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Old 01-05-2015, 10:28 PM   #21
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If your going as far north as Alaska, keep in mind that most boats will leave the Seattle area in April or early May. This early in the season the kids will still be in school and you will have few boats out and about. You might consider spending less time in Washington and BC on the way up, and more time on the way back when the boats with family's will be out in force. As others have said, most family's with kids and only a week or two, wont go much further than Desolation Sound.
As a kid growing up in the San Juan's, we would spend most of our days fishing for bottom fish or perch off the docks. After cleaning them for dinner, we used the rest for crab bait. Kids love to catch crabs, so if you have never done this, put it on your list. Also shrimp fishing is very popular but usually requires a electric puller to pull them up from 300+ feet. Most boats with kids will have kayak's too.(probably same where you live)
Do some research on how to be safe when hiking in bear country.
The water for the most part is to cold to swim in, so any place that has a swimming pool will draw the family's with kids. Have a good trip.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:05 AM   #22
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I am planning to travel up the West Coast of Vancouver Island Island in my Universal 36 (slow) this summer, it would be more fun if I joined others or was joined by others. If anyone can recommend a better place to post please do so, I am new to this.
Thanks John
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:02 PM   #23
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A fun spot to stay is New Castle Island, across the bay from Nanaimo. There are lots of hiking paths and it's a good place to watch the Strait of Georgia. There's a neat little pub/restaurant located in the bay that you can take your dingy to and tie up outside. This is a good place to get groceries as the store is close to the docks at Nanaimo. Also a good marine store real close.

I would highly recommend a side trip to Princess Louise Inlet on the way north. If you are planning a early departure ((April/May) there will be few people there and you will loose track of the water falls on the way up. Allow one day to get there once you enter Jarvis Inlet and you will have a rapids you will need to transit at slack tide.

Once you across the Strait of Georgia, your in bear country, mostly black bears until you get to and past the Broughton Islands. What I like to do is travel fairly close to shore and take a good look at all the beaches you pass. Anything that's much darker than the surroundings is worth looking at with the binoculars. Bears will often times be up close to the tree line but they could be down at the water line too. I will usually see several every day.


You will want to put Port McNeill on your list of places to stop. The docks are adjacent to town and this is the last good place to provision until you get to Ketchikan. ( The store at Prince Rupert is several blocks from the docks but is doable)

Will post more later.
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:00 AM   #24
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I will stop there on my way south in late August but the trip my original post was about is up the west coast of the island not the inside. I will keep filing notes on a lap top in the approximate order that I will be close to the various points of interest.

Thanks John
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Old 01-07-2015, 12:07 AM   #25
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I will stop there on my way south in late August but the trip my original post was about is up the west coast of the island not the inside. I will keep filing notes on a lap top in the approximate order that I will be close to the various points of interest.

Thanks John
Sorry for the mix up. My post was directed at the original skipper
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:36 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by jsthomas View Post
I am planning to travel up the West Coast of Vancouver Island Island in my Universal 36 (slow) this summer, it would be more fun if I joined others or was joined by others. If anyone can recommend a better place to post please do so, I am new to this.
Thanks John
Have you done the West side of VI before? Buddy boating there can be a challenge because each persons appetite varies for desired daily distances and tolerance to big swells with cross waves on top. For sure you would encounter others doing the same each day if you pick the more popular stops.

Barclay Sound is the best bet for finding others doing the same. But the vessels will be fewer than doing the inside.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:55 PM   #27
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Hello group,



I'd like to hear from those who plan on cruising the area with kids and if cruising this area is conducive to meeting other families to hang with. We had a great group of kid boats in Mexico and are looking to recreate that in the PNW.

Hope to see you out there!

Randy
Randy,

I just wrote an almost identical post to yours. Quite a coincidence that we both seek the same thing! We plan on leaving SFO in Spring and heading up to PNW for summer with our boat. Our core crew is my wife, daughter (13) and I. Our boat has similar speed and capabilities to yours.

If you would like to meet up please PM me and we can meet up in Sausalito or your area.

Kind regards,

Pete
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Old 02-04-2015, 12:25 AM   #28
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We start April 2016.......
And we'll start April 2017 :-)
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:32 AM   #29
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SE AK is amazing and since I live here we're on the boat and exploring constantly. My 11 year old insists that she go with us every time and really enjoys being out. Many islands have floats that will accommodate decent sized boats, but those can be crowded during commercial fishing openings or logging operations. So you will bump into others up here - folks are social and decent for the most part. Most of the islands have some roads that are great for walking or biking. Our kids are rarely bored and we are out most weekends and holidays. Cell connectivity is spotty, but as said above, probably better than you'd expect. Shoot me a message if you get as far north as Petersburg and need specific information.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:38 PM   #30
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We will be returning our boat from N Vancouver to Sitka near the of May. Please give us a shout if you see us poking along.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:57 PM   #31
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Route Choices? Alaska first then down?

Thanks for all the feedback on my original question, I'm hijacking my own thread to ask another.

