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Go big, then keep going? Or save the primary 'goal' for later?

Nov 21, 2007
267
Beneteau Oceanis 34 Tacoma, WA
We got a late start to our sailing season this year, but came on strong in August, when we made it from Tacoma up to within shouting distance of Dodd Narrows. Next year, we hope to get a much earlier start to the season, interrupt it for a land trip, then push hard in terms of adventure and ambition during midseason.

We have a lot of time to work with... thinking maybe head north toward the end of June. But, we don't have any hard deadlines and have arbitrarily picked August 1st as the date when we'd like to be back home for a couple of weeks. We've picked Princess Louisa Inlet as our stated goal for our cruise. But the question is, do we head straight for Princess Louisa, then figure out what direction we should turn on our way back out (hint, NORTH)? Or, do we take our time while heading north, and put the marquee destination at the end of the trip?

It's not like we're going to quit exploring, once we get to PL. I don't think we'll head straight home again, if we put the primary objective early on the itinerary. Just wondering what variations we should consider, check the objective off the list early, or wander for a couple of weeks and hit the main goal on our way back home?
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Just throwing it out on your Nav table. I am working with several SBO members to have a 2020 Round Vancouver Island Rendezvous next Summer. If it fits you are most welcome to join us as we sail along the way. Tentative planning is to head to Victoria as a start point in early June. Run up the East side of Vancouver in 25-30 mile jumps Spending a couple of days in places along the way. Boaters interested can join or depart as they wish. Total trip between 45 and 60 days with weather plans to be well sheltered as we sail on our adventure.

More detail will be coming in the next couple of months. Planning includes stops in locations that are serviced by BC Ferry and other modes of transportation. This is to give SBO members who want to join but don't have a boat of their own to participate with us.

It is an ambitious adventure that should be a lot of fun.
 
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Jan 25, 2011
2,068
S2 11.0A Anacortes, WA
Determine where you want to go and when. Then consult the tide and current tables.
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Or consult the tide and current tables then decide when you need to go and when would be the optimal time to leave.
 
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May 7, 2012
717
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
We've picked Princess Louisa Inlet as our stated goal for our cruise. But the question is, do we head straight for Princess Louisa
Dave, timing is everything if you want to experience the full magic of Princess Louisa.
Two years ago in the middle of May, we started out from our homeport towards Nanaimo. The weather forecast showed at least 5 days of full sun in the high 60s/low 70s. Unusual for that time of year. Our initial plan was to go out for only a few days; however, 10 days later with the sun still persisting, we found ourselves, for the 1st time ever, inside Malibu Rapids. The winter snow pack that year was heavy, the mountains were still covered to a low altitude and with the approximately 2 weeks of full warm sun, the runoff from over 50 falls was truly majestical.
That timing is not going to happen often; but, my suggestion would be to visit PL earlier in your trip than later. The chance of more runoff, even in late June, is higher and the inlet will no doubt be a whole lot less busy then in July and August. Regardless it is a destination not to be missed.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
It would add about 160nm to our Vancouver Circumnavigation. About 6-7 days. Will have to keep it in mind.

Nice info @Hello Below .
 
Jul 27, 2011
3,595
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I’m sure there’s no need to point this out to PNWers, but just a reminder about entering PLI via the Malibu Rapids. It’s 40 n.mi. up the reaches to the Rapids with little to nothing in the way of alternate sites to anchor. That is, you are more or less committed to pass through the Rapids if you head up there from Jervis. Timing is important if you wish to pass through in daylight near, or at, slack tide—as recommended. So, my advice is to plan “backwards” from the desired time of entry into the lnlet when heading up there. As John noted, you’re adding several days to a trip that includes other destinations if you wish to tarry long in the magnificence of Chatterbox Falls!
 
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May 7, 2012
717
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Agreed KG that timing is very important especially if the forecast is anything but calm. There are a couple of places that you can anchor (fair weather only) at either end of Princess Royal Reach and possibly a log boom here and there but I certainly would not plan my route on them. With over 16 hours of daylight near summer solstice, there is some flexibility in that you will have at least 2 slack periods in that time. Backeddy or Egmont Marina are about 30nm from Malibu Rapids.
 
Nov 21, 2007
267
Beneteau Oceanis 34 Tacoma, WA
With over 16 hours of daylight near summer solstice, there is some flexibility in that you will have at least 2 slack periods in that time.
I was thinking along those lines, as well, but it IS good to remind some of us of the obvious. I spent a long time in IT support, and there is a reason why we always asked people having trouble logging onto their computer if they had the caps lock on...

Checking the currents is a good idea, if they happen to be exactly the opposite of what we want, then that helps to decide on when in our itinerary we will visit PL.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
3,595
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
I just cannot forget my first (and only) time up there in a chartered C&C 38, loitering outside the Rapids two hours ahead of the slack water as dusk was descending upon us. Obviously, poor planning on my part. (A "beginner's" mistake b/c charter boats have to be anchored up or in a slip by dark as a condition of insurance, etc. Yes. We got there before dark; but, had not taken fully into account the risks of passing through the Rapids with the tide still running.) Luckily another, larger, sailboat showed up and went on through as we watched; and then followed. (BTW. We did get knocked around some, but you're not in it long.) Got the hook down near the falls just at dark w/o hitting that big 'ole submerged rock on the NW side. Love "local knowledge."
 
