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Thread: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

  1. #106
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Bruce,

    that photo is actually from September--blueberries are gone, but so are the bugs. Mostly... But it's easy enough to camp ashore on those slabs of granite. Just be in the tent before that moment when they all arrive, like someone throwing a switch at twilight.

    But heck, that's a deal. Free head nets to any PNW sailors who want to come over and do a sail-and-oar trip on the Lakes!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  2. #107
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Alex, it took me a little time to work up the grit to post to your lovely thread, as I find it more than a little poignant that it looks like I am very unlikely to find time for a PNW boat trip of that length myself any time very soon. <sigh>
    Priorities, man, priorities.

    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    But despite my melancholy, it really was great to see your photos and read your commentary, and I sure do hope to have the privilege of sailing in company with Firedrake and you again soon. Perhaps we can arrange a short scramble next summer? It would be July-ish, most likely, when I'll be back in your time zone for a wee bit. Or, now that you're retired, maybe you'd like to check out the wooden boats and bath-warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand for a week this winter? Winter? The only way we know it's winter in Singapore is when the Santa Claus decorations go up in the shops. You'd be welcome to drop in and thaw out.
    The inside passage was kind of a bucket list thing for me, so a shorter cruise with Rowan next summer is a definite possibility as I have no major expeditions on my dance card at the moment. In addition, bath-warm waters to sail in? Sailing and rowing without the risk of chilblains or creeping moss growth where the sun don't shine? Such a thing is possible?
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  3. #108
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    So, when are you PNW guys (and ex-PNW Singapore guys like McMullen) going to come over to Lake Huron for some salt-free, tide-free, hassle-free sailing? July is perfect for a Georgian Bay cruise! Blueberry season, too.



    Just re-read your thread, Alex--neat trip. I may have to drag a boat over to the coast sometime. So many destinations...

    Tom
    Wait, you're telling me that there are places you can sail where you can drink the water under the boat and tie the boat to shore at night and it won't be high and dry in the morning or have floated off because the water level changed?
    Sounds like you made that up - I don't believe it.

    We may not have that many blueberries out here on our coast but we do have salmon berries, thimble berries, elderberries and Salal berries as compensation.

    You definitely have to bring your new Alaska out to the coast, but you will have to give her a name first - Left Coast rule.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  4. #109
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    No problems there--I found a name on my latest trip. Just haven't announced it yet. So I suppose I'll make it over there someday. I've been pondering the smart way to do it, which might take a few years:

    Year 1: Spend a summer sailing Great Slave Lake, particularly the Eastern Arm, then trailer to Alaska for winter storage.

    Year 2: Spend a summer sailing Prince William Sound, store the boat in AK again.

    Year 3: Find a launching spot at the northern end of the Inside Passage and proceed from there to Seattle.

    Of course, there's also the Maine Coast, a full traverse of the Great Lakes, and a couple of other ideas for trips nearer home to fit in there somewhere, too...

    What do you think is the best/most important/most surprising thing you learned on your IP trip?

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  5. #110
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    No problems there--I found a name on my latest trip. Just haven't announced it yet.
    Cool. Can't wait to hear it.

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Year 1: Spend a summer sailing Great Slave Lake, particularly the Eastern Arm, then trailer to Alaska for winter storage.
    That's got my vote. I was in Yellowknife just about exactly a year ago and it looks like great sailing. I even have an old paper chart of the lake someone gave me decades ago which I get out from time to time and scrutinize. Lots of blank places on the chart with only lines of soundings.


    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Year 3: Find a launching spot at the northern end of the Inside Passage and proceed from there to Seattle.
    Launch in Prince Rupert, like I did. It's the northernmost place you can easily drive to. Of course the ferry that goes to Alaska will take you further north but that requires more planning and costs more.


    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    What do you think is the best/most important/most surprising thing you learned on your IP trip?
    No great pearls of wisdom, I'm afraid. In some ways a long trip like this is somewhat like a bunch of shorter trips strung together, you just need greater perseverance. In terms of being wary of weather and planning for currents and tides, mostly the trip reinforced my tendency to be mostly cautious, but strike when the opportunities present themselves.

    I suppose the thing that surprised me the most was the relative lack of wind for sailing. In looking at both last year and this year, I rowed an average of 59% of the total miles covered. I expected more sailing. Keep in mind this was July both years and the fractions might be different in other months.
    Last edited by AJZimm; 09-26-2017 at 10:33 PM. Reason: typo
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  6. #111
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    That's [Great Slave Lake] got my vote. I was in Yellowknife just about exactly a year ago and it looks like great sailing. I even have an old paper chart of the lake someone gave me decades ago which I get out from time to time and scrutinize. Lots of blank places on the chart with only lines of soundings.
    I could be talked into heading up there next summer--got the charts for it last Christmas! Let me know if you might actually be serious about that. It looks like a fantastic place to explore. And an excellent way to win the "most trailer miles" award for the year...

