I've made it to Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island and am on the final leg of my big trip. I finally have a half decent wifi connection and can make this long overdue update to the blog. The last month has been incredible in so many ways. From spending so much time singlehanding and having time to reflect on life, to spending 18 incredible days with my dad, to spending one on one time with two great friends, it'd be impossible to do justice to the experience with words, but I will try...

After my last update, I departed Sitka late darken the dark. I motored through narrow channels to a cove near the entrance to Sergius Narrows where I dropped the hook and managed a few hours of sleep before waking around 4am to get through the narrows at slack water. I found another cove not too far from the exit from the narrows and sacked out for a few more hours. I motored and motor sailed through the Peril Strait and made it into Warm Springs Harbor. A short trail from the docks led to the hot springs and to Barnoff Lake. The hot springs were beautiful and set right next to a raging cascade of water, but they were too hot to go in beyond my knees. The little village pipes the water from the hot springs to a free public bath house at the docks where there are three little private rooms, each with its own tub and open to the water on one side. You can mix cold water into the bath so this made for a much more pleasant temp. I left by around noon I think and made the run down to Kake over completely dead calm water. I wanted to keep going but I needed fuel and the fuel dock was already closed so I ended up anchoring off a small island near Kake which turned out to be an amazing spot! It was totally exposed to the Chatham Strait and would have been a terrible place to anchor in any sort of blow, but the weather was dead calm. After I dropped and set the hook and shut down the engine, I could head humpbacks surfacing off in the distance, but I couldn't see them. All night I listened to them surfacing and at one point one of them must have been breaching like mad because I heard big splash after big splash. I poked my head above deck before going to sleep and the stars were out like you wouldn't believe! It was a totally cloudless night and was finally dark enough to see the night sky. It was a spectacular night.

Kake is, by all accounts, a pretty dumpy place so I was happy to get my fuel and get out of there. Rocky Pass awaited me to the south. All the guide books indicate how difficult navigation is through the shallow waters of Rocky Pass, but I found the channels very east to navigate thanks to very good channel markings. Beyond Rocky Pass was Monte Carlo Island, El Capitan Pass, and Tonowek Narrows along my way down to Craig. Craig proved to be an excellent stop where I picked up by buddy Devon! After tying up at the wharf, we feasted on delicious burgers 'n beers and plotted out our adventure overlooking the water and the purse seine fleet coming in. We awoke the next morning surrounded by purse seiners and trollers that had come in overnight and had rafted up five boats deep. Devon and I sailed around the southern end of Prince of Wales Island and northward into the Clarence Strait on our way to Ketchikan. We had gorgeous weather and excellent anchorages, especially in the Barrier Islands of the Eureka Channel. We were, once again, warmly welcomed by Ketchikan Yacht Club as we sailed into Thomas Basin. My father's flight was arriving just a few hours after our arrival and there's only lone way to pick someone up from Ketchikan Airport... by boat! Devon, my dad, and I had a great time sipping scotch and we were all bummed when Devo had to fly out. My dad and I took a zero day in Ketchikan while I had another tear in my genoa repaired by a local sailmaker. The morning of our departure day the skies were clear and I surprised my dad with a late father's day present and booked us on a float plane flight into Misty Fjords National Monument on a beautifully restored DeHavilland Beaver. We had a stellar flight and landed in a high alpine lake to stretch out legs. It was a fantastic way to start out trip together.

We sailed down to the Percy Islands that afternoon and dropped anchor just as the sun was dipping over the horizon. It's been interesting to experience the changes in the sky this far north as the summer has progressed. Laura and I had departed Seattle near the summer solstice and as we pushed further and further north, we were experiencing less and less of the night sky to the point where we'd go to sleep while it was still light out and wake up well after the 3am sunrise. The sun is setting much earlier now and the night skies have been magnificent. An early morning start from the Percy Islands set us off on a 65nm shot across the Dixon Entrance to Masset where we'd clear customs and begin out adventure through Haida Gwaii. We sailed against a stiff westerly and made great time on a close reach. The swells coming off the Pacific built to about 8 feet and my dad and I started to get really wet, but the sun was shining and we were screaming along at over 8 knots so all we could do with each deluge of seawater spray was smile and laugh. 

Much to the chagrin of the customs officer on the other end of the phone in Ottawa, S/V Antoinette and her crew were cleared back into Canada. Our plan was to sail around the west side of Haida Gwaii's Graham Island  and then through the Skidegate Channel to our next port, Queen Charlotte City. Little did we know what we were getting ourselves into. Our first day out of Masset was very calm and we motor sailed to an anchorage near Langara Island protected by Marchnd Reef. The wind was beginning to build as we were setting the anchor, but the Rocna once gain proved its worth and we didn't budge an inch. We set sail the next morning in a 15kt southwesterly and were soon out in the Pacific with nothing between us and Japan. The wind and the seas build through the day and we ultimately found ourselves sailing against 25 knot winds in 10 meter seas. The wave height forecasts issued by Environment Canada indicate that combined wave and swell heights may be twice that forecasted and we found ourselves in seas every bit of 40 feet at an interval of about 10 seconds. At that point we were estimating the swell heights in terms of boat length. But we hung on and 12 hours after setting out, having covered over 80 miles with our tacks, we found safe harbor in Port Louis. Exhausted, but with giant smiles on out faces, we each ate a handful of peanuts for dinner and sacked out hard. My dad would later refer to the day as akin to having ridden a mechanical bull for 12 hours straight. Wind eased, but kept blowing from the southwest as we spent the next two days sailing the rest of the way down the west coast of Graham Island. At every point along the way were presented with magnificent beauty. Humpbacks breached in the swell, giant sunfish flopped around righty next to the boat, giant 100 foot white geysers exploded as incoming swells crashed on the rocky shorelines and reefs, and rainbows over misty mountains and fjords welcomed us into safe harbors. Upon entering the calm waters of Skidegate Channel, we realized just how well Antoinette was built and how she really can handle more than we can. We longed for the burgers and beers that awaited us in Queen Charlotte City.

