Browsing: Inside Passage

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The Leopolds Cruise Their Ranger Tug 27 Up the Inside Passage  to Alaska, All Three of Them (and Moxie) By Peter A. Janssen When Mark and Peggy Leopold drove a trailer with their 27-foot Ranger Tug out of their driveway in Anacortes, Washington, on June 2, heading for the launch ramp to start their 3,000 nm round-trip to Juneau, Alaska, they left the davit crane that they usually use to lift their daughter Nicole on board behind. Instead, given the uncertainty of docks they would be encountering along the way, they brought a two-person sling, with secure straps, to carry…

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On Watch

The Gardyne Family Cruises to Alaska on Their Nordhavn 40: Next Stop, the World By Peter A. Janssen The Gardyne family from Alameda, California, across the bay from San Francisco, didn’t want to wait for their retirement to start cruising around the world. Two years ago, they bought a 2002 Nordhavn 40 in Seattle and drove it home, on something of a trial cruise. And they were hooked. On April 17, the Gardynes – Dougal and Jen and their daughter Cassidy, 7 – passed under the Golden Gate Bridge on their Nordhavn, appropriately named Cassidy, and turned north. “Our goal…

Cruising Life
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Slowboat Flotilla Now About A Third of the Way up the Inside Passage to Juneau, Alaska

The annual Slowboat Flotilla up the Inside Passage to Alaska is well underway; indeed, more than a week after they left Roche Harbor on San Juan Island in Washington state the five boats on this year’s cruise are about a third of the way up to Juneau, their final destination. The Flotilla this year is made up of the Nordhavn 40 Cassidy; Ranger Tug 29 Rhapsody; Nordic Tug 37 Safe Harbour; Nordic Tug 34 Airship, and Nordic Tug 37 Fortunate, and so far they have run the gamut of Inside Passage experiences: whales, eagles, dolphins, fog, squalls, sunny days, rapids,…

Cruising Life
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Time to Rethink Your Dink: Get Up Close and Personal to Bears, Whales and Icebergs with a Good, Fast RIB

Here’s a great story that might make you think again about your dinghy. It can be much more than simply a means of getting ashore for provisions or dinner once you’ve dropped the hook after a long day of cruising. Instead, think of it as a vehicle for exploring places you’d never take your big boat, for poking around coves and inlets and shallows without worrying about getting stuck or running aground. A good, fast dinghy, according to these three authors, opens up a sense of adventure; it gets you closer to the environment, not to mention, bears, whales and…

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Aspen Power Cats’ 10,000-Mile Tour Already Reached Alaska, Now Heading South

Aspen Power Catamarans’ epic 10,000-mile tour is off to a good start, with Knot Wafflen’, the company’s new 40-footer, already having cruised from Anacortes, Washington, all the way up to Glacier Bay, Alaska. It’s now in Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on its way south, before ultimately circling most of the U.S. and ending up in Annapolis in October, 2018. The owners of the boat, David and Sue Ellen Jenkins, are both from Annapolis, and were looking for a major adventure after Jenkins, who calls himself a serial entrepreneur, sold Golden Malted, the largest waffle company in the U.S. Referring to…

Cruising Life
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Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina: A Laid-Back Gem in British Columbia

Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge & Marina may not be on your cruising radar (I have to admit I wasn’t aware of it), but from the looks of things it’s definitely worth a stop if you’re cruising up the Inside Passage to Alaska or just hanging out in Queen Charlotte Strait, British Columbia. Pierre’s, it seems, is more laid-back than your normal marina; where else can you find a wood-burning hot tub, a community fire pit and even a “canine yacht club”? In fact, Pierre’s has the usual marina facilities – a fuel dock, grocery store, inviting docks – but people…

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On Watch

Slowboat Flotilla to Alaska: Safety – and Fun – in Company The peak cruising season in the Pacific Northwest is just starting, but the Slowboat flotilla has already left Roche Harbor in the San Juans, heading up the Inside Passage to Sitka, Alaska. The flotilla has six boats this year, a Nordhavn 50, West Coast 46, Nordic Tug 42, two Nordic Tug 37s, and a Nordic Tug 34. All the owners are experienced boaters (including some who have lived aboard for 20 years and some who have cruised to Alaska before), but Laura Domela, one of the Slowboat organizers, says…

Cruising Life
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Summer – and Salmon – Along the Inside Passage to Alaska

Summer is cruising time along the Inside Passage, the roughly 1,000-mile journey from Seattle to Juneau, Alaska. It’s also salmon season, when tens of thousands of Alaska salmon return to the more than 2,000 freshwater streams, rivers and bays where they were hatched, often jumping (as high as 12 feet) up rapids and other obstacles. And salmon fishing is a huge business; sales of Alaska salmon, halibut, cod and crab reach $6 billion a year. Here’s a beautifully written story by Karen Evenden about cruising the Inside Passage with her husband Bill, with gorgeous illustrations by Jean MacKay. But it’s…

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What’s Going on in Bella Bella?

Over the years, I’ve cruised through this area near Bella Bella, B.C., many times. It has some of the most beautiful scenery on the entire Inside Passage. But now there have been two accidents in the past month involving a barge that turned over and sank in heavy weather and a tug that ran aground, sank and released large quantities of diesel fuel that have raised questions about marine safety in the area. The Heiltsuk First Nation is seeking a moratorium on oil tankers all along the northern British Columbia coast, plus improvements in boating safety. The life ring pictured…

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