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Archive for 'Pacific Northwest sailing'

Raiding Northward – August, 2018

(Note: you can click on the small photos to enlarge them. Use your back button to return to the blog.) On Saturday, August 18, 2018, we untied the dock lines and headed north on Cat’s Cradle. Our goal: Catch up with Scott and Cora, now 12, and ‘assist’ in their competition in the Barefoot Raid […]

Friday Harbor Sailing Club cruise to Barkley Sound and the Broken Islands

On May 15, 2017, Leslie and Val on Cat’s Cradle headed ‘out to sea’ to visit a complex archipelago on the southwestern side of Vancouver Island. This is a diverse group of islands within which there is good protection from the prevailing northwest winds and swell from the northeast Pacific Ocean. But, to get there […]

Fun with Family and Friends in Desolation Sound

Sometimes people just have a bad day, and this must have been the case one June day in 1792 when Capt. Vancouver arrived at the northern end of the Strait of Georgia.  Vancouver’s two ships had been searching for the “Northwest Passage” without success and with much travail in the often cloudy and foggy numerous […]

Descending into Desolation

We took two nice days to laze around Bull Harbor and Roller Bay recovering from our overnight sojourn.  The rocks on Roller Bay’s long and steep beach are truly remarkable.  Most are nearly spherical and they are graded by the energy of the Northwest Pacific winter storms into small pebbles near low tide and ranging […]

Gingerly winding south – with Puffins and Shearwaters

We slipped away from our G’Sung Gwaii tour after completing our visit to the beach site with all its story-filled poles and headed south. The wind forecast was 15-25 kts from the northwest and we generally wanted to go southeast. So we unrolled our genoa jib and pushed it out with a whisker pole so […]

A Memorable Visit with many Mortuary and Memorial Poles

After two great sailing days, we are securely anchored in Rose Inlet with the wind still blowing. If the weather permits, Friday morning, July 29th, promises to be the highlight of our exploration of Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site. For the past week we have been discovering […]

An early morning in Echo Bay lagoon

Leslie’s alarm went of at 5:42 a.m., her old ‘get up and jog with Carol’ before school time. By 6 o’clock we were rowing Pacifico over the flat, reflective water as the rising sun lit the mountains above. We entered the ¼ mile long lagoon around the corner at the head of Echo Bay as […]

Going Gingerly down Hecate Strait – Help, Help, It’s Kelp!

OMG, what a day…..! We experienced the high of visiting the ancient Haida site of K’uuna Linagaay (Skedans) and the low of losing our reading on the depth finder to some kelp stipes and then our 2 hp dinghy motor to the deep blue sea. Our summer of contrasts continues….. We got up early on […]

Modern Haida Culture – as seen through the eyes of a native

Through the Visitor Center in Queen Charlotte City, we were put in touch with Dick Bellis (Skil Q’uas), a 77 year old native born here of a Finnish man and a Haida woman. Dick has had many jobs and experiences over all these years and now spends some time guiding tourists. We hired Dick to […]

On to Haida Gwaii!

The Hecate Strait which lies between Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands) and the BC mainland has a fearsome reputation. When a strong pressure system is around, the waves can become so high that the bottom of the sea is revealed. This would not be where you would want to be! A large portion, […]

Contrasts in The Heart of the Great Bear Rainforest

From the north end of Vancouver Island up to the border with Alaska is 400 kilometers of forested islands separated by thousands of kilometers of inlets and bays and more. This is the largest intact temperate rainforest left on earth: the Great Bear Rainforest. Contained here is untouched forest interwoven with much heavy logging and […]

A Swell Experience: Rounding Cape Caution

July 1: We left Port McNeil in tandem, but not for long, with one of the R2AK racers which had stopped for the night and to examine some of the rig. Very soon they were out of sight and we had a nice sailing wind while in the protected waters between Malcomb Island and Vancouver […]

A Quick and Wonderful trip to Victoria

We took a long bus ride from the northern end of Vancouver Island down to the southern tip at Victoria. This 9 hour trip took us from cool, damp, gray northern isolation to hot, crowded, beautiful Victoria, BC. We met Laura for lunch and a quick museum jaunt and then she went to prepare for […]

Alert Bay and the First Nations

We have spent two nights at the government dock in Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. We found some Internet, some restaurant food, and some old and new totem poles. We visited the excellent ‘potlatch museum’ or U’mista Cultural Center which is filled with outstanding masks, coppers and clothing, all restored to these native peoples after […]

A Visit to OrcaLab

After our visit to the Indian villages that are disappearing into the landscape, we anchored on Hanson Island. This island has been officially incorporated as the southern-most extent of the “Great Bear Rainforest” which names protected coastal rainforest from here all the way north and almost to the Alaskan border. We hope to see much […]

Sailing into the Broughton Archepelago

Almost a week ago we were about to enter the region known as “Johnstone Strait” which has a reputation for nasty winds and waves. Our passage was pacific. After passing Greene Point Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids with nary a ripple in the gently ebbing current, we motored along with no wind down several channels and […]

Running the Rapids!

After leaving Hornby Island, we beat our way northwest for almost 40 nautical miles. We passed close to Mittlenach Provincial Nature Park and debated stopping in a tiny bay called Camp Bay. This island is reported to be a Glaucous Wing Gull nursery, but as we were passing we saw only a few gulls parked […]


Walking the shoreline south from Ford Bay on Hornby Island toward the south end of the island at Norman Point is an other-worldly experience. The shore is composed of layers of sandstone, each of which seems to weather differently under the vigorous assault of waves and wind. This is the northern extent of the strong […]


We now have left the good old US of A and hope that you all can play some needed ‘Trump’ card and clean things up by the time we return.  After waving goodbye at Turn Point, we over-nighted at Montague Harbor on Galiano Island.  Our hoped-for northern trip calmness began with an epic sunset behind […]

Northward Bound

Well, here it is June 5, 2016, and we are ‘ready’ to head north on Cat’s Cradle with our goal to wander slowly northward, stopping here and there, and settling into Nature’s Rhythms! If our plans work out, we hope to be at the northern end of Vancouver Island by the time of Laura’s Victoria […]

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