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Thread: Whittier to Valdez (and back)

  1. #1

    Default Whittier to Valdez (and back)

    Who's done it? What's your experience? Sounds like a hoot. Can it be done safely in a 22' Sea Sport?

  2. #2
    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Default Friends have

    Friends of mine did it in a 26' Osprey. Took them about 4 hrs. and said it was a great trip. Co-workers of mine have a 28' Kingfisher that they have taken from Whittier to Cordova non-stop. He said it was fun, but fuel was an issue and there is some BIG water in between. He is running twin Honda 150's on the 28'.
    AKmud
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    The porcupine is a peacful animal yet God still thought it necessary to give him quills....

  3. #3
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    Default Whittier to Valdez

    Doug:
    Very doable in your Seasport; several things to be aware of. Total distance is about 95 NM as I recall, so you need to be up to speed on your burn rate, speed and fuel capacity with plenty of cushion. Use the 1/3 rule and since Valdez has fuel, you should plan to arrive there with at least 1/3 of your fuel remaining. Big water? Sure, there are some considerations there, primarily crossing Wells Passage where you'll be exposed to some long fetches as well as the stretch from about Glacier Island on past Columbia Glacier....lots to see and do along the way. If you make the run straight through, you miss alot. If you have the time and fuel to gunkhole all the way over and back, it will be a trip you remember for a long time! Make sure you have a copy of Lethcoe's book on PWS. Also, be cautious north of Bald Head Chris and watch close for ice around Columbia. Depending on the time of year, you can also run afoul the commercial fishermen; learn how to tell what type of boats they have and how their nets are laid out. For example, a seiner will have a small boat running a net out, then closing it up in a big circle where a bowpicker will drop one end of his net with a bouy marker, then leave it stretched out in a line from the front of the boat....sometimes it's hard to see if the water's rough or the light is low. It can be a real challenge, especially along the bottom end of Esther Island and near the Valdez Narrows. Be comfortable with anchoring, have your safety and navigation gear/skills up to snuff and have a great time! We often travelled with another boat which will give you instant assistance if something goes wrong, so finding another boat matched to yours is well worth the effort. Have a great trip!

  4. #4
    Member DMan's Avatar
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    Default

    I have been over halfway and it wasn't bad at all. I plan on making the full trip next spring. In my boat taking my time to sightsee/hunt I don't see it taking more than 4 or 5 hours.
    ... aboard the 'Memory Maker' Making Memories one Wave at a Time!

  5. #5
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Nice Trip

    It is a nice trip. I strongly suggest three things.

    1. Nautical map
    2. Chart plotter
    3. Crusing PWS

    Sometimes you get fog. There are a lot of islands out there and it is tough if you have never been through the area before. The book, Crusing PWS is handy because if you do have to spend a night it has many locations that are safe and many that you might not know of from the charts. Also watch the dies if anchoring up for the night.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Boater: Coast Guard Valdez, Coast Guard Valdez.
    CG: Vessel calling Coast Guard Valdez
    Boater: Yes, I went to shore and now my boat is 10 feet from the water.
    CG: If there are no holes in the boat, the tide will be in at 11 pm
    Boater: I can't wait that long, I have to go to work.
    CG: Use your emergency rations and sleeping bags to stay warm.
    Boater: We have no supplies. We are in T-shirts.
    CG: (Trying very hard not to laught) What are you doing out there.
    Boater: Picnicing
    CG: We don't have a cutter available to come out and it is too shallow in that bay for our cutter to enter that bay.
    Boater: What do I do?
    CG: The tide will be in at 11 pm. Is is light enough for you to use your chart to make it back.
    Boater: Chart, what chart?

    About this time a shallow draft boat came by and offered to help.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
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  6. #6
    Member M's Avatar
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    Default Whitter to Valdez

    I made the trip last year from Whitter harbor to Valdez harbor in a 25 ft C-Dory, it was 5.25 hours running time on the hobbs meter. We were running a bit over 20 mph. Was a great trip lot's of Orcas and whales. Spent the night in Cedar Bay on the way over and Dickerson Bay on the way back. No need to rush a nice trip. Weather was very nice, some 2 foot chop close to Whitter on the way back but nothing to bad. Just watch the weather there are a few areas you could have some big water.
    Dave made some very good suggestion as to navigation and the book Crusing Prince William Sound, I never leave the dock without it. We also had a GPS plotter with map program, very helpful. With some pre-planning it is a fine trip and great way to see Alaska.
    M.

  7. #7
    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    It is a nice trip. I strongly suggest three things.