And those burgers and beers were everything we had hoped for. After our our 90 minute orientation to Gwaii Haanas and obtaining our permits the next morning in Skidegate Landing, we were off to Sandspit to top off the diesel and reprovision our supplies of wine and cheese. The only way to go on a grocery run (or beer run for that matter) is by dinghy and landing it on the beach. Beautiful, calm weather on the Hecate Strait awaited us and we were soon cruising south again and into Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve. The scenery was every bit as beautiful as you see in pictures, but what those pictures can't illustrate is the incredible sense of isolation you feel cruising these islands. It's wilderness cruising at an extreme. The islands of Haida Gwaii are 100 miles off the coast of mainland BC. There's barely a spec of development and VHF reception is poor at best. There is no fuel south of Sandspit and you're on your own. Tiny black tailed deer spotted the grassy beaches, black bears dug for clams in the mud flats, anemones covered the rocks below the crystal clear surface, and the chuckle of a nearby bald eagle was never far off. The Haida Watchman greeted us at Tenu, the site of an ancient Haida village now in ruins after we passed through Louise Narows. Matheson Inlet sheltered us for two nights as we waited out gales. After they relented, we continued south to Burnsby Narrows and met a lovely family of five from Vancouver sailing aboard the Argo III, a Reliant 37, who would be our cruising partners for the next few days. The Burnsby Narrows proved to be easily navigated at high water slack, despite what Parks Canada wants to tell you. Just watch the range boards both in front and behind you and hold a crab against any currents. An easy run down to Rose Harbor in calm seas and light winds awaited us. We picked up the only mooring buoy and Argo III rafted up along side of us upon their arrival an hour later. The gales and brutal rain were in full force again the next day which kept us in Rose Harbor reading books and sipping coffee (and scotch) below deck. The sun returned the next day and we said goodbye to Argo III and set out for S'Gang Gwaay, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Haida Watchman who greeted us on shore provided us with an amazing tour of the ancient mortuary poles that still stand along the shoreline of the island. There was a visible energy to the place as the sun shone through the hanging mosses of the island's thick rain forest and burned off the rains off the poles. It was an experience I will not soon forget. Louscoone Inlet provided us safe harbor as we waited out yet another round of gales before setting out across the Queen Charlotte Sound. 

We couldn't have asked for nicer weather as we began our big run down to Vancouver Island the morning of September 2nd. We were already three of four days behind schedule and it was clear my dad wasn't going to make it to the Bahamas for his trip with my mom, so we were going to enjoy the hell out of this passage. Winds were light, but out of the northwest so we began our massage under both sail and engine power. Our fuel reserves were getting low and by early evening, the ol' Yanmar sputtered and shut down. A quick check of the fuel level showed five or so gallons left, so why the shut down? I swapped out the engine fuel filter and the fuel-water separation filter, bled the fuel lines, poured the contents of one of the five gallon jerry cans on deck into the tank, and we were back in business. At least for a few hours. While on my dad's watch, around 2am, the engine shut down again. I only had 5 gallons left on deck and wanted to keep at least some of it at the ready for getting into Port Hardy, so that meant we sailed, in whatever south or east the wind would let us. "Bob" is pretty much useless in light winds we were hand steering and with no land in sight, our primary means of maintaining course became the stars the winds finally begin to build and by 6am we were doing 7kts again. The night watch had been cold and I had my sleeping bag in the cockpit with me. I watched the sun creep up over the horizon while my dad slept down below and basked in the near instant warmth of short wave radiation as I clicked the masthead tricolor switch to the "Off" position. The overnight winds had required us to veer our course to the south and we now had to make up progress to the east. After another full day of sailing, we made it to Port Hardy and finally dropped our sails around 11pm. My first big passage was now complete, 185 miles in about 40 hours. The feeling of solitude you experience in the open ocean with no land in sight is truly humbling. If you every get the chance to experience that environment, take it!

Beers and burgers were once again a top priority in Port Hardy. Will had flown in on Kenmore Air and awaited our arrival at the docks. It was great to see his grizzly face. My dad's rescheduled flight meant another zero day in Port Hardy that was spent troubleshooting the fuel system ( a 2 micron fuel-water separation filter instead of a 10 micron filter seems to have done the trick) and making a couple adjustments to the rigging up the mast. Sipping of scotch, this time a 12 year sherry casked Glenmorangie, ensued. After the biggest hug I've had in a long time, I got choked up while watching my dad taxi out across the water in the turbine converted Beaver that had come to pick him up and bring him back to Seattle. The time I spent with my dad over those 18 days was an experience I will hold dear to me for the rest of my life. I feel so incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time in such beautiful places with such an amazing person who I have the honor of calling Dad. I've spend my whole life watching him in everything he does, and I know that I wouldn't be here today writing this blog post in this cafe in this little town on the West Coast of Vancouver Island if it hadn't been for everything he taught me and all the encouragement from my mom to set my mind to something and just go out there and do it! Thank you both, a million times over, for everything you have been for me over my 28 years. I am truly lucky.

Since our arrival in Port Hardy, my trip has remained on an incredible track. Will and I stocked up on all the essentials in Port Hardy (rum, beer, peanut butter, beer, jam, bread, butter, pasta, beer, etc) and departed for the short run to Walker Group Cove where Laura and I had spend a night back in June. Our motor sail across the Nahwitti Bar proved to be easy and we sailed in nice weather around Cape Scott to Sea Otter cove, ghr first safe harbor southbound along the west coast of Vancouver Island. We picked up one of the four bombproof mourning buoys that was good for peace of mind as we waited out a gale the next day. A full day of wailing to weather brought us to Klaskino Inlet and just as we were sailing into the cove, the double zigzag switching along one of the seams in the genoa decided separate in catastrophic fashion. This was the sail I had just had repaired in Ketchikan and there's no way I'll be able to repair this by hand, so it will have to wait until I return to Seattle. I fear my heavy #1 Dacron genoa is nearing the end of it's life. Anyone want a fancy sailcloth tote bag? 

