Jacari Maru--North to Alaska

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Larry H

Senior Member
Nov 9, 2010
Vessel Name
Jacari Maru
Vessel Make
2014 Ranger Tug R-27
After endless preparation, we are on our way to SE Alaska.

We left La Conner Marina yesterday and are currently at Thetis Island Marina.*

Tomorrow we cross the Georgia Strait for Pender Harbour.
We had hoped to go to SE Alaska this year and spent a lot of fun time this past winter planning routes and stopovers. unfortunately we are still stuck in Alberta completing some much needed house repairs from a big summer hailstorm last year so it is now looking like we will put off the big trip till next year. We still hope to have a few months on the boat but will likely take Eric,s (Nomad Willy) advice and try to get an early May start to Alaska next year.
Please keep posting, maybe with some photos as lots of us are interested in your experiences.

Have a great trip and a great summer

Have a great trip, Larry.* Hope you enjoy the passage North and South through the BC waterways.* What is(are) your destination(s) when you reach Southeast?


P.S.* Weebobby:

Not to hijack Larry's thread, but keep in touch for next year's trip.* We are in the same Boat (not really)!* We took too much time moving this spring and will likely take our next trip to Southeast next summer.



Today is day three on the trip. We are crossing the Georgia Strait today. Its the largest open water till the Queen Charlotte Sound. The boats running good. We are fine, except for the aches of getting used to the boats motion again. Photos later.
Looking forward to your running commentary and pics on the trip. Have a great voyage!
Should you have any questions, or if you need any help, feel free to ask.* Were in Juneau and have done the trip more times than I can count. Have a safe and enjoyable trip...........Arctic Traveller
Day three crossing Georgia Strait was a 'snooze'. Flat water, and not much traffic.

Day four, today, from Pender Harbour to
Refuge Cove, Desolation Sound was good. A little on-the-beam wave action leaving Pender, but then following wind and current all the way to Desolation.

Tomorrow's trip is thru Yucalta, Gillard, and Dent rapids. Transiting at slack is mandatory. Max flood is 10 knots and the following ebb is 6 knots.

Was able to buy tomatoes and potatoes here at Refuge. Canada customs doesn't allow either to cross the border.
I have always found that you can transist as much as 1 hour before slack so long as the current is with you. There's some turbulance, but nothing a reasonable size boat can't handle. Leaving early though Yucalta makes it better going though Dent. Just don't leave early if the current is against you unless you do at least 15 knots.

In 03 when we took the Albin north I did'nt know Yucalta Rapids was Yaculta Rapids. I thought Yaculta Rapids was Dent Rapids. We approached on an ebb (current flowing south) and I had to increase throttle several times before progress was made. VERY slow progress. The Albin was capable of 10 knots and we ran at 9 for an hour to get to Big Bay. The next morning we went through Dent Rapids w 6 or 7 other boats. On all the other rapids I've never had any real trouble at all. Had no trouble taking Willy through either and Willy only goes 6.15 knots. Perhaps our speed dictates that we arrive at the chain of rapids at a reasonable time relative to starting at Dent or Yaculta. One would'nt think it would work in reverse so it's probably mostly that the other rapids are'nt strong enough to cause serious trouble. Anyway it's always been wait for Dent but all the rest will probably be a walk in the park. Are you going to Forward Harbour? The part of that inlet that is shallow enough for reasonable anchoring is small so you can anchor early and be surrounded by boats packed in very close. Too close for me. I Went up the beach a little ways and anchored in 85' of water. I was the only one that did that. Fish boats and yachts, some quite big w all types of ground tackle. It was nuts.
Todays run thru the Yaculta, Gillard, and Dent rapids went well. The 10 knot southbound flood was changing to a northbound 6 knot ebb. We arrived about 1 hour early and pushed up against the end of the flood to arrive at Gillard Passage about 30 min prior to slack. Dent was next and just about slack as we went thru.