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #112
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Fantastic thread. Truly inspirational.

    I suppose the thing that surprised me the most was the relative lack of wind for sailing. In looking at both last year and this year, I rowed an average of 59% of the total miles covered. I expected more sailing. Keep in mind this was July both years and the fractions might be different in other months.
    I'd really like to know more about that. I'd love to do that trip with Bucephalus --or maybe a round trip, north and back from here in Oly-- but with B having no motor, and displacing 3000#, there'd have to be a lot more wind for that trip to be enjoyable. Maybe in May/June?

    Alex

  8. #113
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    it seems from the travel log there were a number of days with too much wind, Yes? at least too much wind for Fire Drake comfortable/safe sailing?

  9. #114
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Noyes View Post
    it seems from the travel log there were a number of days with too much wind, Yes? at least too much wind for Fire Drake comfortable/safe sailing?
    A few. I think I only took 3 time-out days due to forecast or actual high winds. There was one additional day where I didn't go anywhere, that was a pure rest day.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  10. #115
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Fantastic thread. Truly inspirational.



    I'd really like to know more about that. I'd love to do that trip with Bucephalus --or maybe a round trip, north and back from here in Oly-- but with B having no motor, and displacing 3000#, there'd have to be a lot more wind for that trip to be enjoyable. Maybe in May/June?

    Alex
    I suspect that there would be greater chance of more wind, statistically, in May and June, but my guess is that the wind would be more likely to be associated with fronts moving through as well, so cooler, more rain, less sun. It would take some thorough scrutiny of the weather records for the various stations up and down to the coast to confirm my suspicions though, and I haven't done that.
    On the other hand, with a heavier boat, potentially able to stand up to stronger winds and bigger seas, I think you would find more wind in July not on the Inside Passage, i.e. Grenville Channel and east of Princess Royal, but outside, to the west of all the islands that form the passage. On the R2AK, my understanding is that most of the larger sailboats headed outside to find wind.
    It would also depend on your comfort level with stronger winds and whether you want to beat yourself up in them. While I can sail to windward, just, in 15-20 kts with Fire-Drake, it is not at all comfortable and it's bordering on unsafe, too, in my view, for a solo sailor. I don't have the racing mentality any more so I'd rather be a little more cautious in choice of route and weather, which likely means passing up at least some sailing opportunities.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  11. #116
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Alex....you are an inspiration.....rowing ~60% of the way from Rupert is no small feat. My own tripping in rowing boats really only included sailing with a fair wind...reaching or running. Perhaps I should have upgraded to a sailing rowing boat such as you and the others are using. By the way I note nearly all the cruising tales on the WBF are rowing/sailing boats....I wonder why that is? .....Is nobody else cruising.....Sadly I did not get away this year at all.

  12. #117
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    ...I note nearly all the cruising tales on the WBF are rowing/sailing boats....I wonder why that is? .....Is nobody else cruising...
    I had two wonderful little voyages this summer (also sail&oar "™") and would love to have nice reports to share, but the actual writing is the arduous part... I wonder if the special effort it takes to travel without an engine is reflected in the the effort taken to tell the tale? (A rare combination of mind-sets, perhaps... ?)

  13. #118
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    Alex....you are an inspiration.....rowing ~60% of the way from Rupert is no small feat.
    Thanks for the kind words John, but really, once you've made the commitment to set out south from Prince Rupert in a boat with no motor, you've gotta row if the wind doesn't blow. There aren't that many bailout options.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  14. #119
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by dsimonson View Post
    I had two wonderful little voyages this summer (also sail&oar "") and would love to have nice reports to share, but the actual writing is the arduous part... I wonder if the special effort it takes to travel without an engine is reflected in the the effort taken to tell the tale? (A rare combination of mind-sets, perhaps... ?)
    We would like definitely to hear those stories Dale.

    As for the effort required to write, I keep a journal on these trips, as I have for many years since I started kayak voyaging. I'd say 80% of the writing comes from the journal, which is done at the end of each day during the trip. A fairly easy discipline to keep once you get into it, I've found.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  15. #120
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    Default Re: Fire-Drake Does BCs Inside Passage, north section (mostly)

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    By the way I note nearly all the cruising tales on the WBF are rowing/sailing boats....I wonder why that is? .....Is nobody else cruising.....Sadly I did not get away this year at all.
    Maybe the ease of using a small boat (and hauling it to different cruising grounds with a small 4-cylinder car) makes people more likely to just go? Or maybe people willing to put up with the perceived discomforts of an open boat are more likely to actually do stuff like these trips?

    Whatever the reason, it does seem that the sail and oar bunch is a very active sub-niche of the wooden boat world as far as actual cruising goes. I really enjoy this kind of sailing more than the keelboats I used to sail 20 years ago.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

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