Cruising through Rosario Strait.

Inside Passage to Alaska Waggoner Guide Flotilla

Day 1 – Anacortes to Salt Spring Island

Day 1 – Cruising thru the Fog

Sunday – We left Cap Sante Marina under sunny skies, but as soon as we rounded Cap Sante rock, we could see the fog in Guemes Channel.


Potluck before the Flotilla takes off.

Our flotilla started the day before with a Happy Hour potluck at Cap Sante Marina. All were there except our two Canadian boats who decided to join us in Ganges, rather than check into the states just for the Happy Hour. Everyone was excited to cruise to Alaska and the promise of good weather for the foreseeable forecast added to the excitement.

Cruising through the fog in Geumes Channel.

We proceeded through the fog on radar through the Guemes Channel. For Sea Raven, it was interesting to see most of our flotilla spread out on radar going down the channel transmitting on AIS. When we crossed through Rosario Strait transmitting became more critical, and we noticed the ferry Elwa coming east for Thatcher Pass. From behind us, the ferry Yakima was overtaking our fleet. With two ferries and our fleet squeezing through the choke point at Thatcher Pass, we had a real issue coming.

The Yakima made an amazing move by going around Lawson Rock to the north and passing us by hugging the shore of Armitage Island and scooting past us. We could not see the Yakima in the fog but watched her movements on AIS and radar. It was a well-executed move by a professional crew.

We finally cleared the fog near Orcas Landing, just in time to see the ferry Yakima again, now leaving Orcas Island, headed for Shaw Island.

Pulling up to the customs docks at Bedwell Harbour.

Clearing Customs in Bedwell Harbour

We continued to Poet’s Cove Marina in Bedwell Harbour, and all of us cleared customs with no incidents or inspections. The agent on the phone asked if we had liquor on board. We said “yes,” and she asked if there was anything more than “ship’s stores” and if we would we be leaving any liquor in Canada? We said “no,” and that was it!

Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island

Next, we proceeded to the Salt Spring Marina where a van was waiting to take us up the road to provision at the Country Grocer. We picked up all the food items the Canadian government doesn’t want us to bring into the country, plus more fresh fruit and vegetables. After an early group dinner at Moby’s Pub, we were ready to go to Alaska.

Note: The new breakwater planned in front of the Salt Spring Marina is not yet in place. Construction is now planned to start in October.

~Mark Bunzel

To see a map of where we have been and where we are:

Share this: