- Oct 22, 2014
While this trip was not imagined as a seaside Pub Crawl, it is entirely possible that outside observers call it that as we make our way through these beautiful waters.
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Agreed. It has been my experience, after many times through, that going through with the current as early as possible (<1.5 kt) is indeed the accepted and expected protocol. At slack you are competing with boats transiting in both directions . Against the current you will be fighting with those vessels going with the current (not recommended). Because of powerboats there are always exceptions to these guidelines. Please use either Ports and Passes or the Canadian (Hydrographic Services) Tide and Current Tables NOT Navionics on your chartplotter or mobile device. Time is critical as it will be for all passes later in the trip NorthJohn you can transit the narrows before slack by 30 min as long as you are going with the flow. You may notice others doing this and other will wait for slack I've done it almost an hour before but the ride was something else.
Pitch in and rent a van for a day.The trip sounds amazing!
I lived in BC for quite a few years and managed to get to Vancouver Island a few times mostly to windsurf at Nitinat Lake.
Nitinat Narrows by reputation is not a place where prudent boaters go unless your local.
I’m not sure how accessible this suggestion is; but a truely awe inspiring place is the old growth Douglas fir, Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Park near Port Alberni, long way inland and I have no idea if it’s sailable so maybe a silly suggestion.
Back then, one could go for hours without a fix.They tracked one satelite at a time. Bought a 12 sat simultaneous as soon as they came out.My first trip to Haida Gwai was with satnav. Huge improvements since then. I have done 10 trips to Haida Gwai . Another planed for this summer. Favorite crossing is from Gillen Harbour to Thurston Harbour. Leave at dawn and get in on last light.Excellent hunting and fishing up there.Brooks Peninsula is one of the "Great Capes" between Mexico and Alaska.
Two years after our Vancouver Island trip we sailed Cape Scott direct to Cape St. James, some 100 miles of open water but what was a bit scary on this trip was that it was through the area where, up until that time, the world's two tallest MEASURED waves were; one just under 100 ft and another time just over 100 ft. We departed Bull Harbor in the morning but by the time we got to that area it was dark, drizzly, and in a So'wester, one reef in the main and doing over hull speed surfing down waves on a broad reach, with similar wind direction as the tall waves. This time we had a new radar and a new GPS (Magellan 4000) (don't ask me why the new stuff). Unfortunately, the early GPS didn't like wet conditions as we learned the hard way, so locations very intermittent. Not only because of the wet but also because of the lack of satellites back then. Had 2x OEM group 24 batteries that almost didn't start that night. "Exciting trip" in many ways.
Oh, almost forgot, and there are some rock islets south of Cape St James that one wants to avoid, especially in the dark and with a semi-functioning GPS.
More to this story as a couple days later we wound up helping in the search & rescue of a couple missing kayakers where one person died. This changed Canadian operating rules for kayak charted excursions. This group was from Alberta.
Not only that, but if they weren't visible like low on the horizon, it was unreliable.Back then, one could go for hours without a fix.They tracked one satelite at a time.
Thurston Harbor was where we were (on the buoy at the head of the bay) when contacted by the tour guide company guide to help in the search as we were the only boat there. As we came up from the Cape St James area it was really nasty in a very low-lying overcast and a couple kayakers passed a ways in front of us. Sailed up the coast and the surf was hitting the various land masses and throwing up huge spray in the air. The ceiling dropped to the surface, drizzle turned to rain. We past "pods" of other kayakers headed north in this stuff. Visibility turned into a few boat lengths and our radar was really tested to find where to turn in order to get into Thurston Harbor. The navigation with an intermittent GPS under rolling seas, high wind, and thick fog was really challenged. The radar was helpful but being new it wasn't to be totally trusted. at the head of the bay the visibility picked up and we found a mooring buoy and took it not knowing who it belonged to but I think there was one other one.My first trip to Haida Gwai was with satnav. Huge improvements since then. I have done 10 trips to Haida Gwai . Another planed for this summer. Favorite crossing is from Gillen Harbour to Thurston Harbour. Leave at dawn and get in on last light.Excellent hunting and fishing up there.
Time constraints? The answer is a "kinda, Yes". This was a bit of an influence factor but I really wanted to do the outside anyway. Plan B was to go via the inside as the decision is very weather dependent.John, I’ve heard many cruisers prefer to sail from Port Hardy to Bella Bella then further north before crossing the northern end of Queen Charlotte Strait to Rose Harbour or Morsbey island. Just because the trip Cape St Janes to Cape Scott can be a challenging passage.
Was your choice of route influenced by your time constraints?