Category Archives: 2014 Inside Passage Trip

Shearwater and Hartley Bay, BC

We left Shearwater bright and early Monday morning and headed up Seaforth Channel.

bye shearwater

Not long after, we went by this picturesque lighthouse and couldn’t resist taking a picture.


It was getting a little roly before we got to the Milbanke Sound crossing so we decided to take a shortcut through Reid Passage to Mathieson Channel.  This was a really narrow passage but we made it through unscathed.

narrow place 1a (1024x768)

We then came across a bright red 32 foot Nordic Tug, Sandpiper II, coming out of Rescue Bay and it was like looking at a reflection of ourselves.  Pretty amazing what you can find in the middle of nowhere.

duplicate (1024x768)

Our next adventure was to transit Jackson Narrows and they aren’t kidding when they say narrow. We thought that Reid Passage was narrow but it had nothing on Jackson Narrows.  At one point I think we could have safely jumped out to the land on either side of the boat.

narrow place 2 (1024x768)

Just before entering into Bottleneck Inlet to anchor for the evening we saw our first Orcas.  They were swimming up the channel and we saw fins and backs but they didn’t perform for us.  Oh well, maybe next time.  Bottleneck Cove was truly serene.


We left Bottleneck Cove early Tuesday morning in the sunshine but the day got overcast before long and it was a long, fairly uneventful trip to the village of Hartley Bay.  We saw some pretty waterfalls along the way but not much else worth reporting.

butedale waterfall (1024x768)

We’re tied up in a little marina that seems to have been built for the fishing boats in Hartley Bay.  We walked around the boardwalk but didn’t find anything besides houses so I guess we’re on our own for the evening.

hartley bay

Pruth Bay and Shearwater, BC

We left Port Hardy around 9am on Saturday after topping off the fuel tanks (cha-ching$).  It was overcast and looking like rain but seemed fairly calm.

bye port hardy

The next stop was scheduled to be ‘God’s Pocket’ only 12 miles away.  When we got there the weather still seemed relatively calm and the forecast wasn’t too bad so we pushed on through Queen Charlotte Sound.  This was our longest open ocean crossing for the trip and had caused lots of anxiety just thinking about it.  The crossing was rolly due to moderate swells but there wasn’t much wind or wave action so we got through without too much stress.

qc sound (1024x768)

Once we were through Queen Charlotte Sound, we decided to keep going up Fitz Hugh Sound and were passed up by the Police boat parked across from us in Port Hardy (Alan will appreciate this one).

police boat in Fitz Hugh sound (1024x768)

We decided to go to Pruth Bay, a place we heard about from some people on a sailboat in Port Hardy.  There is a former resort at the head of the bay that is now used as a research facility.  The setting was magnificent!

Hakai research inst Pruth Bay (1024x768)

After a pleasant dinner at anchor, guess who showed up and parked right behind us?  Our big, unfriendly neighbor from Port Hardy!

big old neighbor (1024x768)

We had a very quiet and peaceful night and when we got up in the morning we got the tender down, took a short ride to the dock and hiked to the beach on the outside coast.  It was a great trip.  It was raining when we left the boat and beautiful sunshine when we got to the beach.  The sand was amazing, too bad it wasn’t very warm…

west beach (1024x768)

We had an enjoyable walk on the beach and then went back to the boat to get ready to head out.  Right before we left, a Gruman Goose landed and came into the dock.  It looked just like the one from the Port Hardy airport.  It was leaning over and looked kind of odd.  I’m not sure if that’s normal or if it was having a problem.

goose prust bay

We left Pruth Bay about 1pm taking a route out to Hecate Passage which had some pretty big swells.  We were only in them for a little while and they were spread pretty far apart but it was kind of like surfing in the boat.

leaving pruth bay (1024x768)

We arrived at Shearwater about 5:30pm.  Thank goodness they had a restaurant that was open so I didn’t have to cook.

boat shearwater

They have a really cool wind indicator up at the top of the ramp that looks like the planes that were used in this area during World War II.

weathervane shearwater

After a nice dinner and wonderful showers, we got a call from our friend Alan who left us yesterday morning and is now in Dallas.  He could see us on a webcam in Shearwater!  He had us go up to the top of the ramp and sit on a bench so he could take our picture which he emailed to me.

bench shearwater

While we were waiting for him to get the webcam situated, I looked up and there was a big eagle sitting in the top of the tree right next to us.