So it was back up with the #4 jib which, as it turns out, has been the appropriate sail these last few days. Will began our day around the Brook Peninsula riding in a washing machine and set a course to get us off shore. About 15 miles from shore, or about half the distance to the horizon, the continental plate droops off and your find depths dropping off from about 500 feet to over 7000 feet. As a result, the sea state becomes much more tolerable as the energy of the waves has a much larger column of water to pass through. We rounded the Brooks Peninsula and set a course for Walters Cove. The sun set and navigation into the cove proved tricky between the darkness, the fog, and the rolling swell. We came through some patches of foam and the navigation lights lit it up in a very eery way. After a hard right turn, a hard left turn, and not her hard left turn, we found ourselves in the safe waters of Walters Cove only to nearly crash into the completely unlit wharf. We tied up and sacked out hard after a long day of sailing. We awoke the next morning to completely gorgeous weather and decided to explore the tiny island before setting out for the day. There are no cars or roads in the small community of Walters Cove, just paths and most people find it easier to just motor their skiffs to wherever they need to go. As we walked long the shoreline path, Will and I came across a sign reading "Java the Hut Coffee House" with an arrow pointing down the path so we decided to investigate. After being greeted by the lazy chocolate lab, we wondered into the place looking for our caffeine fix. The owner Eric was sitting around with his friend Gordon and indicated they were closed for the season but that we should still come in have some coffee. The coffee was self serve and all the effort of actually charging us was more than Eric wanted to deal with. We sat round for what ended up being hours chatting with Eric and Gordon. They gave us the scoop on the small community and we quickly saw the prospects of our sailing day vanishing. Eric invited us to dinner that night and when we found out that he also runs a catering business in Seattle, we couldn't say no. Will and I spent the rest of the day exploring the paths, rocks, trees, tide pools, and rope swings around the island zipped all around in the dinghy. The Uchuck III docked up that afternoon bringing with it a small host of tourists and a weeks worth of supplies for the community. Everyone turned up to get their barrels of gasoline and crates of God knows what. Someone was even getting a new refrigerator. One person had a stroke of genius and decided it would be easiest to take delivery of his item lifted by the boat's divots directly from the cargo hold to his front porch by motoring his float house over to the boat! Dinner that night was amazing and we spend hours chatting with Eric and his friends. Connecting with them was an experience I had been looking and hoping for for the whole trip so far. 

We found our next fuel stop at the little outpost of Esparanza as we motored around the calm inside waters of Nooka Island. An afternoon stop in Friendly Cove to check out Nooka Light Station proved worthwhile. Will and I met a trio who had just finished a backpacking trip along the island and invited them back to the boat for the glasses of wine they desperately longed for. Will and I set out back into the Pacific and screamed down to our next stop, Hot Springs Cove! We made the 32 mile run in under 4 hours and maintained over 8 knots on a broad reach! We surfed numerous waves and smashed Antoinette's previous speed record of 9.5 knots with n astonishing 12.7 knots! Will and I were having the time of our lives and we sailed straight into out anchorage. Yesterday morning we went ashore and hiked out along the 2km boardwalk to the hot springs which were lovely to say the least. Holding true true to the tradition of the place, Will and I spent time on the walk out to immortalize S/V Antoinette one of the boardwalk's planks. Just as we were about to depart from the cove, a middle aged couple we had chatted with in the hot spring asked if they could hitch a ride back to Tofino since their seaplane flight had been canceled due to high winds. We had an excellent run yesterday afternoon through inside waters to Tofino sailing the whole way. 

Text is about as good as I can do for this blog update with the wifi here in Tofino but I will update with pictures as soon as I can. Onward to the Broken Group today and then it will be down into the Strait of Juan de Fuca for the home stretch. Thanks everyone for all the support and if you've gotten this far, thanks for reading! More to come.

Skagway > Haines > Boat Harbor > Hoonah > Elfin Cove > White Sulfur Springs > Magoun Islands > Sitka

Over the last week, I made it down the Lynn Canal, out to the Gulf of Alaska, and down to Sitka with some great stops in between. After departing Skagway last Thursday, I made the short hop down to Haines. I'm definitely glad I had waited out the weather in Skagway because clear skies meant that all the mountains surrounding the Lynn Canal that had been socked in when I made my way up to Skagway were now in full view. I worked my way down the Taiya Inlet and was blown away by the peaks that form the backdrop to Haines. Haines proved to be abuzz which I had not expected. The entire transient dock in the harbor was full so I went back out into Portage Cove to drop the anchor but found the bottom too steep to get a good set. A friendly gillnetter offered to let me raft up with him back at the dock and explained that everyone was in town for the Southeast Alaska State Fair and that I had to go check it out. I took a walk around town that evening and found the local watering hole, the Fogcutter. I walked in, sat down, and started chatting with the locals who were remarkably friendly. When I went to pay my tab, the nice woman sitting next to me said my money was no good there and told the barmaid to put it on her tab. The following morning I made my way out to a little area of town called Dalton City where the fair was taking place. Dalton City was actually built as part of the set to the movie White Fang and is now home to Haines Brewing Company and a few other small shops. I sat sipping on Eldred Rock Red and listened to some fantastic live music. I knew I had miles to make that day so I made my way back to the boat and set off.

That night's anchorage in Boat Harbor proved tricky to get into. The entrance is narrow, less than 40 feet wide at low tide, and the bottom irregular and very shallow in places. Despite entering when the tables indicated slack water, a current swept me in as whirled Antoinette's wheel back and forth to keep her off the rocks. I decided I'd wait at anchor and depart when I could see nothing moving on the surface of the water through my binoculars. This meant I did not depart the next day until about 2:30 in the afternoon, but that gave me time to clean and fillet a beautiful pair of sockeye that I have been feasting on since. The exit back into the Lynn Canal was less eventful and I was off to make my way back to Hoonah.

I dropped anchor in Hoonah in the same nice, protected spot I had the last time I had been in Hoonah. A quick stop at the fuel dock and grocery store the next morning and I was off again. I saw numerous whales again off of Point Adolphus, the same place I had come across that massive pod of orcas. This time it was orcas and humpbacks at the same time. To my amazement, a humpback made a full breach no more than 100 yards off my port side. I was glad he wasn't any closer! The Inian Islands between the Icy Strait and Cross Sound proved to be remarkably beautiful. The guide books warn against the strong currents in the southern passage around the islands so I rounded them to the north and picked my way through to Elfin Cove. The currents swirled in every direction through the passages lined by cliffs and sea caves and I was taken aback by how beautiful it was. Gentle swell off the Pacific rolled in as I rounded Point Lavinia and made my way into Elfin Cove.

