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Intuition to Alaska - 2021
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LesR



Joined: 05 May 2010
Posts: 147
City/Region: St. Louis
State or Province: MO
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Intuition
Photos: Intuition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 11:59 am    Post subject: Intuition to Alaska - 2021 Reply with quote

Starting this thread to log our preparation for and (hopefully) details of our journey to Alaska this summer. I've taken a sabbatical from work this year, so we have no significant time constraints. I'll need to work for at least a few more years after this year's break. While we recognize uncertainty and risk of additional travel restrictions, this year appears to be the best near-term option for us.

With those caveats in mind, our plan is to depart northwest Washington in early June, directly transit BC enroute, and spend up to two months exploring SE Alaska before returning.

As we prepare, I'd appreciate anyone's input and recommendations for the following:
1. Dinghy motor: how badly do I need one? Our Alaska Series 270TDS is OK to row. I expect that most of our use will be shorter distance to shore for things like an additional line to a tree. We're not taking our dog, so don't need to worry about multiple daily shore excursions. Any other safety or convenience considerations? If I become convinced it's needed, I'd probably get a Torqeedo motor for the convenience and weight benefits.
2. Location to leave truck and trailer for 3 months. I've started searching for RV storage locations in the region north of Seattle. Any specific suggestions?
3. Recommended guides. I have the 2020 Waggoner Cruising Guide and have been reviewing other C-Brats' trip logs, along with Sam Landsman's Slow Boat webinars.
4. Motor service - with a transit via BC, I expect we may add 300-400 hours on our Honda 150 (currently has 950 problem-free hours). I assume we should plan for at least an oil change midway through our trip.

Les and Kel Rohlf
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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
Posts: 3489
City/Region: Valley Centre
State or Province: CA
C-Dory Year: 2005
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: journey on
Photos: Journey On
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les, you didn't say but do you have a get-me-home motor? This would add redundancy to your main outboard; I considered it a necessity on Journey On. You'll be in remote places and any additional help will be appreciated. If you add one, I'd suggest a Nissan 10 hp because of the weight and price. You can use that on the dingy if you get a hoist such as Bob/thataway installed:hoist istallation

Boris
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LesR



Joined: 05 May 2010
Posts: 147
City/Region: St. Louis
State or Province: MO
C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Intuition
Photos: Intuition
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boris,
Good point - I left out that we do have a Honda 9.9 as a kicker. It doesn't get used much, but I make an effort to run it for at least a few hours during each of our longer outings.

I think the dinghy is rated for a max of 5 hp, so our current kicker may be too large.

Les
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starcrafttom



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
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Photos: Susan E
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les please Pm me. I have a graveled parking area at my house. Located in marysville wa and we have rented parking out to cbrats in the past for a few months at a time. I have room for truck and trailer. We both work for home so unless we are out in the boat our selves some one is around most of the time.
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pcg



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As of today...
"Canada and the United States on Tuesday extended a land-border closure for non-essential travelers...
The land-border restrictions, imposed in March 2020, have been extended to May 21. Now in place for 13 months, they are being renewed month by month."

I know this says "land border", but I'm guessing that wording is to exclude air flights from the U.S. to Alaska. It wouldn't surprise me if "water borders" are also closed. I would research this before traveling.

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journey on



Joined: 03 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Honda 10 can be heavy. We had the long shaft with an electric starter, 110 lbs. Try the motor on your inflatable and if it can handle the weight, don't open the throttle as far and you'll have a 5 hp. One less thing you have to carry along.

And BTW, they have free rig parking at Blaine. We used it a couple of summers ago. Phone them.

Boris
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starcrafttom



Joined: 07 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Blaine Harbor
This year-round, 2-lane boat launch is near the U.S. / Canadian border, the beautiful Straits of Georgia, and the Canadian Gulf Islands. Less than 1 mile from Interstate 5 Exit 276, this boat launch is popular with recreational crabbers and hardcore anglers fishing in Canadian waters. The parking lot includes a boat and trailer rinse and seasonal restrooms. Year-round restroom and shower facilities are available at the nearby Boating Center. Short-term parking is intended for stays up to 2 weeks. All others should call the harbor office at 360-647-6176 to check for alternative options for longer stays.


