The wife and I own a 28' Bayliner, which we keep in transient moorage in Whittier. We had no experience when we bought our boat five seasons ago, but over the past few years we have gained enough knowledge that I would categorize us "moderately naive" rather than "extremely ignorant" when it comes to seamanship.
Often, we head south out of Whittier to Port Nellie Juan or Dangerous Passage. Because of our inexperience, we have always played it safe by taking the long route around Culross Island instead of shortcutting through Culross Passage. The description of Culross Passage in the Lethcoes' guide indicates that local knowledge is required and advises stationing someone on the bow to keep an eye out for rocks. That was a little too much for my comfort level, so we simply took the long route.
Considering that we now have five summers of boating under our belts (and that the price of gas will be astronomical this summer), we are contemplating shortcutting through Culross Passage on our way south this summer. Since we have never cut through Culross Passage, I'm hoping those who have will be willing to provide their input and advice. Should I only cut through at high slack tide? Any tips for avoiding submerged rocks?
Any feedback would be appreciated.