All the guide books indicate Elfin Cove as a must, but I didn't quite understand why until I landed there. There is no good place to anchor at Elfin Cove and I was fortunate to snag the last spot on the small transient dock. It turns out that Elfin Cove is a thriving little village in a very unlikely place. There are no motor vehicles and no roads in Elfin Cove and not a spec of level ground. All the structures and dwellings in Elfin Cove are built on pilings and connected by a series of wooden boardwalks that encircle the cove. Everything comes in either by seaplane or by boat and I was surprised by just how well stocked Elfin Cove's general store is. I meandered around the boardwalks and was reluctant to leave. My next destination was White Sulfur Springs. I set out into the Cross Sound and made my way over to the calm waters of the Lisianski Inlet. A good northerly blew me down the Lisianski Inlet and into the Lisianski Strait. From there it was back out into the Gulf of Alaska where northerlies and a following sea swept me down White Sulfur Springs in no time at all. I maintained 7.5 knots, frequently hitting 8.5 knots. On the front of one particularly steep wave, Antoinette hit 9.5 knots through the water! Not bad for a 34 foot boat! Breakers crashed as I neared my anchorage for that evening and I very carefully picked my way around Fairway Rock and into the Fleming Channel. Chart 17132 is woefully inadequate for this anchorage so I maintained a vigilant watch and cross referenced my chartplotter, my iPhone, and the diagram in the guidebook. The reward for my work getting into the anchorage was a amazingly still, quiet, beautiful spot all to myself. I explored the area in the dinghy and made my way to shore. A half mile walk through the forest brought me to the Forest Service cabin and bathhouse at White Sulfur Springs. I was completely blown away the beautiful timber framed bathhouse. Mahogany decking surrounded a magnificent pool and large glass doors slid open revealing the Gulf of Alaska. The only sounds were of the swells crashing onto the rocks of Bertha Bay and I had the place entirely to myself. Back aboard Antoinette, I crashed hard that night.

I set out the next morning on what was to be a very long day. My exit from the previous night's anchorage proved to be more difficult than my entrance. I rushed back and forth between the cockpit and the bow to keep a lookout for rocks lurking beneath the surface. That day's swell was not much larger than the previous day's, but the period between wave crests was shorter making for steeper, more powerful waves. I set a course to put a solid amount of sea room between Antoinette and shore before turning south. I rounded Hill Island and entered the calm waters of Portlock Harbor through Imperial Passage. The 'ol Yanmar chugged away and kept me going through the glassy, river-esque waters of the Surveyor Passage and Ogden Passage. After Smooth Channel, it was back into the Gulf of Alaska and its swell for about 20 nm out around the Khaz Penninsula and into the Salisbury Sound. The wind was not cooperating at all. It would blow for two minutes in one direction, shift and blow for another two minutes, then die for ten minutes before picking up again. This was killing my progress so I decided I had had enough and dropped the sails. Upon furling in the genoa, I discovered that somehow the furling line had gotten itself into a massive tangle on the furler drum and that meant a trip up to the foredeck. In the process of untangling the line, between “Bob” was not behaving well in the steep swell and the wind shifting mercilessly, and the genoa wrapped itself every which way around the forestay and I had a hell of a time getting it sorted out. In hindsight, perhaps I should have dropped the genoa entirely before taking on the mess with the furling line. Who knows? I got everything situated and made my way back to the cockpit. I've never been seasick but with all the pitching and rolling up on the bow, I had come close. A couple hours of diligent hand steering later and I was very much relieved to enter the calm waters of the Neva Strait. I had wanted to make it all the way to Sitka, but I was wiped out so I started looking for a good anchorage. I motor sailed through Krestof Sound, found a nice calm spot for the night in a cove on the south side of the Magoun Islands, and sacked out hard. A short 10 nm run yesterday and I made it to Sitka.

Sitka is a nice town in a magnificent setting amongst many bays and islands. It was the capitol of Alaska until 1906 when the honor was given to Juneau. Sitka is also the site of where the purchase of the Alaska Territory from the Russians was finalized in 1867. Interestingly, during the transfer ceremony, the Russian flag became entangled on the flag pole while being lowered and it took attempts by three different Russian soldiers to disentangle it. Ultimately, the Russian flag fell to the ground where it was whisked up by the wind into the bayonets of the Russian soldiers' rifles... Must have been an awkward moment.

I will be headed back toward inland waters today via the Peril Strait and the infamous Sergius Narrows. Once in Chatham Strait, I will be heading towards Kake via Warm Springs Bay. Before I leave today, I'll try and update the photos in my last post now that I have a better internet connection. Also, I'm excited to report that my great friend Devon will be joining me on 12th! Single-handing has been a great experience, but I'm looking forward to the company. In other news, Laura and her dear friend Caroline have made it to Iceland and are off backpacking the Laugaveurinn Trail. I'm hoping that between the two of us we can simultaneously keep the blog up to date with our adventures with a third of the globe between us. Be sure to keep track of the best photographs of their travels on Instagram at @lauraheinritz and @carobean303.  

Completion of the Inside Passage!

After 40 days and more than 1,600 miles under Antoinette's keel since departing Seattle, I have officially completed the Inside Passage. I made it to Skagway a couple days ago and have been busy preparing for the next leg of my journey while waiting out weather. After Laura and Charlie's departure a bit more than week ago, I remained in Glacier Bay for a couple days taking care of various projects aboard Antoinette that I had not yet been able to attend to including the installation of a new transducer that FINALLY arrived. Despite strong westerlies, the weather in Glacier Bay remained stunningly beautiful with the entirety of the Fairweather Range visible from Bartlett Cove.

With freshly clean laundry, I departed Glacier Bay last Wednesday afternoon to make the easy 30 nm hop over to Hoonah. Hoonah, located on the north side of Chichagof Island, is the largest Tlingit village in Southeast Alaska and is the best anchorage in the vicinity of the entrance to Glacier Bay. To my amazement, about an hour after entering the Icy Strait, my boat was swarmed by a massive pod of killer whales not far from Point Adolphus. There were dozens of whales moving slowly with their calves and I could not pass up the opportunity to turn around and follow them. I quietly drifted with them for more than two hours as they swam west into the southern passage around Lemesurier Island. A few curious orcas repeatedly swam right past no more than a boat length away. One female swam directly toward Antoinette and passed directly under her transom, mere feet below the surface! It was an incredible experience that I will never forget as long as I live.

By the time the blackfish were gone, the sun had dipped over the horizon and the Icy Strait became a rather dark place, but Bob (the autopilot) and my chart plotter kept us on course. We made a GPS approach into Hoonah and I finally dropped the hook in a small cove just south of Hoonah around 2am. Heavy rains followed me into off the Icy Strait and I spent the following day hunkered down in Hoonah avoiding the awful conditions out on the water. The locals were friendly and their beer was cold, I couldn't ask for much more. The sun returned Friday afternoon and I took the opportunity to stretch my legs by exploring the village and taking a walk out to nearby Cannery Point. Before I knew it, another day had lapsed and it was time to get serious about planning the rest of my trip. The following day I reprovisioned and set out for Swanson Harbor, located at the southern end of the Lynn Canal. With decent westerlies still blowing, I made good time and tied up at the public use float in the Harbor.