WE have used it and its a ok ramp but the parking lot is not secure at all. Anyone can drive in there. We talked to the harbor master a few years ago when we used blaine for the powell river gathering.

Do note that blaine is not a good jumping off point for the san juans and is very wind dependent for crossing for the san juan or canada. We had to lay over for a day because of wind coming back from Powell river.
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NewMoon



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For anchorage info, the best guides are the Douglass 'Exploring' series. One for S coast BC, one for N coast BC, and one for SE AK.
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Peter & Judy



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As of today...
"Canada and the United States on Tuesday extended a land-border closure for non-essential travelers...
The land-border restrictions, imposed in March 2020, have been extended to May 21. Now in place for 13 months, they are being renewed month by month."

I know this says "land border", but I'm guessing that wording is to exclude air flights from the U.S. to Alaska. It wouldn't surprise me if "water borders" are also closed. I would research this before traveling.
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British Columbia is putting in very tough travel rules for all non essential travel between provinces and within BC. These rules go into effect on Friday.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-new-travel-restrictions-1.5993919

I would check with both the Federal Government of Canada and the Provincial Government of BC. The Canadian Government has jurisdiction while you are on salt water, but the BC government is in control once you touch land.

Hope you can have a good journey. I look forward to your updates.

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Peter & Judy Haase
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I would second Peter and Judy's admonition. I was speaking with a some friends on Vancouver Island and last week. One has seen several cars from US, WA, CA and ID, on the island. Another who is a retired RCMP said that he knows of one US vessel that has been brought into a marina, and the crew sent back to the US, so the boat is there, accumulating a moorage fee while the crew are back in the US awaiting some kind of permissions to return it or continue to AK. He didn't think it was a vessel actually bound for AK.

I think in this case it is better to get permission than to try and get forgiveness.

Harvey
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DrewbirdII



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much traveling through Canada this year unless you have a work boat that can make the trip none stop. Pleasure craft are a nix, you must make the trip none stop with no fuel stops or anchoring. Last summer fuel was tough, I know because I hated carrying extra fuel in jerry cans. I really wanted to go to Friday Harbour this year but no way can you cross with a the restrictions. The RCMP are patrolling the boarder.
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colbysmith



Joined: 02 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2021 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
As we prepare, I'd appreciate anyone's input and recommendations for the following:
1. Dinghy motor: how badly do I need one? Our Alaska Series 270TDS is OK to row. I expect that most of our use will be shorter distance to shore for things like an additional line to a tree. We're not taking our dog, so don't need to worry about multiple daily shore excursions. Any other safety or convenience considerations? If I become convinced it's needed, I'd probably get a Torqeedo motor for the convenience and weight benefits.
2. Location to leave truck and trailer for 3 months. I've started searching for RV storage locations in the region north of Seattle. Any specific suggestions?
3. Recommended guides. I have the 2020 Waggoner Cruising Guide and have been reviewing other C-Brats' trip logs, along with Sam Landsman's Slow Boat webinars.
4. Motor service - with a transit via BC, I expect we may add 300-400 hours on our Honda 150 (currently has 950 problem-free hours). I assume we should plan for at least an oil change midway through our trip.


Experience from my cruise up there two years ago.
1. Other than the 6hp kicker on Midnight Flyer, that I started almost daily just to make sure it would run if needed, I just had my Hobbie inflatable peddle Kayak. Worked great for getting to land when we couldn't dock the boat, and for seeing some back bays and coves.
2. I launched in Prince Rupert, so can't give you much help there. Sounds like Tom provides a good service parking on his property.
3. I'd very highly recommend these:
-The Inside Passage Route Planning Map, North Portion, Northern British Columbia & Southeast Alaska, including Queen Charlotte Islands. (This was a nice overview to see the area all at once on a nice size chart.)
-Exploring Southeast Alaska Dixon Entrance to Skagway
-Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia. (Both these books are by Don Douglas & Reanne Hemingway Douglass. I found them to be the Bibles of the cruise. )
-Boaters Blue Pages & Marina Guide. (This is a free publication for the PNW. I think I picked mine up at one of the marinas in Prince Rupert).
-Ports and Passes, Tides and Currents. (Nice for tide and current and some other information. But I found once I learned how to use my Garmin Chartplotter's Tide and Current function, the Ports and Passes seemed a bit pricey and didn't get used as much.)