Tonight we are at Blind Channel Resort, mostly for the wi-fi to keep track of the hourly wind reports at Fanny Island, in the Johnstone. We may get luck and be able to go tomorrow up the Johnstone to Port Harvey Resort. That will get us off the Johnny and into the Broughtons. We plan a few days rest at shawl Bay Resort before the next challenge. That will be crossing Queen Charlotte Sound.

So far, this run has been as easy as it gets. Said with fingers crossed! and a prayer for light winds!

We stayed once in Forward Hbr. Lots of boats anchored there, and a bunch of people rowed to the beach and laid out sunning. Then... a mommy and two baby bears came down the beach to see what was for dinner. People sausage is what it looked like, but they all sped back to their boats, making wakes under oar power, leaving only a couple of beach towels for the bears.
Just curious Larry if you are finding a lack of boats due to the high fuel prices. Are the marinas complaining? I'm planning on leaving this week or next for the Broughton's but won't go any further and may not even go that far.

I don't know for sure. Some marinas say the season hasn't really started yet. Here in Blind Channel tonight, there are two trawlers and three sailboats. That's less than 1/4th of the slips full. Diesel prices were $1.50/litre in the Gulfs, and $1.57/litre in Refuge Cove. I don't need any fuel until Ketchikan, but I have been asking just for the info.

There has definitely been less boat traffic this trip than last year in mid July. It's been easy to get moorage.
Did the moorage prices take another big jump this year? It seems like the prices have increased rapidly over the past 3 years or so in Canada. With the US dollar at a disadvantage and the Canadian moorage prices taking a jump, the reciprical spots and anchor are looking better.
Larry,* when you get to Ketchikan, and are ready to refuel, call all three fuel docks to check prices as there is often a ten to fifteen cents difference.* You might also ask for the commercial price as they seem to be pretty free about giving it to those that ask. Prices also seem to change the day the fuel barge comes to town, so you might ask if they think it may be going up or down, perhaps in a day or two.* Have a safe trip..........Arctic Traveller

So far, I think the moorage rates for overnight are the same as last year.

Arctic Traveler,

Thanks for the tip. We usually use the fuel dock that is near the airport ferry, but this year I will check prices all around.


I will send you a message when we are in town. Where do you dock your boat?


Yesterday we arrived at Port Harvey Resort, which is the first of the Broughton islands area resorts. We are the only boat here. So far, their season hasn't really started. We enjoyed a good dinner of fish and chips and desert in the upstairs restaurant, and bought some groceries in the store.

The trip up the Johnstone was not bad for the Johnstone, but by the last couple of miles to the Broken Islands we were ready to get out of the Johnstone. Wind was up in the 20's and the waves were starting to get rough. Today we are going to Shawl Bay Resort which is north of Echo Bay. We plan to spend a couple of days there, resting and trying out my new prawn fishing gear.

With the Johnny behind us, we have only two major dragons to conquer. The Queen Charlotte Sound is next, and the Dixon Entrance just before Ketchikan is the last.
We made it up the Johnstone Strait and entered the Broughton's at Havana Channel. Stayed one night at Port Harvey and 5 days at Shawl Bay Marina.

Crossing the Queen Charlotte Sound in mild conditions, and anchored in Fury Island anchorage. The next day we got to Shearwater, bought a few groceries and left the next morning. Saw more boats in Seaforth Channel than anywhere else on the trip.

Tonight we are in Hartley Bay, tomorrow we run the Grenville to near Prince Rupert.
We arrived at Ketchikan on Wed, 6-29 after two days of rough seas crossing the Dixon. The first days run was OK until we got to Tree Point where the seas and wind built up to the 'uncomfortable' level. We struggled on to Foggy Bay and laid over. The next day was no better, but we went anyway. The forecasts only got worse for the following days. Part of the problem was low tank levels on both fuel and water, making the boat light. I have always held off buying Canadian diesel as it is about $5.40/US gal now, whereas Ketchikan is at $4.30/US Gal. In the future I might refuel in Prince Rupert so the full tanks can be ballast for the Dixon crossing.