I set out early Sunday morning to take advantage of the flood tide up the Lynn Canal. Lucky for me, the winds had shifted to southerlies and I was able to get a spinnaker up for the first time on this trip. With 20 knots of wind on the stern and a following sea, Antoinette screamed up the Lynn Canal and the miles ticked away, albeit with a lot of swearing from her singlehanded captain as he wrestled with kite to keep it well behaved. The only anchorage without a leeward shore that night was on the western side of Sullivan Island. I crashed hard that night, harder than I had in a very long time, despite Antoinette pitching and rolling in 15 knots of wind. With a little extra chain set out, my fancy Rocna anchor didn't even budge.

The southerlies grew stronger as I continued up the Lynn Channel Monday morning and with them came rain. A small craft advisory was in effect so I thought it best not to tempt fate with the spinnaker and chose instead to pole out the genoa. While moving the whisker pole over on a gybe, I lost one of my favorite hats to the sea. Winds were 25 knots sustained gusting to 30 by the time I made it Skagway early that afternoon and I was happy the harbor master had room for me to tie up in the marina. During the Klondike Gold Rush of the the late 1890's, more than 100,000 prospectors landed in Skagway. Today, despite it being one of the major destinations for the cruise ships, Skagway's rich history is remarkable accessible, thanks in large part to the National Park Service. Strong southerlies have persisted since my arrival in Skagway but have now begun to diminish. From here I will return to the Icy Strait backtracking past Hoonah into the Cross Sound. From there I will sail out to the open ocean where I will turn south and head for Sitka.

Barlow Cove > Bartlett Cove (Glacier Bay) > South Fingers bay > Blue Mouse Cove > Reid Inlet > North Sandy Bay

This past week has come and gone so fast, it's hard to believe our time in Glacier Bay is over already! It has been an incredible week full of glaciers, tall mountains and all kinds of wildlife! From humpback whales, bear vs wolf brawl, swimming grizzlies, and too many bald eagles to count, this area is crawling with wildlife in every corner. Between the wildlife and the beautiful glaciers, it is no wonder John Muir spent large portions of his life in the bay.

Last Tuesday we departed from Juneau on a rainy foggy afternoon. Our permit for Glacier Bay didn't begin until Thursday, so we had some time to get there. Uneventfully, we motored to a bay called Barlow Cove and found an anchorage at the end. Oh a whim, we decided to set the crab trap and after about an hour, Kevin checked it and three small halibut found their way in there! It wasn't the crab feast we had expected, but that cooked with another small fish my dad caught, we had a decent meal. 

Wednesday we took off from Barlow Cove and were greeted with a pod of humpbacks feeding off the coast. Luckily they were traveling along the same course we were so we stuck with them for a while. They would dive for minutes at a time, and when they came up, they would all emerge at the same time in a feeding frenzy- it was wild! It was quite the event to watch. We put up the sails and made great time that morning. At one point, we stopped the boat and decided to cast the fishing reels. The fish were jumping everywhere, and my dad and I each caught a salmon! With two large salmon, we were eating fish for days. We had made such great time that day, we decided to call Glacier Bay on the satellite phone and request to enter the park a day early, which they granted, so we found ourselves in Bartlett Cove for the night. 

Glacier Bay National Park Preserve is highly regulated to help preserve the wilderness for the many animals that live there. It is permitted (up to 7 consecutive days) and only about 30 private boats and 2 cruise ships are allowed in each day. There are designated "whale waters" near the entrance where boaters have to stay one mile off shore. There are also other inlet closures and distance restrictions from various islands to allow for the seals, sea lions and birds to inhabit the land without disturbance. On Thursday morning, we went to be mandatory boaters information seminar at the ranger station and my dad and I walked around the lodge area while Kevin went to Gustavus, a small town nearby, to pickup a package at the post office.

It was cloudy and we couldn't see much, so we decided to anchor in a bay about 20 miles away. We entered North Finger Cove first to look for a good anchorage, but were having trouble finding somewhere that was shallow enough, but not too shallow. Just when we were giving up to move on to another bay, we spotted two large grizzles on the beach. As we watched, we saw a grey wolf approach one of the grizzlies and challenged it several times. We weren't sure what they were fighting over, and they soon moved out our view, so we couldn't see what ended up happening, but it was very cool to watch (from the safe distance of the boat!). It was a reminder of how truly wild it is there! We then moved on to find anchorage in South Fingers Cove where it was a little shallower.

It rained and was foggy all day on Friday. We were beginning to wonder what the hype was about this place, having not really been able to see any of the surrounding terrain. We anchored in a bay called Blue Mouse Cove and hung out for the afternoon while the weather persisted. Finally, on Saturday morning, the clouds lifted and we could see the many tall mountains that surrounded the bay. In the distance I could see snowy peaks that ranged from 6,000'-15,000'. We headed out and at one point my dad pointed out that there was a grizzly swimming in the water! We stopped the boat so it could continue on, but that's certainly not something you see everyday!

It was a great glacier viewing day, so we went up Tarr Inlet and got to see the Margerie Glacier. We sat there for a while while the glacier cracked and made sounds, just waiting to see it calf off, but it never did. We them moved on to the Johns Hopkins Inlet and saw the glacier ther as well. We couldn't get very close due to thick ice and hundreds of seals hanging out in the ice! We then found anchorage in Reid Inlet, which at its base has a non-tidewater glacier. It's a shallow bay so we were able to anchor right at the base next to the glacier. That evening, Kevin and I took the dinghy over and did some exploring on and around the glacier.

Sunday, the fog returned and the drizzle started up again. We had a lazy morning and went for a walk on the beach. We then headed over to an anchorage in North Sandy Cove on the east side of Glacier Bay. With whale spouts all over in the distance, we headed out on Monday morning, back toward Bartlett Cove. My dad and I flew out from the small airport in Gustavus to Juneau yesterday afternoon. It was the fastest, most scenic flight I have ever taken- 12 minutes from takeoff to landing!

