June start, with proper preperation (tide charts, maps, gps, marine radio, etc) and plenty of gear to hunker down if need be (not to mention having towns at about the right intervals for re-supply), this could be a trip of a lifetime. Between fishing, paddling, wildlife watching, camping, solitude, using the currents and weather to move along when they allow, this just looks like too much fun to not do at least once.

    Also it gets ugly it wouldn't be so bad to camp near one of the ferry ports until I could get a ticket out.

    Thanks for the heads up on the seas guys, I figured the glassy water wasn't always that nice, but it sounds like it can get hairy... better have a well stocked boat and a good tent...Oh, any recomendations on that boat for a giant?

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Walk abouts, paddle abouts

    We have people that contact us every year at our canoe and kayak rental company that are interested in doing such trips.
    Some are into the experience, the views the adventure, but once in while, we have people that are a little lost in life, and decide to to a "paddle about" ... Those people want to do the trip alone.. and that always is a concern. Having at least one other person along on the trip is much safer and can end up saving a life. Deep water is no place to capsize a kayak, and a rescue alone is very difficult unless one has alot of skill. A two person team can do a deep water rescue pretty easy.
    Unfortunately we have had a solo person end up drowning.
    Our rules now are that its a two person minimum if they want to rent water craft.
    Are you planning to do the trip alone?
    Why alone?
    those are questions that people that care will ask..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  6. #6
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Heh!

    That's me! A little lost in life and wanting to paddle about.

    I LOVE IT!

    I'm so lost I thought this was a canoe thread.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default my wife says its

    Its selfish...
    I was just visiting with my wife about this thread.
    and of course the situation that happened to us here came up.
    She said look how selfish it is when a person does go out on big water alone. The event has affected and has been very hard on many people.
    The family of the guy that drowned. ( can you imagine ) The troopers and rescue people etc. that searched and finally found his body. On us that felt responsible that he was alone and maybe could have been rescued.
    Accidents are always tough, but when you realize that the buddy system has proven to save lives.... why? ....is not a bad question...
    My wife says some have this Romantic notion that they will somehow find themselves by doing these experiences alone. Our business has taught us that one should find a less selfish endevour in a less dangerous venue for finding ....ones self..
    You may be gaining control of yourself on such a journey, but you can never control Mother Nature..
    just her thoughts here.
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  8. #8
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    Its selfish...
    I was just visiting with my wife about this thread.
    and of course the situation that happened to us here came up.
    She said look how selfish it is when a person does go out on big water alone. The event has affected and has been very hard on many people.
    The family of the guy that drowned. ( can you imagine ) The troopers and rescue people etc. that searched and finally found his body. On us that felt responsible that he was alone and maybe could have been rescued.
    Accidents are always tough, but when you realize that the buddy system has proven to save lives.... why? ....is not a bad question...
    My wife says some have this Romantic notion that they will somehow find themselves by doing these experiences alone. Our business has taught us that one should find a less selfish endevour in a less dangerous venue for finding ....ones self..
    You may be gaining control of yourself on such a journey, but you can never control Mother Nature..
    just her thoughts here.
    Dear Mrs. Canoe,

    My "romantic notions" are encapsulated in a song I wrote called "Close My Eyes," and I'll send you the lyrics in a PM if you're interested.

    My life, for what it is worth, is on that downward slope and I much prefer the company of a campfire to that of a bed pan.

    I'm nothing like the people you describe. When I am gone, I won't be missed, and no one is going to come looking for me.

    Both of my parents are wards of the state, and doctors keep cutting pieces off of them to improve their "quality of life." I'm going to pass on that option for myself.

    I have lost two full years of my life dealing with the problems of geriatrics...all the while losing my own health.

    I am fighting with insurance companies, and government agencies - I'm packing up boxes full of other people's stuff to send to other people all in the name of "doing the right thing." And, everytime I get a chance to go for a hike, or God forbid, earn a dollar, something inevitably comes up to destroy my plans. Always someone else's needs.

    The one thing that can't be said of me is that I'm selfish. I wish I were moreso.

    But on this there can be no doubt... I HAVE TO make up for lost time now.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  9. #9

    Default My 2 cents Max...

    Your wife sounds like my mother lol and that is good from time to time, she sounds like a great woman from what you have written about her. However assure her, I have no hairbrained journey in mind.

    I've found enough of myself in my short time on this earth to know that I don't need a work-a-day job for the next 25 years of my life to be able to call my roof my own... I'd rather keep my standards within my means and live according.

    When I move up next spring (all things willing), I will have no debt to any man (and hopefully a nice roof), and all the time I need to keep myself fed. I've always been alone, and will remain that way untill a better situation is here... I supose the same go's for unknown water... alone with nothing but provision, planning, and experience seems to me like a great way to travel, life or water... my life anyway.

