Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Ginny and I have been happily married for 50 years , have 2 sons and 6 grandchildren. We have been avid boaters since the mid 1970's. We have sailed in various parts of the world making 'bareboat' charter trips in the Washington and Canadian San Juans and Gulf Islands, Maine,the British Virgins, South Pacific's Moorea and Tuamoto's and New Zealand. We owned and raced a J-24, Laser, and cruised a Newport 30 before buying a long range trawler in 2003 and cruising the waters of the Pacific Northwest and the 'Inside Passage' of British Columbia to SE Alaska for the last 10 years. After first owning a 2000 Selene 47, and 2002 Selene 50 (both named 'Ina Marie', we now, in the 'bell lap' of our boating days, own, operate and thoroughly enjoy 'Ginny C' , our 2007 Selene 42.


To see our locations click on this text

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

 Graham MacDonald, probably the best electrician and mechanic on Vancouver Island, [if not the whole coast] who helped us with fuel pump problem years back, stopped by at my request to check out or battery issues. It took him about 15 mi
nutes with our charging systems and a few meter readings to conclude that we did indeed have a bad house bank.  He opined that it was not certain but most likely caused by the bad new HB battery we had fought most of last summer, damaging the remaining two new HB units, which then continued to deteriorate over the winter months. I any event he agreed with my thoughts that the next 9-10 days will be a good test for the new batteries as we will be on the hook without shore power until we get to Ketchikan. 

The balance of the morning is spent polishing our refueling, doing laundry, topping up water and propane and updating the blog.  We depart  the harbor about 1:30 pm and make an uneventful 24 mile trip back around Malcolm Island and across Queen Charlotte Straights arriving at Blunden Harbor for the night. Unfortunately, no whales in sight.  We almost always have at least one humpback citing in the logs on these crossings plus a pod of Orcas.

We are about 2 hours behind ‘Full Moon’ [Don and Linda McGill from Ladner] who were next to us at Port McNeill.  They greet us as we come in and drop a crab trap for us with their tender, as ours is ‘up’ for the next several days.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Conditions are right  for rounding Cape Caution, one of the two places we will face the open ocean on this extended trip up the inside passage. So we are up at 5am, crab traps up by 5:15 [Nothing but females], and hook up and underway by 5:35.  Full Moon stays with us until after we round the Cape at 09:00.  Once again, a day without whales.

After rounding CC  Full Moon departs us.  They head up Rivers Inlet and we decide to make a long run all the way to Namu, a 72nm day, arriving at 3pm, nearly 10 hours on the water. 

QCS is smooth all the way with a low SW swell so we are surprised when face a nasty 1-2 foot chop on our beam running up Fitzhugh Sound and even a bit worse as we cross the opening of Hakai Passage.  

Namu is an abandoned Fish Cannery [which once employed 5,000 at its peak years] now literally gradually sinking and falling into the sea since about 1980.  Its three long time caretakers inform us on arrival that they are leaving in Sept. taking their docks and home on floats with them to Lizzie Cove in Lama Passage.  Thus no more stops at Namu.

The caretakers and another group of 4 couples who are fishing there and ‘camping out’ in their small trailerable boats which they launched in Bella Coola are quite festive and invite us to join them on the nice covered cooking float with a big fire pit.  We respectfully decline as we are POOPED! after our long day.

Thursday, July 18th, 2013    To see our locations click on this text

Long term weather forecast for Dixon Entrance, through next Monday the 21st, which is the next and last run we will face with open ocean exposure is very good, in fact, beyond expectations.  So we decide to change plans a bit and push ahead hard hoping the forecast holds and does not change.

We leave Namu at 6am heading north hoping to make it to an Indian village Klemtu or a safe anchorage nearby. 
Just as we are leaving we spot our first Humpback whale.  We watch him spout and dive, spout and dive for about 20 minutes, but he is not close enough for any real good pictures. 
We cruise down Lama passage meeting a huge Alaska State Ferry just before Bella Bella and Shearwater.  

Bella Bella is the largest native settlement on the coast.  As we pass by we see the remains of a devastating fire of just two days ago which destroyed their only Grocery Store and threatened several other buildings in the village.  Water is unusually calm in Seaforth Channel so we pass up transiting Reid Passage and proceed on past Ivory Island on into Finlayson Passage to Klemtu Passage.  When we got to Klemtu its small docks were full so we decide to continue another 10 miles to the head of Alexander Inlet, a bullet proof anchorage according to our books.  We arrive at 4:30, another long day, 71.4 miles closer to Dixon Entrance and Ketchikan.  We are all by ourselves in this beautiful inlet.

Friday, July 19th, 2013     To see our locations click on this text

Weather remain beautiful and seas are almost dead calm. Today we must transit Meyers Narrows, about 10 miles down Meyers passage.  We must time ourselves to arrive at near mid tide to be able to get through its trickiest part.  This means we can sleep in a bit later waiting for the tide to rise.  

We haul the anchor [and another empty crab trap-bummer!!] at 8am and clear Meyers Narrows with plenty of water under us at 9:25 am, exit Meyers Passage at 10:12 and cruise up Laredo Channel in almost dead calm seas arriving at Dunn Passage Cove in Weinberg Inlet on the west side of Campania Island at 4:15, an 8.5 hour transit of 61nm. Again no whale sightings!  

This is an amazing wilderness.  We share the Cove with one just one other boat. Not only that, during our entire 61mile transit today we saw only one other pleasure boat.