We left Kevin in Bartlett Cove to continue on his journey as he explores the northern part of southeast Alaska and then heads back down the coast toward Seattle. He will take the next two months or to complete his adventure, meeting up with friends and his dad along the way. With that, I will have to pass the blog off to him so he can keep you updated on his journey! I can't wait to hear about his adventures traveling, at times solo, aboard Antoinette!

Portage Bay > Tracy Arm Cove (two nights) > Juneau

We made it to Juneau! This past week has been wild. Whales and glaciers sum up the highlights, but there is so much more to tell! 

Thursday we left Petersburg and headed out to see our first glaciers in Thomas  Bay. It was not long before the temperature dropped about 20 degrees and we found ourselves bundling up. The glaciers have a weather pattern of their own, so we were getting some pretty strong head winds as we went into Thomas Bay. The Baird glacier was impressive, but is not a tidewater glacier- meaning it has retreated enough that no longer touches the ocean. We couldn’t get too close because it was too shallow. To the north was a small bay that had a river mouth, so we took a few minutes to cast the fishing poles. No salmon for dinner that night, unfortunately, so we continued on to Portage Bay to anchor that evening. 

The next morning we woke up early to make some miles and as we were eating breakfast, I spotted the first spout. Whale spout, that is. I looked around, and realized there were whale spouts and soundings in every direction. We quickly found ourselves surrounded by dozens (!) of humpback whales eating and playing around in the Fredrick Sound. We barely moved the boat, and the whales were so close to the boat, we could hear every sound. The giant breath and sound of spray each time they surfaced. They were so large, they could have easily overturned the boat-humpbacks are typically around 50’ long and weigh between 30-50 tons. Despite their enormity, they move with gracefulness and confidence. They are playful, swimming in groups and sounding synchronously. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, and definitely not something you could ever plan. I have been on whale watching tours, but this far surpassed any experience you could have on a tour boat. With the engine off, we bobbed with the tide and just watched as the humpbacks moved around us. 

Eventually we decided we had to keep moving, but even as we rounded the coast into Stephens Passage we continued to see spouts in the distance. We finally found anchorage in Holkham Bay at the entrance of the Tracy Arm- a fiord that has two tidewater glaciers at the end. We woke up Saturday to fog and rain, so we opted to wait out the weather a little before heading up the fiord. While we were waiting, we had our first bear sighting! A grizzly mother and cub were playing and wandering the beach near our anchorage. The fog lifted and we began our cruise up the Tracy Arm. The scenery was dramatic, to say the least. Steep mountains swept out of the deep fiord with clear signs that glaciers had carved their path many years ago. Waterfalls trickled down the steep rock and beautiful valleys merged with the water. 

At the end of the fiord are two glaciers, the North and South Sawyer Glaciers. The further back we pushed, the more icebergs were floating in the water. After we made the split to go to the south glacier, the ice was so think, it took constant navigation. Kevin maneuvered through it nearly flawlessly and we only brushed into a few small bergs. Once we got as close as we could go, we were surrounded by seal pups lounging on the ice and swimming in the water. There were a couple of really large icebergs that had calved off of the glacier previously that we were near. At one point, my dad started pointing and a large chunk, around 15’x15’ broke of of the larger berg. The calving ice caused the whole berg to be thrown off balance and it slowly overturned, so in the end, it appeared to be half the size as it had originally. It was a reminder of how unstable the ice around us truly is. 

We navigated out through the area of thick ice and next visited the north glacier. It was also a tidal glacier, but clearly much less active. There was no ice floating in the water at all, and the water appeared to be a browner color. It is interesting that the two glaciers right next to each other were so different. Even the rocks that surrounded the glaciers looked different. By the time we started heading back, we realized it was already 3pm and we still had 23 miles to go to the entrance of the fiord, so we decided to anchor in the same bay that we had the previous night. 

Sunday, yesterday, we woke up early to push toward Juneau. It was an overcast morning, which eventually turned into a steady drizzle. No more 80’s and tank tops in this part of Alaska! We arrived in Juneau around 3pm and moored our boat in the Harris Harbor. Alisha happens to live about two blocks away from the marina, so we have been lucky to have a dry place to shower, do laundry and use the internet! We had great pizza and beer for dinner and today we spent all day exploring Juneau and grocery shopping!

We will be taking off tomorrow to head north toward Glacier Bay!  


Life on a 34' Sailboat

I know, so far I have posted lots of pretty pictures, but the realities of cruising can be slightly less interesting day to day. I figured it might be time to give a little insight in to our world!

We have now been on the boat for about four weeks, and found a groove that works pretty well for us! To get a sense of what it is like, on the scale of teardrop trailer towed behind a car >> private jet, I would say we fall somewhere near an RV. We have the basic necessities, ice box, stove, bathroom or “head” with a toilet and sink, relatively comfortable beds (we can sleep up to 6 people, but it would be very cozy), and plenty of space to move around in the cabin. It is definitely a comfortable space for 2-3 people

Cruising by boat through the narrow channels of the Inside Passage requires a lot of planning. To get from A to B efficiently, we have to balance the way the tides flow, the wind and how many miles we will be able to cover each day. I have learned a lot in these last few weeks about the management of tides and currents- it is definitely all about timing. Some channels have narrows or rapids at certain points, and it tends to be best to hit them, depending on the strength of the current) at slack water (the period of time where the tides switch from flood to ebb or ebb to flood). The floods and ebbs flow in different directions through the various channels, which makes it that much more difficult to time things perfectly.

With that in mind, every evening we look at the charts (electronic) and plan the next day out with the tides and currents in mind, so we can maximize our distance in the least amount of time. We also set a goal for where we want to anchor or moor that next night by combing through our guide books, which are one of the most useful resources that we have. They outline everything one would ever need to know about every town, indian village, anchorage, channel, etc. We are so grateful for Don Douglas and Renee Hemingway-Douglass and their efforts to write about every nook of the inside passage from Washington up past Glacier Bay. I’m not sure how anyone does this trip without them! You name it, they have written about it. The books have become our bible and saved us countless hours trying to figure out anchorages and routes.

Our 34’ sailboat likes to cruise at about 5.5 knots, but due to the wind and/or currents, we have travelled upwards of 9 knots over the ground all the way down to 2.5 knots against the wind and current. There has been a pretty consistent head wind from the north or northwest the entire trip so far which hasn’t always been in our favor to have the sails raised, but we try to utilize the winds as much as we can (even if that means motor sailing- head sail up with the engine still running). Each day we try to cover between 30-60 miles. The tides essentially dictate our schedule, which means we have had some very early mornings!