All in all, a pretty good couple of days.  The sunset tonight is beautiful.  I hope the old adage is right,  ‘red skies at night, sailors delight’.



Port Hardy – Day Two

We’re spending our second day in Port Hardy, BC.   This morning we went out to the airport to pick up a rental car so that Alan can get himself to the airport on time tomorrow morning.  While we were at the airport I saw a Grumman Goose.  I hadn’t seen one of them since I was a kid in Ketchikan.


On the way  home from the airport we stopped by the Welcome to Port Hardy sign and got a friendly Port Hardian to take our picture.

welcome pt hardy

After lunch we went in search of the Port Hardy Curling Club.  We found the friendly caretaker who informed us that curling is a winter sport but he let us go look at the facility and told us a little about it.


When we returned to the boat after grocery shopping we had a new neighbor.


They’re really big but not terribly friendly.  We found a really big boat for sale up in the parking lot but decided against it and are sticking with Madeline.

big old boat

Our friend Alan, who has spent the last two weeks with us, is leaving tomorrow morning to go back home. 😦  We have really enjoyed our time with Alan, I have really appreciated his getting up early in the morning to help with our departures as well as with docking and general chores.  It’s always nice to have an extra hand. We will miss Alan!

alan cabinet

Tomorrow we will be leaving Vancouver Island and heading out into Queen Charlotte Sound.  We probably won’t have internet connectivity for a few days so if you don’t hear from us, don’t be surprised.  We’ll try to keep track of what we’re up to and have a post ready as soon as we can find a wi-fi connection.  Wish us luck with the weather and we’ll be in touch…

Port Hardy – Quarterdeck Marina

We left our new friends at Sullivan Bay Marina first thing in the morning in order to reduce the chance of an uncomfortable run across Queen Charlotte Strait.  The morning was cloudy and a little bit foggy but no wind.

bye sullivan

The water was as calm as we’ve seen so far, making it an easy passage.  We arrived in Port Hardy at the Quarterdeck  Marina by mid-morning, just as the sun was breaking through for another lovely day.

boat pt hardy

After a hearty (not healthy) lunch at the pub we went for a walk to town.  We made it to the mall which consisted of a grocery store, a drug store and a few other local stores.  The name of the grocery store is Overweightea :-o.  Upon returning from the mall, it was time for naps, reading and some real laundry chores.

alan laundry big (1024x768)

While we we’re sitting around waiting for the laundry we heard the unmistakable sound of eagles and saw bunches of them at the shelter right behind our boat.

eagles big (1024x768)

Later, when walking to dinner, a helicopter landed on the small strip of land that leads out to the shelter that the eagles were on.  When it was coming in it looked like it was going to land on us!


Now we’re back on the boat relaxing and listening to the radio.  We’re staying here in Port Hardy tomorrow so we don’t have to get up in the morning!  Goodnight…



Sullivan Bay Marina – Backbone of the BC Coast

We left  Kwatsi Bay this morning rested and ready to go.  We had cinnamon buns from Port Harvey for breakfast which were really good – again.

bye kwatsi

After we left the dock, Alan did his daily daisy chain with the lines.  He tells us he can’t wait to get home to do this with all his extension cords.

daisy chain

On our way to Sullivan Bay we had another fun run with the porpoises.  There was a whole herd of them and they were jumping all around the boat.  It was great fun to watch them.


After a fairly short and unmemorable journey…

bonnie sleeping

…we arrived at Sullivan Bay Marina. It’s a really cool little place with a neighborhood of float houses as well as a marina, restaurant, store, shower/laundry facility and a very friendly staff.

hello sullivans

After docking we went on a little walk around the neighborhood to check out the float houses.  Then we took it easy for a while before the 5pm happy hour where we met up in the restaurant for some socializing.  There was even live entertainment!

happy hour piano

We then had dinner at the best restaurant in town (it’s the only restaurant but it was really good).  They made us shrimp fettucini alfredo with pesto and it was delicious as was the cheesecake with chocolate and strawberry drizzle for desert.

best restaurant

The result was an after happy hour, dinner and desert coma.

after happy hour

Life is GOOD today!

