Mark Bunzel’s Cruising Report #6

This cruise report starts on dry land. I mention this because it demonstrates the versatility of cruising the Inside Passage. With floatplane services, ferry systems, rental cars and even shuttle buses, there are many ways to get to and from your boat. I left my boat in Campbell River at Fisherman’s Wharf and rented a…

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Whiskey Golf: The Reality

During our morning weather check, I noted that Whiskey Golf would be active. When it was our time to cross from Lasqueti Island to Nanaimo, we set a course for the Ballenas Islands. From there we could take the safe corridor in front of Winchelsea Island. We didn’t expect a better-than-television show, complete with an…

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Bob Hale’s 2013 Cruise Report #3

The July 1 Canada Day celebrations are taken seriously in the Broughtons, if the words “celebration” and “seriously” can be used together. We had overnighted June 30 at the Sullivan Bay Marina and knew they were getting ready for their annual July 4 U.S. Independence Day party—the old-fashioned parade on the docks, the blindfolded dinghy…

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Report #5: Barkley Sound

Flexibility may be the most important characteristic of a successful cruise. Flexibility means you move when the weather is right and the boat is ready. It means prioritizing safety and comfort over schedules. Confidence is also critical. Confidence in the boat, her systems, and her maintenance. Confidence in your ability to navigate, problem solve, and…

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Restaurant of the Month: Nimmo Bay Resort

Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort The Ultimate Experience on the Inside Passage For years, boaters were discouraged from visiting Nimmo Bay. Some report pulling up to the docks and being practically shoed away. The Nimmo Bay Resort facilities were usually full with heli-fishing guests, and they did not have the facilities to accommodate boating visitors. Fraser…

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Mark Bunzel’s Cruising Report #5

Important News: A suspicious, early morning fire has damaged Cafe Olga and the Orcas Artworks in Olga on Orcas Island (San Juan Islands). The Cafe and gallery will most likely be closed for repairs for the rest of the season. A new coffee shop on the dock at the Port McNeill Fuel Dock & Marina…

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New WA State BUI Law

Washington State has just enacted a new boating under the influence (BUI) law that substantially increases penalties for operating a boat while intoxicated. BUI is now a gross misdeameanor, rather than simply a misdemeanor. Penalties for BUI are now up to a $5000 fine and/or 364 days in jail If an officer with probable cause…

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Bob Hale’s 2013 Cruise Report #2

Sointula, Malcolm Island. I’ve decided Sointula is where the friendly dogs are kept. This morning I stepped off the boat and spied a medium-size pooch a short distance down the dock. He cocked his ears forward and looked at me expectantly. “Hello, Doggie,” I said, and tried to look welcoming. The dog padded over and…

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Gear Review: RAM Mounts

My iPad is one of the most useful devices on the boat. The chart plotting apps are so useful, in fact, that I use it as a second plotter almost all the time. One of the challenges of this is keeping the iPad secure, especially aboard a small boat. My solution? The RAM (Round-a-Mount) Mount.…

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Report #4: Estevan Point and Clayoquot Sound

“West coast Vancouver Island south: wind northwest 25-35 knots; seas 3-4 meters.” At 4:30 am, this isn’t the forecast I want to hear. My goal is to make it around Estevan Point, from Friendly Cove in Nootka Sound to Hot Springs Cove in Clayoquot Sound. But the weather doesn’t seem to be cooperating. The news…

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Profile: Lorraine Williams, Sointula

“I’ve seen a lot of change over the years,” says Lorraine Williams, Harbour Manager in Sointula. “I remember when the docks were empty in summer because all the boats were fishing. If there was one sailboat in the harbor, it was a big deal.” She estimates that now an average of 140 boats per day…

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Mark Bunzel’s Cruising Report #4

Important News: Bella Bella – The grocery, liquor store, cafe and post office in New Bella Bella had a massive fire on the morning of July 12th. New supplies were barged up with plans to have the band store open by Monday July 15th. Other Fire News – Fourth of July fireworks fires claimed a…

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