A few other notable things about cruising...

We don’t have refrigeration- we have an ice box and seem to be the constant search for ice blocks to keep it cold. If we run out of ice, then we know what we have to eat for dinner that night!

We sit. A lot. It is a lot of sitting. I brought a kettle bell and yoga mat so I can try to stay active, buuuuttt it hasn’t gotten quite as much use as I anticipated.

We find things to keep us busy. I read. Kevin tinkers. I take pictures. Kevin sews things (like ripped sails). I cook. Kevin naps. This is the reality of cruising on a sailboat. 

Beer is always the best way to stay hydrated.

We fish! Kind of. Now that we are in Alaska, my fishing permit is valid, so bring on the salmon! We have yet to catch anything, but I am hopeful. We also have a crab trap, but haven’t had much luck there either. 

Seasickness is a reality. It happens to the best of us, like me. Only once, and only in big open water with large swells, but let me tell you, it is NOT fun. 

We don’t have a shower, so whenever we stay at a marina for the night (seems to be about every 3-5 days), the first thing we do is run to the showers. We did laundry once. Once is enough, right?

So there you go, a little peek into our world as we cruise from Seattle to Glacier Bay, Alaska! 


Foggy Bay > Ketchikan > Meyers Chuck > Anita Bay > Deception Point Cove > Petersburg


It's been a while since we posted, but that is not for lack of trying! Internet is hard to come by up here, so I am posting from my phone and unfortunately can't upload many photos- I'll have to update this lost when we get to Juneau in a couple days!

Well, so far we have not been disappointed by Alaska! Once we left Prince Rupert, our last stop in Canada, we spent the night in Foggy Bay- a bay where US customs allows boats to anchor if they can’t make the trek to Ketchikan all in one day. On Saturday we made it to Ketchikan just in time for the 4th of July and picked up my dad, who flew in from Salt Lake to sail with us for the next two weeks! 


Flying over the Misty Fiords National Monument

Flying over the Misty Fiords National Monument

View of Ketchikan

View of Ketchikan

Ketchikan is a fun little touristy town. It was definitely a change of pace for us. Cruise ships line the channel and there is a constant flux of people. We had been debating whether we had time to go to the Misty Fiords National Monument, and ultimately we decided we couldn’t afford the extra 3 days in our schedule. Lucky, on Sunday we woke up to clear skies and warm weather and my dad decided to book us a scenic float plane ride through the monument! It was such an incredible experience. We rode in a Beaver and I got to sit co-pilot. They took us through the mountains and then we landed in an alpine lake for a little break before we headed back. The terrain was dramatic and the alpine lakes and green mountains were so beautiful! 

Sunset from Meyers Chuck anchorage

Sunset from Meyers Chuck anchorage

After the flight we took off around noon and made it to an anchorage in a village called Meyer’s Chuck, where we finally got to see a proper sunset. The next day was unusually warm and sunny. At 8pm, last night it was still about 75 degrees! We anchored in a beautiful inlet called Anita Bay and then continued up to the small fishing town of Wrangell yesterday. The channel that lead to Wrangell is a popular commercial fishing area, which we quickly learned. We had to dodge all kinds of fishing boats with nets out.

Kevin sews our ripped sail

Kevin sews our ripped sail

Hammocking in Anita Bay on a 75 degree evening!  

Hammocking in Anita Bay on a 75 degree evening!  

Petersburg North Marina surrounded by fish processing plants

Petersburg North Marina surrounded by fish processing plants

After stocking up on ice and some groceries in Wrangell, we continued on to anchor at the southern end of the Wrangell Narrows. The Wrangell Narrows is the most direct passage from Wrangell to Petersburg. It receives all kinds of traffic from small cruise ships, ferries, barges, fishing boats and, of course, the occasional sailboat. Because it has a strong current, we wanted to time it right with the tides, so we took off at 5:40 yesterday morning and made our way through the maze of green and red markers all the way up to Petersburg. We arrived here nice and early and had all day to spend wandering around and getting to know the town. We went for a long walk to a beach called Sandy Beach which looks out to the north. We have been so lucky with the warm weather, but finally got a taste of what Alaskan weather is really like- drizzly! Today we are headed out in search of whales and glaciers as we make our way up toward Juneau!


Walker Group > Penrose Island > Shearwater > James Inlet > Khutze Inlet > Wright Sound > Lawson Harbour > Prince Rupert

Our apologies for the silence! We have been making our way up the beautiful coast of British Columbia and haven't had much access to internet. When we do it is really slow, so finally, here we go. We finally made it to Prince Rupert today and tomorrow we will be in Alaskan waters! So long Canada, it's been great, eh? On to bigger mountains, glaciers, salmon and grizzly bears! Here's a little review of our last week since we checked in at Port McNeill. 

While we were in Port McNeill, we discovered some high winds in the Queen Charlotte Strait, so we decided to make it a leisurely day, and took off around 2pm to make our way over to the Walker Group. The Walker Group is a group of islands in the middle of the Queen Charlotte Strait, just before it runs into the Queen Charlotte Sound. It is surrounded by some big waters, but we we were cozy inside a little inlet at Kent Island. The entrance was a little tricky because it was so narrow and there was a good amount of debris in the way, but once we were in, we were the only boat there. We anchored, fooled around the bay in the dinghy, ate some dinner and prepared ourselves for Friday’s sail.

The next day involved big seas and heavy winds. We raised the sails and were able to sail all the way out and around Cape Caution, and into an anchorage at Penrose Island. Queen Charlotte Sound means business. It is big water sailing, at least in my book. We had choppy waters with large swells the whole way. I panicked a few times when we went to make a tack that didn’t go so smoothly, or we were heeled over so far it felt like it would tip over, but Kevin kept it together and overall it was a success.

From Penrose Island, we followed the Fisher Channel and Lama Passage and found ourselves near Bella Bella and Shearwater. We were excited to visit Bella Bella- we had heard it was a cute little indian village, and had expectations it would have provisions for the tourist, but it turned out that we were definitely the outsiders. We had the only sailboat on the very tiny public dock. We quickly deduced this was not our place, so we moved on and found an anchorage outside of Shearwater for the night. In the morning, we got fuel, ice, showers, and some food in Shearwater, which seems to be much more accommodating to the transient boater. From Shearwater, we went through the Seaforth Channel, Reid Passage, Percevail Narrows, and up the Matheison Channel to our anchorage in James Inlet. After we left Shearwater, we were truly feeling remote, having passed only one or two boats all day! The Matheison Channel was beautiful with tall mountains rising strait out of the green water. Once again, we were the only boat at our anchorage that night.

