Things change and we try to provide you with updates so you can plan your summer cruising with the most up to date information.
Otter Bay Marina
Otter Bay continues with their scheduled Saturday meal events. Prawns and roast beef are scheduled for July 26. West coast seafood pan, BBQ salmon, and roast beef are on August 2. On August 9, their final meal event for the summer will be coconut prawns and roast pig. Check their website for more information on upcoming events.
Also new at Otter Bay Marina is Dog Mermaid Excursions and Retreats. They feature kayak & paddle boards rentals and tours. Visit www.dogmermaid.com for more information.
Port McNeill Harbour Diagram Wrong
WE MESSED UP – big time!
Please note the docks are mislabeled for the Port McNeill Boat Harbour in the 2014 Waggoner Cruising Guide. Here is a corrected diagram. Our apologies for this confusing error.
North Island Marina is the new name for the Port McNeill Fuel Dock and Marina and business is hopping. They have just gone through 18 days of being full at the dock. Reservations are highly recommended during the busy summer. Master marketer Steve Jackman has been very successful in marketing the marina to larger vessels. Some use the North Island Marina as a base to leave their boat while they fly out of the Port Hardy airport or by floatplane right from the marina docks. It is very convenient and Steve or Jessica will often arrange for courtesy van transportation to and from the airport.
We arrived in Port McNeill many days ahead of our schedule and Steve and Jess at North Island Marina had such a full marina they had to send us over to the city docks. No problem, since the ever bubbly, cool, calm and collected Marika was there to greet us. Many experienced Broughton cruisers know Marika since they watched her grow up at Kwatsi Bay. While we were mooring the wind had picked up in the harbor and Marika and her crew expertly handled a swarm of arriving boats struggling to dock. Her friendly and calm manner on the radio kept things working. This is one of the few government docks where the crew is out on the dock to help.
OrcaFest is coming up in Port McNeill in mid August. Click here for more information. They will have a market with 35-40 craft booth, a stage with music, a beer garden, salmon BBQ, children’s events, and an antique car. The marinas will be busy, so make a moorage reservation if you plan to attend.
Hakai Lodge now serving dinner for visiting boats
Hakai Passage is a beautiful and rugged area, known for its great fishing. There are two prime areas for anchorage. Pruth Bay offers a beautifuly maintained trail to one of the most spectacular beaches on the coast. The Hakai Institute broadcasts free WiFi across their bay, but offers no other services for visiting boaters. Another anchorage is in the cove just south of Hakai Lodge fishing resort. Now the Hakai Lodge is open for dinner for visiting boats, with one day in advance reservation. The menu rotates between four meals: turkey, cod or prawns, prime rib, and fresh salmon. Contact Clyde Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org for a reservation and a unique dinner experience at this family run lodge. Dinners available from mid-July to the end of August.
Clyde is also the principal owner of NW Seaplanes. The Hakai Lodge is the northernmost seaplane base for flights to and from Seattle. They can deliver crew and parts from their base on Lake Washington in Renton to this remote spot on the Inside Passage with many interim stops in between.
Pete and Renee Darwin moved their guest moorage operation from Namu to Lizzie Cove at the end of last season and re-opened for business. Last week, the Canadian Government shut down their operation and they are no longer able to accept guests due to the shoreside being named tribal heritage land. According to Pete, this has been heritage land since the 1970s, but no one informed him until now. They are now looking at alternatives including moving to another location and an appeal. Lizzie Cove is still a beautiful and protected location for anchoring. Pete will be sending his former guests email updates on the situation as it evolves. We will also report the situation on the WaggonerGuide.com website.
Pete Darwin advised us not to visit the old Namu Cannery where he used to be located. “It will tear your heart out…” said Pete. Apparently vandals have broken every window left and ransacked the store that was frozen in time as well as the other buildings. Those of us that had the good fortune to visit Namu before this will be left with the memories of this former fixture on the coast.
Just a reminder that have potable water is now available at the dock. It is very good water. No more hauling jerry jugs down the dock.
Last August the Waglisla Band Store burned down. The replacement store is now being built across the street from the old location and should be completed this fall. It looks to be larger and it will be interesting to see how they stock it. Meanwhile, the old community center building has been converted into the store and it is very well stocked. Proceed up from the dock two blocks and look to the left to the peaked building.
While we were there to drop off a crew member for a Pacific Coastal airline flight to Vancouver, the village was preparing for a week of festivities for the big tribal canoe rally. Some 15 tribes all up and down the coast send representatives in full regalia by long canoes for a one-week festival. We met up with a number of them headed south in Hartley Bay and then more headed north crossing Cape Caution. The canoe rallies move around the Inside Passage and were in Puget Sound in past years.
It is worth mentioning that the band store at the dock is much improved over the last couple of years. They are stocking a wider selection of food items and seemed to have more fresh produce. The store is brighter and has been updated. They even take debit cards. They can, however, run out of things. We watched the last half-gallon of milk go out of the cooler and we are not sure if there were any mid-week deliveries. The transient dock was full and some pleasure boats were rafted. We anchored in the middle of the small harbor for a few hours. The locals were nice enough to advise us that if we intended to spend the night, the harbor dries and our boat might be sitting in the mud.
The Douglass Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia book tells of three floating fishing lodges in this beautiful and protected harbor. When we visited last week, there was only one and it was leaving this week, never to return due to economic reasons. They will now move the lodge to St. John Harbour and work from there. All of their fishing guests arrive by helicopter and the cost to fly from Shearwater makes it too expensive. Tip: the dock from the old King Pacific resort is still there, though it is showing its lack of use. You can tie up there for the night and listen to the nearby waterfall.
If you want to explore a very interesting area and take an alternative route for your return from Northern B.C. or Southeast Alaska, try Laredo Channel on the west side of Princess Royal Island. Managing Editor Sam Landsman will be returning this way, and we will have more about this in the 2015 Waggoner Guide. With this route there are some areas exposed to the open ocean. This is less of a factor if you have the typical summer wind out of the NW resulting in a following sea. This route is rugged and beautiful. There are a number of anchorages for exploring or spending the night.
MK Marina – Kitimat
Last summer when we visited the marina we reported a nice snack bar and bakery in the marina building. A reader reported to us that the snack bar is no longer operating and there are only a few food items available for sale. We will be verifying this with the management. Hopefully this is temporary. It is a nice setting with a view of the harbor.
There are now two choices for large yachts to moor in Ketchikan. Doyon’s Landing is near the Coast Guard station to the south of town, and Ellis Floats are on the Ketchikan waterfront just north of the City Floats. The Ellis family once owned most of the Ketchikan waterfront and played a key part in the development of floatplane service in Ketchikan.
We also learned that the Anderes Oil fuel dock on the north end of the Ketchikan waterfront, near the airport ferry landing, charges a few cents more per gallon than their fuel dock south of town. This is because they have to truck the fuel across town. The northern fuel dock has a key card system for 24 hour service. The limit is $75 per transaction, but you can do four successive transactions. The Anderes Fuel docks are now owned by Crowley Maritime.
Wrangell has lots of moorage available, including winter moorage. They also have a massive new 300-ton lift, in addition to their smaller lift. With the boatyard right in town, Wrangell is a good spot for haulout and repairs if necessary.
The docks in the north harbor are all brand new and just opened this spring. Very nice with new electrical systems, too.