    1. Nautical map
    2. Chart plotter
    3. Crusing PWS
    You forgot one thins... A lucky rabbits foot. (In hopes it brings calm seas out there)
    Living the Alaskan Dream
    Gary Keller
    Anchorage, AK

  8. #8
    Member AK NIMROD's Avatar
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    Default

    when i had my 22 foot c-dory (13-14 years ago) i had done it not a problem. even went whittier to cordova and back once spent a few days on knight island waiting for weather to get better but proper gear and common sense go along way.
    RETIRED U.S.A.F. CAPT.; LIFETIME MEMBER NRA; LIFETIME MEMBER ALASKA BOWHUNTER ASSOC.
    MASTER BOWHUNTER EDUCATION INSTRUCTOR; MEMBER UNITED BLOOD TRACKERS; POPE & YOUNG MEASURER

  9. #9

    Default Easy on a Good Day Deadly on a Bad

    In business it's location location location, in PWS it's weather weather weather. On a fine day I went from Whittier to Unakwik Inlet ( 55 mles) in a 18 foot inflatable with a 25 Honda. Good charts newest and detailed scale, Marine Radio, IPIRB, or even a rented Sat Phone will keep you from wishing you hadn't tryed. You don't get more fun than PWS

  10. #10

    Default Thanks to All

    Great advice, as always. It was well received. It's pleasure participating in this forum.

  11. #11
    Member kammer's Avatar
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    Default Whittier to Valdez

    Doug
    I plan on doing that trip myself in a 22' Sea Sport when the silvers arrive. I heard the limit there is 6 per day and no problem getting them. Towing from Anchorage to Valdez takes about the same amount of time but I heard the frost heaves were bad near Johnson Pass.

    Kammer
    22' Sea Sport

  12. #12
    Member broncoformudv's Avatar
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    Default

    The drive to Valdez isn't bad, I think the frost heaves are worst around Eureka and Glenallen. I made it last fall towing an 22ft Aurora behind my Excursion. But making the trip in a boat sounds a lot more interesting.

  13. #13

    Default

    I think the limit on silvers in PWS is 3 per day

  14. #14
    Member kammer's Avatar
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    Default 6 per day

    Homer

    I did check the regs and you are correct. PWS cohoe is 3 per day. I was sure I was told six by 2 different people. Maybe emergency order. If I see them again I will ask.

    Kammer
    22' Seasport

  15. #15
    Member kammer's Avatar
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    Default Found it, 6 per day


    Check page 61 of the regs. PWS terminal harvest area.

    http://www.sf.adfg.state.ak.us/state...al/06SCpws.pdf

    Kammer
    22' Seasport


  16. #16
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default Where can you find this book

    Quote Originally Posted by Daveinthebush View Post
    It is a nice trip. I strongly suggest three things.

    1. Nautical map
    2. Chart plotter
    3. Crusing PWS

    Sometimes you get fog. There are a lot of islands out there and it is tough if you have never been through the area before. The book, Crusing PWS is handy because if you do have to spend a night it has many locations that are safe and many that you might not know of from the charts. Also watch the dies if anchoring up for the night.

    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Boater: Coast Guard Valdez, Coast Guard Valdez.
    CG: Vessel calling Coast Guard Valdez
    Boater: Yes, I went to shore and now my boat is 10 feet from the water.
    CG: If there are no holes in the boat, the tide will be in at 11 pm
    Boater: I can't wait that long, I have to go to work.
    CG: Use your emergency rations and sleeping bags to stay warm.
    Boater: We have no supplies. We are in T-shirts.
    CG: (Trying very hard not to laught) What are you doing out there.
    Boater: Picnicing
    CG: We don't have a cutter available to come out and it is too shallow in that bay for our cutter to enter that bay.
    Boater: What do I do?
    CG: The tide will be in at 11 pm. Is is light enough for you to use your chart to make it back.
    Boater: Chart, what chart?

    About this time a shallow draft boat came by and offered to help.
    Dave do you know where can i find the book cruising pws. Thanks Hillbilly

  17. #17
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Default

    I picked mine up at Alaska Mining and Diving.

    You won't find it at a bookstore, I tried.

  18. #18
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Hillbilly

    It is availabe at the top of the page here: Click on Alaska Outdoors Store and then look for the books section. I have bought 4-5 books from here.

    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  19. #19
    Member H_I_L_L_B_I_L_L_Y's Avatar
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    Default Thanks dave

    thanks dave

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    Default

    We should have a forum run over there and a BBQ
    Tennessee

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