    STILL!!! no input on a boat for a giant, anyone... or am I going to have to try to climb into 100 different kayaks that don't fit, then buy a tandem so I can fit.

    p.s. It's good you'r renters can't go out alone... it's generaly just good policy not to head out too far alone... especialy your rare idealistic vacationer.
    Last edited by need2leave; 01-07-2009 at 19:35. Reason: cuz

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default You guys

    That want to do such trips alone, are going to do them whether someone asks you not to anyway....... I imagine that you will make it. The fellow that I know that has done it is still with us.
    A couple of years ago he bought a homebuilt Airplane with a Rotax motor for power. It was a cute little bi plane. He bought it used for $6,500.00
    he was flying it around Arizona and that region. we were at our family reunion in Las Vegas and he flew over to spend a few hours with the family. on the way back he decides to fly the thing down in the belly of the Grand Canyon. He runs out of room to turn around and attempts to climb out. He somehow makes it to the rim and then for some reason, catches a limb on a Juniper tree and wrecks the plane.
    He survives, No one even knows where he is, or that he wrecked for a full 24 hrs. He walked over 18 miles accross the high desert to a highway in the Navajoo territory before he was found.. Broken Arm, broken ribs, head injury, etc. is in the hospital for a over a week.
    He has no insurance, and no money, but the bill has to be picked up by somebody. He is an adult, but for some reason thinks that the costs of his behaviors should be absorbed by those that work and pay taxes.
    He is a free spirit for sure, but it cost money to rescue and care for him.
    He carries no insurance to protect everyone else from his injuries and searches. Along with paddling the route you suggested, he also ended up in Nome and was going to paddle from Nome to Seattle... He had no money to even buy stuff along the way, was going to count on villages and the earth to provide. He worked in a grocery store in Fairbanks until he got enough money to fly he and his kayak to Nome. He ended up working in a store in Nome for a few months and was somehow convinced not to do the trip..
    Funny guy for sure... What drives him?
    I have never got an answer I could digest and understand..
    and Oh yeah...
    Soggy,, You would be missed, you would be searched for, and your life is of enormous value to others, like it or not...
    Send me the words to the song you wrote Soggy...
    you are an artist..

    Max

    p.s.
    It is unfortunate that they do not make or sale Kayaks that will accommodate either you Need2move, or Soggy. They are fresh out of Kayaks at this time and in the near future. .
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  11. #11
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskacanoe View Post
    p.s.
    It is unfortunate that they do not make or sale Kayaks that will accommodate either you Need2move, or Soggy. They are fresh out of Kayaks at this time and in the near future. .
    I thought I mentioned that my kayak was a canoe...

    It's on the porch.
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default So you did mention it..

    I thought I mentioned that my kayak was a canoe...
    It's on the porch.
    Go and do... go and see, go and experience, let the salt air breathe in your lungs.
    Let the sun and clouds create the tones of the landscape.
    dip your paddle in quiet water and listen to the water drip off its edge.
    Look into the blackness of the deep and wonder what creatures below the silky surface are doing at that moment.
    throw some of that dry drift wood bark into your fire, and as it burns try to imagine where that old cottonwood used to call home.
    step from the fire and let your eyes adjust to the darkness and look at the sky, find your familiar stars and planets, and remember when you were young and first learned their places.
    Sleep and dream, control your dreams if you can and manipulate them to have happy endings..
    Then after you tire of the days of these many many wonderful sights sounds, tastes, feels, all senses... and more, paddle home Refreshed,,,,and share them with us here...

    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  13. #13
    Member SoggyMountain's Avatar
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    Default

    Ah... that's the ticket!
    "...just because we didn't agree with you doesn't mean we didn't have good discussion. It just means you missed it." -JMG-

  14. #14
    Member kodiakrain's Avatar
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    Default Did you do the SE trip

    Is this guy Need2leave still here, did you do the SE trip? Just curious how it went if so

  15. #15
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default It's been done and written about...

    Ken Wise and 3 other young men did the full inside passage by wooden strip canoe in 1931 from Seattle all the way to Skagway..he still lives here in Moscow, Idaho. His book, written in 1972 is called "The Cruise of the Blue Flujin", you can find it on Amazon and sometimes ebay.

    That was Ken and 3 other guys. Betty Lownam Carey went from Seattle to Ketchikan ALONE in a rowboat in 1937, her book BIJABOJI--North to Alaska by Oar was published in 2004 and is widely available. BIJABOJI is a composite of her 4 brothers' names, Billy, Jack, Bobby and Jimmy. Her rowboat was native constructed and found by her dad floating around in Puget Sound.

    Another great read but not about the inside passage is by Kim Heacox "The Only Kayak--A Journey into the Heart of Alaska". Takes place in Glacier Bay N.P.

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    Hi
    Check out "west coast paddler" web site - there are tons of trip logs, stories and links to whole web sites devoted to nothing but kayaking the Inside Passage. Use the search function for quick referencing. It'll give you everything from gear lists to boat recommendations to training, you name it.
    Done parts of it in kayaks, whole thing in a sailboat and yep, can be dangerous. And yep, beauty like no other place on Earth.

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kodiakrain View Post
    Is this guy Need2leave still here, did you do the SE trip? Just curious how it went if so
    Yeah, I'm still around... didn't make the trip this year though.

    WOW ron, that's a big trip for a canoe, that Ken Wise is one bad dude, I'll have to look into his book.

    bross, thanks for that site, looks cool, I'll have to check it out some more.

  18. #18
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Default

    A couple here in town did a trip from Seattle to Unimak Island nonstop in 2007. They walked, used packrafts on the water, and skied during the winter months. 4,000 miles, no motorized transport. The gal, Erin McKittrick, wrote a book about it called A Long Trek Home.
    " Gas boats are bad enough, autos are an invention of the devil, and airplanes are worse." ~Allen Hasselborg

  19. #19
    Member Cap'n Ron's Avatar
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    Default Before that trip...

    Erin and her companion did the same kind of trip from Cordova to Valdez and wrote about it online. guess that was just a warmup for this big one, wow, 4000 miles! The didn't have a gun on the Cordova trip, will be interesting to read that book, can't wait...

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