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Eight Days up the Inside Passage in an 18' Skiff

An Archive in Vines: June 20–28, 2014

In June of 2014, my dad bought a little aluminum skiff in the Seattle area. The boat was intended for use in Pelican/Sunnyside, southeast Alaska– 1,000 miles of water passage to the north.

My parents, our family friend Matt, and I ran the boat up the Inside Passage over the course of eight days. We napped on the plastic floor, camped in ruins, watched whales and porpoises, and navigated open ocean crossings.

Inexplicably, I decided to document this trip with solely the now-defunct medium of Vine. RIP, Vine, but thanks for the archives.

Here’s the trip:

Day 1: Edmonds, WA to Campbell River, BC (200 miles, 13 hours)

Launch: Edmonds Marina, Washington
into Nanaimo, BC
Tugboat pulling a raft of logs
Campbell River, BC
Campbell River Discovery Marina, calm evening

Day 2: Campbell River, BC to Jennis Bay, BC

Casting off from Campbell River at 5am
Passing Kelsey Bay, BC
Porpoises approach
Porpoises play! No zoom lens.
Stopping in Port Harvey, BC to get experienced sailors’ opinion on the crossing. Their advice: maybe don’t do it in a boat that small. Not pictured: we did
Gotta be safe! Practice speed donning of the survival suit. Rick can do it in 71 seconds.
Lagoon Cove, BC
Tribune Channel, BC
Lacy Falls, BC
Sullivan, BC: a very strange upscale place with outdoor living rooms and helicopters on yachts, far from any town. Inaccessible by land.
Golfing at Sullivan
Jennis Bay, BC: Seaplane taking off
Tying up in Jennis Bay

Day 3: Jennis Bay, BC to Butedale, BC

5:30 am castoff from Jennis Bay
hike to the lake for a swim
Seals jumping off the rocks. Codville Lagoon, North of Queen Charlotte
It gets cold, so we nap in the survival suit
Tugboat pulling a barge near Bella Bella
North of Klemtu
Camped on the floor of a ruin at Butedale

Day 4: Butedale, BC to Prince Rupert, BC

Foggy morning leaving Butedale– steering by GPS app
Bishop Bay Hot Springs. To do: go back and hang out in this inlet, there are a ton of hot springs and camp sites that are accessible only by boat.
Green Island, in Chatham Sound
Prince Rupert

Day 5: Prince Rupert, BC to Ketchikan, AK

Crossing the Dixon Entrance into Alaska
How we navigate – depth sounder left, GPS chart app right

Day 6: Ketchikan, AK to Wrangell, AK

Docking at Wrangell
Alaska humor

Day 7: Wrangell, AK to Tenakee Springs, AK

Through the Wrangell Narrows
A lot of time to pass, bring your knitting
Passing Petersburg, AK
Touching an iceberg near Petersburg
Calm on Frederick Sound
Listen: a bell buoy across the water
Sea lions on the bell buoy. Not pictured: massive sea lion belch
Whales blowing!
Pod of humpback whales. Listen: whales breathing. Not pictured: they did bubble feeding right after that and then leapt out of the water. Sorry I’m not a good videographer.
Nice view from here
Tenakee Springs, AK

Day 8: Tenakee Springs, AK to Pelican, AK

Salmon cannery demonstration in Hoonah, AK
Pelican, AK
Sunnyside, AK– now to finish building this cabin!

Epilogue: Seaplane to Juneau

Leaving Pelican (our beach at Sunnyside is in the second shot)
Landing in Juneau, AK to catch a jet home