We were in the area appropriately named Fiordland, with many inlets to explore, waterfalls, steep mountains and perfectly green waters.  If we had more time, we would have explored this gorgeous area more. The next morning we continued up the Matheison Channel to “The Graduate” waterfall which lies in the beautiful Kynoch Inlet. The Graduate waterfall drops right in to the inlet water, and we could get the boat right up in the spray, which was definitely a unique experience! 

Continuing on through the series of channels and passages, we anchored that night in the gorgeous Khutze Inlet off of the Princess Royal Channel. The waters instantly turned from a deep dark green to the milky light turquoise glacial water. As we turned into the inlet, a few snow covered peaks emerged beyond the immediate mountains. We found an anchorage next to a small waterfall, which made for a pleasant night sleep. There were three other boats at the end of the inlet, which I guess we could have expected since it is named on of the best anchorages on the inside passage!

Tuesday turned out to be an incredible day. We began our day with the flooding tide and made great time out to the Ursula Channel. In our book we had read about these hot spring that were a “must do,” so we made a detour from our route and it was definitely worth it! The Bishop Bay Hot Springs are a well known attraction for locals and cruisers. Over the years it has been developed a little, so there is a float dock to tie up to, a walkway to the springs, cinderblock pools, and an abundance of random boating paraphernalia that visitors have left over the years. There are two small pools that the springs feed into, one with a roof and one in the open. They are only big enough for a few people. The water was clear, odorless and just the right soaking temperature. It was such a great way to spend the afternoon! To top it off, we spotted a pod of orca whales traveling the opposite direction as we headed to our anchorage for that night!

Yesterday, was another early morning as we picked up the flood tide and rode it all the way up the 45 mile long Grenville Channel. The Princess Royal Channel and Grenville Channel are both known for cruise ship traffic, but we must have made the trip at the right time because we didn’t run into any large traffic, only a couple fishing vessels. After our long day with little excitement, we popped out of the Grenville Channel and headed toward our anchorage off of the Arthur Passage. As we were approaching the anchorage, our motor sputtered and we realized we had run out of fuel. Lucky we carry an extra jerry can just in case, so we added that to the tank and found the anchorage. 

Today we took our time getting up, since we had a relatively short trip to Prince Rupert. We treated ourselves to cold draft beer and burgers for dinner, which we thought were well deserved! The fisherman were cleaning their catch at the marina below, so there were eagles everywhere trying to pick up the scraps.

 We have enjoyed our trip through British Columbia, but are excited to finally make it to Alaska tomorrow! Since we can’t make it all the way to Ketchikan, we are allowed to anchor in Foggy Bay tomorrow night and the proceed to Ketchikan on Saturday. See you again in Alaska!

Nanaimo > Comox > Prideaux Haven > Blind Channel > Port McNeill

We have been working our way up the east coast of Vancouver Island these last few days and what a ride it has been! We have had overall great weather with steady winds at times, warm temperatures, wildlife sightings and met many of friendly people. Here is a recap of the last few days...

After checking in with customs in Sidney (which turned out to only be a phone call at the end of a dock), we made our way up into the Gulf Islands and found a great anchorage near Saltspring Island. The next morning we cruised through the Gulf Islands, which were completely beautiful. The weather was warm and winds were calm. To get to Nanaimo, we had to exit the Gulf Islands through one of 3 passages. Based on our timing and the currents, we decided to go through Portlier Pass into the Strait of Georgia. The rapids were running and we hit some pretty large waves where the pass hits the strait. The winds picked up and we had quite the ride up to Nanaimo, where we anchored for the night.

The next morning we woke up around 4:30am to catch the flood tide up the Strait of Georgia. The sunrise was beautiful and winds picked up as the sun got stronger. We sailed our way up to Comox and spent the night in the harbor.

It was another early morning out of Comox toward Desolation Sound, but it was well worth it! Desolation sound is a cruisers heaven. In fact, we anchored in a bay called Prideaux Haven and it was incredible. It is composed of many little islands that create several bays that are deep and large enough for many boats to anchor. The British Columbia Coast Range mountains were surrounding our views in every way, the water was warm enough to swim in, and the other people anchoring in the bay were incredibly friendly. We were able to paddle around in the kayak, swim in the water and enjoy the warm weather. If we had the time, we would have easily spent days at that anchorage!

We took off from Prideaux Haven yesterday morning to cruise through Desolation Sound and through a series of channels and rapids. As soon as we left Prideaux Haven, we felt the isolation sinking in and finally, truly, felt like we were alone. It was a peaceful and incredibly beautiful day. Our route took us through Waddington Channel, Price Channel, Calm Channel, Cordero Channel, where we hit the Yuklata and Dent Rapids at slack water, and then ultimately we found ourselves at the Blind Channel Resort in Mayne Passage. Warm showers, ice, water and fuel were all welcome treats. Boaters seem to be a very talkative bunch, and we found ourselves chatting with our neighbor in the slip next to us for a couple hours over wine and bourbon. This morning we woke up in time to hit the Green Point Rapids at slack tide and then followed the Chancellor Channel through Wellbore Channl and then into the Johnstone Strait. It drizzled on and off all day, but the winds didn't pick up until we hit the Johnstone Strait, where we raised the sails and took the southerlies all the way to Port McNeill. At one point around 4:30 today, I looked over the bow and saw a large splash! We have been patiently waiting for a whale sighting and we finally got our show. A large humpback whale played around in front of us for about 20 minutes, breaching, waving, bobbing up and down, it was incredible- such a great way to end a very long day! 

Seattle > Port Townsend > Sidney

We made it to Canada! This will be our first time sailing in foreign waters with Antoinette. We set sail yesterday with the goal of the San Juan Iaslands in mind, but hit gail force winds on our way up so we were able to tuck into Port Townsend for the night. This morning we set sail around 8am (with an epic day 2 breakfast!) and headed out to cross the Strait de Juan de Fuca and then north to Sidney where we cleared customs. We were able to have sails raised almost the whole way across the strait with blue skies and good winds! now we are off to find an anchorage for the evening. We will check back in a day or two!