Here is the forecast for the Dixon today:
" Gale warning in effect.
Wind south 10 to 20 knots backing to southeast 20 to 25 this afternoon then increasing to 25 to 35 overnight. Wind increasing to southeast 35 to 40 Monday afternoon then diminishing to south 30 Monday evening."
Wave forecast:
"Seas 1 to 2 metres building to 2 to 3 overnight."

Out of nine crossings of the Dixon, this was the worst.

Since arrival, the wind and rain have been steady, with wind 15-20-25 knots. We have been 'hiding out' aboard resting up. We borrowed a car from friends and I purchased a new start battery as the 8D died. Ketchikan is getting ready for the Fourth with lots of small town activities. We are going to a pig roast tonight, it's a benefit for a local charity.

When (if?) this weather changes we are going to the west coast of Prince of Wales Island for some remote cruising.

Larry H
Hi Larry,

Just to give you some perspective about your home area while you are gone:* Strait of Juan de Fuca 1500 7/7, GALE WARNING for W winds to 40 knots, seas 4-6'.

Although I was on a big enough vessel not be be concerned, we did experience W30-40 with gusts to 45 knots this evening, seas were 4-7' on the flood tide.* Also, some rain.

Sometimes, it just happens.

Glad you made it to Ketchikan safely, enjoy the west coast PoW.
Leaving Ketchikan today to return to BC. We expect to be in the Broughton island area in a week or so.
Hi Larry and Nancy,

You should have a good trip south leaving at this time. Your'e going to miss all those gales and other SE wind and rain but w the weather being as fickle as it is reflections on the water aren't guaranteed. Glad we had a chance to meet you.

Eric Henning
We are currently at Shearwater on the Central BC coast. The trip down was good and the water mostly flat. We have had some fog and rain. Had some good visits with other boaters in Hartley Bay and Bottleneck Inlet. Even got some free crabs brought to our boat by sailboaters. Yesterday was clear and sunny with NW winds. Today is cloudy and cool. Next is crossing the Queen Charlotte Sound. Forecast is for mild conditions.

Glad to hear your'e having such a good run. Bottleneck is beautiful. And a perfect anchorage when not crowded but I've never seen it so. May be a blow hole at times though. We like Hartly Bay and Shearwater too. That whole latitude is great. Thanks for the update.


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Now in Port McNeill. The run from Shearwater to Blunden Harbour was done in 2 days runs of 50 miles each. Spent two nights and a rainy day in Blunden. Today we came to Port McNeill to visit friends and stock up on groceries. Next we will go out to the Broughton island area for a couple of weeks.
I thought you'd do some more sight seeing Larry. I love Port McNeill. The hardware store's owner is a bit kinky but a peach of a guy. Great place to "hang". Rained hard this afternoon but worked most of the day on the green house.

My rule; When the seas are flat, go like hell!! I have experienced some lumpy crossings of the Queen Charlotte Sound, so when the forecast came up mild, we went. Now that I am across that possibly bad piece of water, we can relax and putt about. Lots of other boats had the same idea, when we arrived at Fury Island anchorage at 4 PM, there were three boats already there. By nightfall there were 11 (!) boats anchored. I thought I was back in Desolation Sound in August! The boats were way too close for comfort, but the bottom is sticky mud, and the winds calm. About 5 of those boats were in Blunden the next night.

It has been many years since we were in Pt McNeill. The town has grown from a logging and fish camp to a decent size place. The Port McNeill Fuel Dock, now has a marina which is 80% full, as is the town dock. The Fuel Dock marina accepts reservations, and meets you at the dock to help tie up, nice place.

Diesel is $1.29CDN/litre, tax included. Wi-Fi is free with moorage. Moorage is $1.00CDN/ft/nite. It was a quiet night, and the first float plane just took off. No cruise ships either.
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