I can't stress enough how helpful those two Exploring Guides were, or the Planning Map!

4. I believe I changed my oil and lower unit lube once, at about 200 hours. Engine oil definitely, but can't remember if I did the gear lube. Also, I did not have bottom paint, and ended up with a bottom full of small barnacles. We were running at hull speeds, except after Petersburg, I ran on plane the several days it took to get back to Prince Rupert. I also had a local tell me that some of the coves we anchored in probably had big blooms that caused the barnacles. The other boat I was traveling with had bottom paint, and they did not have any barnacles. I used the tidal grid first at Hoonah, then again at Petersburg just a few days before pulling out. Both places also had heavy duty pressure washers I could rent.

I just had the 40 gals of fuel in Midnight Flyer, so range was tight a few times. I did carry 10 extra gallons, and probably could have made it with out them. With the 25 and your 100 gals, and running at hull speeds, you'll have no problem with range. The other boat had some motor problems and ended up getting a new outboard in Sitka. Most shops were booked out several weeks, but they were able to find a mechanic new in the area that was working out of his truck. They had a new outboard barged in from Washington. This all basically laid them up in Sitka about two weeks.

Also, you may find yourself anchoring in 40-50' of water with high tide. I had 320' of anchor rode. A few times I think I put out 200'.

Good luck with your voyage. Personally, I'd be pretty leary of all the Covid travel restrictions, primarily crossing the border. But if you get past that, you'll have a fantastic experience with the Inside Passage. Colby
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LesR



Joined: 05 May 2010
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City/Region: St. Louis
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C-Dory Year: 2007
C-Dory Model: 25 Cruiser
Vessel Name: Intuition
Photos: Intuition
PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks so much for all the input.

Boris, yes - the Honda 10 reminds my back of its weight every time I put it on the motor bracket Shocked . I need to figure out a way to test putting it on the tender without risking losing it to the bottom of a body of water. I don't have a high degree of confidence in the motor bracket for the Alaska Series tenders with a motor that heavy.

Colby, thanks for the reminder about cleaning the hull at the tidal grids at Hoonah and Petersburg. Our boat is not bottom painted, so we'll have the same concerns.

We're regularly checking the Travel Canada sites for updates. As of today, the information in the thread regarding transiting BC waters to Alaska still appears valid (http://www.c-brats.com/viewtopic.php?t=29362).
I'll personally check next month before we depart, as we realize this is probably our biggest unknown for this year. Definitely don't want us or the boat impounded somewhere.

Les
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thataway



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Les,
A 10 hp motor would not be wise on your Alaska Dinghy, since it is a "Doughnut" type with a metal bracket in holders. If you choose a motor the Toqeedo would be ideal. the only time that rowing would not work, is in high winds. Even with motors, I have been in situations in heavy breeze when 2 hp was not enough to run into the wind.

On our AK trip with the 25, we averaged about 3.25 miles per gallon, part on plane and part at displacement speeds.

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Pat Anderson



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2021 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Daydream (Pat and Patty Andesosn) and Anna Leigh (David McKibben) cruised from Blaine, WA, to Ketchikan in 2006. And contrary to Tom Elliott's contention, Blaine is a GREAT jumping off point for the San Juans and points north. I would not worry about parking there, just make sure the Harbor Master knows how long you will be gone.

Here is the thread regarding our cruise. I would say the best part was the BC Inside Passage from Cape Caution to Prince Rupert. Once you get to Alaska, the world is your oyster, but due to time limitations we limited ourselves to a week in the Misty Fjords National Monument.

Now, transiting BC to Alaska, that is a whole 'nother kettle of fish. i can't say what is allowed and what is not, but as i understand it, you CANNOT stop for fuel, and if you can't stop for fuel, how are you going to get from Blaine to Ketchikan?

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