Weather for Dixon Entrance still beckons us for a Monday crossing which will continue to require us to make these longer transits, longer than ‘normal’ for us.  We think that 40 -45  km is about comfortable max which usually takes 5-6 hours with an early afternoon arrival to relax, fish, prawn, gunkhole, kayak or just cozy up with a good book.  

But Dixon Entrance can set you back a week if it kicks up. So, right now, getting it behind us is a priority. After that we will really slow down for more than a month of those 15 to 30 mile days with some layovers days and an occasional 40 to 45 km run.

Today, we start making hourly VHF radio calls to ‘Blue C’s hoping to connect with Carl and Carol Cederberg, who we met last year in this area and ended up cruising with two or three times along the way.  Our general mutual cruising plans indicate we should/might cross paths about this time and near this area.  They will be heading South as we head North but we hope to anchor one night with them along the way to tip a scotch or glass of wine or a potluck dinner in one of these great coves.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

We depart Dunn Passage, again with an empty crab trap at 7:30am. 


To see our locations click on this text

Weather is good,Seas are very calm. Other than seeing a few commercial fisherman it is again another day of no pleasure boats and whales for the entire trip up Principe Channel across the mouth of Nepean Sound and on into Petrel Channel and its Captains Cove, where we will stop for the night.  Todays trip is a bit shorter, 53.6km.

Our hourly VHF calls to the Cederbergs aboard Blue Cs again bring no response.

We share this cove with just one other boat, arriving at 2:45.  We have not seen one other pleasure boat all day.

We drop the tender to set a crab trap.  The other skipper beckons me and informs me that he has been here two days with no success.  He tells me that in previous this has been his best crabbing spot.

I decide to fish a bit and low and behold I hooked a nice Halibut about 8-10 pounds estimated.  Estimated because while trying to net him flopping about next to the tender he broke loose with my lure still in his mouth because I had done a crappy job tying a weak knot to the lure.

I pulled yet another ‘empty’ crab trap after dinner.  It had one small male in it, not legally large enough to keep.  I could not leave the trap overnight because we had to lift the tender for an early departure as we have a long run to Dundas Island at the end of Chatham Sound and the beginning of East Dixon Entrance.

To see our locations click on this text
Sunday, July 21, 2013.

We departed Captains Cove at 7:15 entering Ogden Channel shortly thereafter.  There is not even a ripple on the water.  Our destination is Brundige Inlet on Dundas Island 63.3 mile away.
 About 11:30 we spotted a small pod of Orca whales about 1/2 mile off our starboard bow.They were a long way off and going the other way.  Ginny tried her best to get some pictures without much success but we enjoyed watching them for about 10-15 minutes. 

We entered Chatham Sound, a large body of pretty open water before Dixon entrance late morning and headed North past Lawson Harbor, Prince Rupert, the mouth of Venn Passage, and on into Brundidge Inlet on Dundas Island [just 8 miles south of the Alaska State Line], dropping the anchor at 4pm.  We shared this well protected anchorage with a sailboat flying a French flag arriving under sail just 15 minutes behind us.  I set the crab pot in 40 feet with my Kayak and paddled over. 

The boat was from Papeete, Tahiti and its French owners were heading south.  They have been Cruising the Pacific Ocean for the last 5 years and this is their second summer in Alaska.

To see our locations click on this text

Monday, July 22 and Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Dixon Entrance and Ketchikan: We left Brundidge Inlet at 7:15 with ‘Yes’, another empty crab trap!, and headed out into the famous Dixon Entrance with no wind and no swell for the first 3 hours.  I ran almost the entire way without engaging the stabilizers.  We had a slight beam swell for a couple of hours.  We entered Tongass Passage and were at a fuel dock in Ketchikan by 2:30 our time, 1:30 Ketchikan time.  We called Customs who cleared us at the fuel dock.  We put on 177 gallons and were of to Bar Harbor Marina and at our berth at 2:35.  

We are here 3.5 full days ahead of schedule.  Dave and Stephanie D’Allesandro will fly in from Florida on Friday and will be with us for the next leg to Sitka. We will leave here on Saturday, July 27.

Soon after we docked we spotted Wild Blue, a Selene 53 owned by the Bensons from San Luis Obispo.  I have emailed with him but we have not met.  He has made several Alaska trips and posted a very interesting and helpful blog each year.  We dropped by and introduced ourselves and had a nice visit.  He is on board with 3 friends who have been fishing  the past week.  His and their wives are flying in Thursday.  If it works out we may be able to get together with them later in the week.

It is Tuesday July 23 and we are doing nothing today after our 6 straight days of 50 to 70 plus miles.  We slept in and walked into town for lunch.

Weather has finally changed-- pouring rain most the day, but not cold or stormy.  Just socked in steady rain and drizzle.  Downtown about 1.4 miles south of our marina is nothing but Cruise ship tourist trap shops, the exact same shops with the same names  as we saw in St Thomas and St Maarten.  Right now there are 3 huge ships berthed.  Yesterday there were 4 of them.  6 to 7,000 tourists are wandering the down town streets.  Locals say Tuesday - Thursday are the busiest.  The mills I knew in the 70’s are all gone long ago as are the big fish canneries.  There is still a large fishing fleet here however, at this time of year.  All three Marinas are full of big fishing boats, and very few pleasure boats other than those locally owned.  The fishing boats are mostly purse seiners and some gill netters seeking salmon with only a few drag netters fishing for halibut and other bottom fish.

 We Hope you are enjoying the blog.  Our next update probably will not be until we get to Sitka, about 2 weeks from now


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