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May 7, 2012
717
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Dave, from my one time experience, the current leading up to the rapids will not be a major factor when transiting the various inlets and reaches. If memory serves me correct, they run less than a knot except in localized areas. Please consult the Canadian Current and Tide Tables (Vol 5) or Ports and Passages to determine slack at Malibu. My Navionics chart card showed a difference of some 40 mins than actual. When time and speed accuracy is important DO NOT depend on your plotter or iPad if using Navionics charts.
As an aside Malibu Rapids are listed in the tables as a secondary current station based on the tides at Point Atkinson, 50nm away. I still have trouble wrapping my head around that one.
 
Dec 25, 2000
4,265
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
Hi Dave, lots of good and worthy suggestions here. As you contemplate your adventure during these fall and winter months I recommend that you fill your time with some of my adventures these past few years. None of them include Princess Louisa Inlet, but certainly might whet your desire for some sail time, here:
 
Jan 5, 2017
1,632
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
I would go early to PL because 1) before school is out it is less crowded 2) there is more runoff and the falls are nicer.
There are no good anchorages after Eggmont or the Harmony Islands until you are through Malibu Rapids. There are a couple of places that are OK to wait a couple of hours for the tide but only in fairly settled weather.
Most fiords have fairly steep drop offs.
A376B426-A5DD-4809-9BA9-0FBCC4B0CE87.jpeg Depth alongside here was over depth for my sounder.
D50052C1-866C-4C49-A71B-D61E2E3566E3.jpeg May 2018
 
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Jun 11, 2004
886
Oday 31 Redondo Beach
One thing I know is when we got anchored and pinned to the wall at Chatterbox we looked around and said, wow, we need to spend some extra time here. So if you are saving it for the end of the trip I would suggest saving plenty of time to hang out and explore. The hike to Trappers Cabin was steep but great.

Before heading up to Malibu we spent the night at Dark Cove . A pretty good anchorage a few miles closer to Malibu than Egmont.
 
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Nov 21, 2007
267
Beneteau Oceanis 34 Tacoma, WA
Thank you! For the feedback, ideas, and reminders (currents)! I'm already working on our plan. We will probably head straight for Princess Louisa, then see where we end up after that. Should be a great time! I have a couple of people that I should look up when we get to Canada, and I will need to keep an eye on the plans being made for the SBO Vancouver Island expedition, as well. @jssailem send me a PM, or put me in your planning contact list, if you don't see me around on the forum for the next several months (it's getting to be the time of year when I vanish for a while)!
 
Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
No problem will be sure to give you a pm shout as we start to build the plan and create a conceptual itinerary.
 
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Jul 27, 2011
3,595
Bavaria 38E Alamitos Bay
Just throwing it out on your Nav table. I am working with several SBO members to have a 2020 Round Vancouver Island Rendezvous next Summer. If it fits you are most welcome to join us as we sail along the way. Tentative planning is to head to Victoria as a start point in early June. Run up the East side of Vancouver in 25-30 mile jumps Spending a couple of days in places along the way. Boaters interested can join or depart as they wish. Total trip between 45 and 60 days with weather plans to be well sheltered as we sail on our adventure.

More detail will be coming in the next couple of months. Planning includes stops in locations that are serviced by BC Ferry and other modes of transportation. This is to give SBO members who want to join but don't have a boat of their own to participate with us.

It is an ambitious adventure that should be a lot of fun.
Hi John,
I imagine that the 2020 RVIR initiative will eventually have its own thread to support discussion? In the meantime, just an FYI. Tofino Bus has service routes along the east coast of Vancouver Island between Victoria and Port Hardy. Admiral and I used the service in 2017 to get from Port McNeil to Cassidy airport (Nanaimo). The bus stop at Port McNeil is near the port (everything is close to everything else there!), which lies in the downhill direction! The Tofino busses are nice, and the road is not like those here in the States. Mostly wide open with VERY LITTLE traffic once out of Nanaimo, making for a nice, scenic ride that passes quickly. Also, at Campbell River at the southern mouth of Discovery Passage. The bus stop is very near the harbors.

My point here is that you would not have to rely solely on BC ferry connections to join folks up, etc., at least along Vancouver Island’s ports/harbors. With respect to some points made in my FC/FS thread of a couple of weeks ago, some of those harbors evidently do accept reservations.
 
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Oct 22, 2014
11,739
CAL 35 Cruiser Portland OR, moored EVERETT WA
Thank you KG.
I’ll consult with the Brain trust about a new thread.

Thank you for the info. It is consistent with what I have heard and read about the Vancouver Island public transit systems.

Plans are to flesh out the options as we identify the routing.

I shared ideas with @Michael Davis and he is considering the idea. Said his bride would likely join us. And that she has a special talent for reading the ways of the weather on the Island. I shared that would be a desired addition to our motley crew.