Sullivan bay trio

Kwatsi Bay Marina

We left Port Harvey marina after a great breakfast of cinnamon buns which were even better than the ones in my dreams!

cinnamon rolls

It’s amazing to be in these channels around Vancouver Island and seemingly in the middle of nowhere and everything is clear cut!

clear cut

We made it through the rapids and had a  beautiful trip to Kwatsi Bay Marina.

boat at kwatsi

We ran with a school of porpoises in Tribune Channel.  Can you find them?


When we arrived in Kwatsi Bay the scenery was amazing.  It’s a very steep sided area with lots of waterfalls.

Kwasti waterfall


kwatsi scenery

After docking, lunch and cleaning the boat, we got the tender down and took a ride around the bay including a stop for a short walk to an amazing waterfall.

tender selfie kwatsi


bonnie and alan waterfall

When we got back it was almost time for happy hour, when all the people from the boats docked at the marina get together with appetizers and talk about boating.  It was a very enjoyable hour with lots of nice people.

happy hour 2

Alan cooked his famous BBQ for dinner tonight and now we’re all just sitting around finishing up our chores.  Since there was no ‘folding laundry’ (napping) today the crew is pretty tired out.  I think we even get to sleep in tomorrow morning – yay!


Port Harvey Marine Resort

We left Blind Channel Resort early this morning in the sunshine once again. 🙂

bye blind channel

We headed back into Johnstone Strait and had a little bit of a roly-poly ride but then it calmed down for a pleasant run into Lagoon Cove, wait no, Port Harvey Marine Resort.  Bonnie and Alan made a VERY last minute change to our destination (much to our skippers chagrin) when we read that they will deliver hot cinnamon buns to the boat in the morning.  They are also going to make us a large pepperoni pizza for dinner tonight.  How can you beat that? Plus they have a pretty good internet connection and are super friendly!

port harvey resort


port harvey boat

After docking and lunch we contemplated going for a walk on the beach for some afternoon activity or taking a nap.  Naps on this boat are referred to as ‘folding laundry’ and I can tell you that there is not an unfolded piece of cloth to be found!  Guess what we did?

bnb napping

This is my kind of afternoon activity!  Since we started this trip our definition of the word ‘resort’ has undergone drastic change but as one of the reviews in the guide books says, what this place lacks in luxury it makes up for with welcome charm.  The pizza was great and was followed up with strawberry cheesecake – yum!



Now there’s a few games of Yahtzee to play before bed and dreams of cinnamon buns…



Blind Channel Resort 6/8/14

We spent a delightful Saturday evening in Campbell River, BC.  I wanted to post this picture of Madeline in Campbell River last night but I couldn’t get a copy of the picture into the post so here it is today.  Can you find Madeline?


We left Campbell River early this morning under cloudy skies in order to make the slack tide at Seymour Narrows.

bye campbell river

We followed a tug and barge through the narrows without incident and cruised on to Blind Channel Resort.

seymour narrows barge

Blind Channel Resort is a beautiful setting even with the light rain that began to fall not long after we arrived.  The internet signal seems work on the boat most of the time which is a bonus.

hello blind channel

Alan is preparing the prawns that we got for loaning our chairs to the fishermen in Refuge Cove so dinner should be a feast tonight!


He even did the dishes when he finished his prep work, this is my lucky day!  It’s really started to rain now so we may have a fairly quiet evening, I don’t think anyone on board will mind.  I guess is can’t be sunny every day…




Refuge Cove and Campbell River

We left Powell River a little later than usual on Friday for a pleasantly short journey to Refuge Cove.

bye powell river

We pumped out before we left and I had the job to get the new deodorizer from the gallon jug into a more usable container (?) and made a huge, blue mess.

bonnie toilet

Refuge Cove was a little different than we expected with no internet, no restaurants and they turned the generator off at 6pm.  We spent a quiet evening although I did get some laundry done to the tune of $11 and we met some fishermen who traded us some prawns for the use of our lawn chairs for a couple hours.  We also saw some interesting modes of transportation in the cove…

Refuge Cove-13


dock boat


We left Refuge Cove fairly early Saturday morning and arrived in Campbell River before noon.

bye refuge cove

We got a great space in the harbor and enjoyed another sunny afternoon.

It was ‘Ocean Day’ and there was a bunch of stuff going on near the harbor including tours of the Canadian Coast Guard 47’ rescue boat.

Campbell River-6

We got some good showers and there is internet in the harbor but you have to be right next to the harbor office to make it work so I’m going up to the office to get this posted.  Wish me luck…