Archive For The “North America Pacific Coast” Category

Gulf of Alaska Weather

Gulf of Alaska Weather

One of the reasons we made the offshore run from Seattle to Prince William Sound was to gain experience. A gale in the Gulf of Alaska wasn’t exactly the sort of experience we were hoping for. But we did learn that the boat, and our rough-water preparations, could take the conditions. The full log of…

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Back South of 48

Back South of 48

We’ve spent the last few days lazing in the the sun in the San Juan Islands after returning from Prince William Sound. Yesterday we anchored in Reid Harbor on Stuart Island. Jose Sousa, who had been following our trip online, stopped by to say hello. His 1999 Lord Nelson Victory Tug 41 Carolina is so…

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Granite Mine Ruins, Prince William Sound

Granite Mine Ruins, Prince William Sound

In the early 1900s, nearly 25,000 ounces of gold were extracted from Granite Mine, making it one of the more productive in Prince William Sound. From our anchorage in Bettles Bay (Bing/Google map), we ran the dinghy north to five miles north to Hobo Bay to hike to the mine ruins. The trail led for…

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Disk Cove, Prince William Sound

Disk Cove, Prince William Sound

Disk Cove (Bing/Google map) is a sheltered, nearly landlocked cove with mountains all around. We were out in the dinghy soon after we’d anchored yesterday. Several hills around the cove looked easy to climb, and would have good views. A ten-minute, easy climb from a creek along the east shore brought us to a meadow…

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Arrived in Prince William Sound

Arrived in Prince William Sound

View live updates at mvdirona.com/maps We arrived last night in Prince William Sound after seven days at sea. We had a couple of nice days en route, but those were bookended by three days of poor weather at the start, and two days through a gale warning in the Gulf of Alaska at the end….

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En Route to Prince William Sound

En Route to Prince William Sound

View live updates at mvdirona.com/maps We are en route to Prince William Sound, returning at the end of August. Earlier this year, we did a minor refit, including installing a KVH TracPhone V7 satellite phone and internet system, and upgrading our TracVision M5 satellite TV system to a TracVision M7. Now that we have offshore…

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Trouble at Teakerne

Trouble at Teakerne

Teakerne Arm Marine Park is a popular summer destination in the Desolation Sound area (map). The main attractions are Cassel Lake and the waterfall draining it that spills over a cliff into a basin at the inlet head. The park is even more spectacular in the winter, when two waterfalls gush from the lake, churning…

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Poulsbo’s Third of July Independence Celebration

Poulsbo’s Third of July Independence Celebration

We’ve never seen so many boats in Liberty Bay. Easily a thousand vessels filled the anchorage, by some counts two or three thousand. This was our first time attending Poulsbo’s Third of July Independence Celebration, and the event clearly was popular. We’d been anchored at Nisqually Flats that morning when we read in the Three…

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Cruising Southeast Alaska: John Hopkins and Reid Inlets

Cruising Southeast Alaska: John Hopkins and Reid Inlets

After a day at Margerie Glacier, we returned down Tarr Inlet to overnight at Reid Inlet. The anchorage there is close to where Tarr and John Hopkins Inlets join Glacier Bay, and is convenient for visiting the glaciers at their heads. Reid Glacier in Reid Harbor also is one of the few shore-accessible glaciers in…

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Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Tramp Harbor

Unusual Puget Sound Anchorages: Tramp Harbor

Tramp Harbor is an unusual anchorage on the east side of Vashon Island. The harbor is mentioned in the cruising guides, but not with a glowing recommendation. The anchorage is open to the north and southeast, but makes a good stop when winds are calm or from the west. Southwest winds can blow over the…

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Fort Whitman, Skagit Bay

Fort Whitman, Skagit Bay

At the turn of the 19th century, the US government built six forts to protect the Puget Sound and the naval shipyard at Bremerton from water-based attack. All have since been decommissioned and sold to the State of Washington, and five are now state parks. The three heavy batteries at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet…

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Cruising Southeast Alaska: Margerie Glacier

Cruising Southeast Alaska: Margerie Glacier

When we awoke at Russell Island after our first day in Glacier Bay, AIS showed the pocket cruise ship Safari Explorer anchored out of sight at the north end of the island. They left about 5:30am, heading up Tarr Inlet to Margerie Glacier, and we did the same about 15 minutes later. We were a…

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FV Aquila

FV Aquila

We moor most of the time at Bell Harbor Marina in downtown Seattle. About a third of the marina’s slips are available for monthly moorage over the winter, and the remainder are for transient moorage only. We enjoy the continually changing scene as boats come and go. Some weekdays the marina will be almost empty,…

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Cruising Southeast Alaska: Glacier Bay

Cruising Southeast Alaska: Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay has long been high on our list of places to visit. And after nearly a week cruising southeast Alaska, the first day of our permit to enter finally had arrived. We’d technically been in the park for two nights already, as Dundas Bay is inside Glacier Bay National Park, but doesn’t require a…

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Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

Storm Force Winds in the Strait of Georgia

On our Christmas trip to Desolation Sound this year, we were looking forward to testing the boat in some rough winter weather. We’ve been out in a few gale warnings, and the boat has handled well, but we wanted something more serious. We got our chance one morning on a trip from Gorge Harbor to…

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Coast Guard Boarding

Coast Guard Boarding

Two weeks ago, while anchored off Blake Island, a Defender Class Coast Guard boat approached. Rare before 9/11, we now frequently see these boats around Elliott Bay, accompanying ferries, patrolling the shoreline, or passing through Bell Harbor Marina where we often keep our boat. This one approached unusually close, and the crew indicated that they…

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Displacement Speed Beats Planing Speed … Again

Displacement Speed Beats Planing Speed … Again

We spent Christmas this year in Desolation Sound (map of area). The area is so popular in the summer that Kenmore Air has regular float-plane service to one of the anchorages there at Prideaux Haven (pictured above). That’s way too busy for us–we prefer the winter, when we can have it all to ourselves. We…

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Alaska 24X7

Alaska 24X7

Last weekend we presented at the Seattle Boat Show on our 24×7 run to Alaska.  The slides are posted at Hamilton_SBS11_Alaska24x7.pdf.  A couple of questions we were asked that weren’t covered in the presentation were on seasickness and how Spitfire did on the trip. Seasickness generally isn’t a problem for James, but I will get…

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