We're getting close to leaving San Francisco for this leg of our trip. Looking for a good weather window in late March thru April but will wait rather than push. We'll explore the Salish Sea area for a couple of months after that.

I'm asking this question because we have a schedule, not the best thing to have on a boat but unavoidable. My daughter graduates from Oregon State in mid June and we plan on attending then returning to the boat (in the Seattle area) after that to start our season in the PNW. A late start but it's what we have to work with.

We are considering heading straight to Alaska first and then slowly making our way back south to the Broughtons and Desolation Sound later in the summer. Does this make sense to those of you knowledgeable with this route? Any local weather issues to consider doing Alaska first (early July) or later (late August)? I plan on following the ferry routes but any suggestions there would be appreciated as well.

We plan on returning to San Diego in late fall/early winter so we are not expecting to make another trip this far north for some time as we need to rejoin the work force and put the son into high school in 2016.

Thoughts and suggestions?

P.S. We're a 55' steel trawler built out of Nova Scotia with 5000+ nm range with some extended cruising experience so we don't have many concerns about being off the grid so to speak. We travel at 7 knots.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:20 PM   #32
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This route would take you to the extremes on BC's coast (without going to the west coast of Vancouver Island or Haida Gwaii) and keep you away from the usual knuckle dragging louts who stick to the Inside Passage

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Old 02-21-2015, 01:38 PM   #33
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Okay, I am bias, but I believe that SE Alaska is a much more interesting place than BC. I agree that it is wise to spend most of your time in Alaska. The cruise industry is very much aware that Alaska has more to offer than BC. They take several hundred thousand folks a year to Alaska without featuring BC. No intention to knock the good folks in BC because BC does have some nice areas. The 17 million acre Tongass National Forest has spectacular tide water glaciers, mountain vistas, old volcanos, old canneries and gold mines, abundant wildlife, excellent fishing,crabbing,hiking, beach combing, numerous whales, and is visitor friendly.
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Old 02-21-2015, 01:52 PM   #34
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Okay, I am bias, but I believe that SE Alaska is a much more interesting place than BC. I agree that it is wise to spend most of your time in Alaska. The cruise industry is very much aware that Alaska has more to offer than BC. They take several hundred thousand folks a year to Alaska without featuring BC. No intention to knock the good folks in BC because BC does have some nice areas. The 17 million acre Tongass National Forest has spectacular tide water glaciers, mountain vistas, old volcanos, old canneries and gold mines, abundant wildlife, excellent fishing,crabbing,hiking, beach combing, numerous whales, and is visitor friendly.
If you stick to BC's Inside Passage on the north coast you're missing 95% of the show...which is fine by me, because us locals get to enjoy the rest of the coast without the crowding
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Old 02-21-2015, 02:00 PM   #35
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Rysol,

The best advice I have heard is to leave SE Alaska and head south in the first week of August. After that, the winter rains/storm cycle can set in. On our southbound trip in 09, we left in the third week of August and spent one day travelling, and two days hiding from 40+ knot winds. Almost every day we heard 'maydays' on the VHF. That was a very tense trip! Go north fast, go south slow and enjoy. The best months, weather wise, in SE AK are June and July.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #36
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Pacific Northwest 2015

Rsysol said: "My daughter graduates from Oregon State in mid June and we plan on attending then returning to the boat (in the Seattle area) after that to start our season in the PNW. A late start but it's what we have to work with."

Another option might be to get your boat to Ketchikan or Juneau and then fly south for your daughters graduation. That gives you more time to explore Ak and head south. It might take you 2 weeks to get up there without pushing it.


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Old 02-21-2015, 04:29 PM   #37
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In 12 SE AK trips (and several more in BC), my experience suggests this:

On the front end of the trip, May and early June can be pretty cool and wet, if not necessarily very stormy. Even so, I might consider getting up to Ketchikan or Prince Rupert before flying to the graduation and back.

Heading back south, on 2 or 3 trips I have had to hole up for several days to even a week of fairly rough stuff in southern SE AK and the Dixon during the third week of August. 30-35 knots in Clarence Strait is no fun at all. More often however, crossing the Dixon in the last half of August is not too tough.

I'd say be south of the Dixon Entrance by the first of Sept, and south of Cape Caution before mid-Sept. Once south of Cape Caution, you can dink around for a while.
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:22 PM   #38
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I would watch the weather carfully. March/April is a little early. When we made the trip we hired Omni Bob as our weather guy and he is very good. Be prepared to dive into a harbor somewhere if needed.

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Old 02-23-2015, 12:37 PM   #39
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I would watch the weather carfully. March/April is a little early. When we made the trip we hired Omni Bob as our weather guy and he is very good. Be prepared to dive into a harbor somewhere if needed.

http://www.oceanmarinenav.com/
Thanks for the recommendation on Bob, we are queued up to use him for this route. Also considering hiring an experienced captain so my wife and son can avoid this section of our trip and fly up to Seattle to meet us.
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