Tag Archives: Northwest Passage


I forgot how much I loved Anacortes until I started walking around.

While Russell is in Texas I’ve been walking all around Anacortes. Enjoy the photo tour with me. p.s. Some of the pics were taken with my phone.


Anacortes has a very picturesque downtown.

Petunias are everywhere here. Being from Texas, due to the heat, we are used to the petunias being LONG gone by August and September  These are impressive!


Mandy is not a fan of this guy that resides outside the bookstore. Something about it just isn’t right in her world.



History here and there, 3-D murals are on the side of many of the buildings downtown.

I arrived at the library early one morning before it opened so decided to walk around to kill time. I ran across this beautiful park just a few block away. One of the prettiest parks I’ve ever been to. The trees are giant and stunning and I found the rock work fascinating.

Causland Memorial Park.



Anacortes has a Farmers Market Saturday mornings. While not up to the Bellingham standards, it’s still a very good market. Standing in line to pay for my carrots I spotted this. I have no idea what it is, but I thought it looked quite comfortable and ladylike.


This is a beautiful glass…uh, tall thing?


Were these giraffes here the last time we were here? I don’t recall seeing them. *note the brown grass, Anacortes needs rain!!


The best time to go past this is when it’s closed. If they have blackberry ice cream I’m in BIG trouble. I hear they pull out after this weekend.


Anacortes has a cool piano program until Labor Day where pianos are scattered about town and at the marina for people to play at will.


Don’t think I’m lonely while Captain Rusty is in Texas. I have these creatures keeping me company.


Standing guard next to Sweet T 


While the slips next to us are empty we seem to have acquired some squatters, aka seals. 


Two best buds doing what they do best….napping.

All is well.




We have cell service so let’s get caught up.

After sitting in Craig for a WEEK (sigh) we were finally able to shove off to make our way to Dixon Entrance. Craig was a great stop but a week was about 5 days more than we needed to be there.

First stop after leaving Craig, a one nighter in Hydaburg. This is a small Indian Village where we were able to tour a carving house.

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Russell getting tips on how to carve a totem pole just in case he plans to one day carve a totem pole.

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Bentwood Boxes in progress and to the left one nearly finished.

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Bentwood coffin with the tribal symbol.

An early morning departure from Hydaburg, we had hoped to make it to Nichols Bay but after poking our nose out in Dixon Entrance the crew voted to abort and return to Narrows Cove to spend the night. There was a slight swell from the west off Dixon Entrance but mostly we had a calm night.

We left early the next morning with, again, hopes of crossing Dixon Entrance but it was too rough for our liking.  Instead of heading across we made our way up the coast eventually taking a break from the rough seas in Nichols Bay.  After lunch and a brief nap the seas were slightly calmer so we set out for Judd Bay where we would spend the night and attempt to cross Dixon Entrance the following day.

Judd Harbor was a calm and welcome relief. Also in this bay were the folks from the SV Bannister that we met in Craig. They too were staging in Judd Harbor to cross Dixon Entrance.

No pics were taken in Narrows Cove, Nichols Bay, and Judd Harbor. These were VERY early starts to unpleasant days. Taking pics were not first on my mind.

Bannister left about 30 minutes before we did and reported back that they had calm seas.  Finally we were crossing Dixon Entrance to Prince Rupert, BC.

PRINCE RUPERT. Once again with the weather determining our schedule we spent a week in Prince Rupert, BC. If you’re going to be stuck somewhere waiting out weather Prince Rupert is a pretty good place to be.

Seafest was going on when we arrived in Prince Rupert. One of the activities was a boat parade which we watched from our front row seat on Sweet T.

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Any day is a good day for a parade, even a rainy day.

While in Prince Rupert we hooked up with new friends from Bannister for various activities such as Thai Food for lunch, a night at the movies (Wonder Woman), a most excellent dinner out, and one evening we even worked (really, we did) at a local Wheelhouse Brewery sticking roughly 1200 labels on bottles in a span of three hours. We were paid for our work in “free” beer

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Russell and Hendrik

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The labels we used.

We made the most of Prince Rupert going through the museum, several trips to the local bakery, numerous trips to Safeway, the yarn store, and a couple trips to Walmart. (The second trip to Walmart was unplanned, but a certain crew member broke the zipper beyond repair on her soft crate with one too many escapes. She now has a brand new hard crate which she is NOT happy about.)

The best part of Prince Rupert was spending time with and getting to know new friends Hanna and Hendrik from Holland, SV Bannister. We so enjoyed spending time with them and thanks so much for sharing your movies!!!

Our original plan was to then cross Hecate Strait over to the Queen Charlotte Islands but after sitting out a week in Prince Rupert and with all the unsettled weather we keep having we decided to abort our plan to visit the Queen Charlotte Islands and start heading south taking our time to explore the Northern portion of BC. (head south to explore north – whahhh?  If you look at a map it makes sense)

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The screen shot is north of Cape Caution which is northern BC. We will be exploring the southern part of northern BC. Makes perfect sense.  p.s. The push pins are places we have stopped. 

Our first stop when we finally left Prince Rupert was Kelp Bay which was just an overnight stop. We didn’t see tons of kelp but in the entrance there were roughly 50 bald eagles on shore watching us.

WATTS NARROWS AND BAKER INLET. Watts Narrows is the entrance to Baker Inlet which is a deep, but narrow, and beautiful entrance. And we mean very narrow; definitely have to wait for slack water to go through.  But worth it. This made our top favorite anchorage list. It’s not a well kept secret so there were 4-5 other boats with us, which we’re still trying to get used to. In Alaska we got used to being the only boat in most of our anchorages.

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Watts Narrows – See how pretty?

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Beautiful backdrop in Bakers Inlet

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Taken from the bow before anchor up.

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A tranquil evening

EAST INLET IN KLEWNUGGIT. This inlet should be RE-named Jellyfish Inlet. Everywhere you looked – jellyfish. While not a spectacular anchorage Russell did catch a halibut and a rockfish, or as I like to think of it, dinner for two night!

LOWE INLET, VERNEY FALLS. On our way in we made a stop to drop our shrimp pot in.

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Ready to put the shrimp pot out!

We arrived early but the “spot” Russell had picked out was taken with two other boats. (I hate when that happens.) He surveyed another spot nearby but wasn’t especially comfortable with the depth so decided to explore near the shore on the opposite side of the bay. Nope…but he found a spot slightly off to the side of the falls he liked. We don’t normally anchor in front of falls but when you do anchor in front of falls the water coming from the falls creates kind of “current” which holds your bow into the falls so you don’t move…..in theory. That is unless you have a STRONG wind come through in which case it can (and did) turn us around. Our well set anchor held but we did do a 360° swing. When the wind laid we were back where we were supposed to be; bow into the falls.

We did enjoy our view of the falls.

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The falls at low tide

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The same falls at high tide (and a sunnier day)

On our way out we stopped to pick up our shrimp pot. We have been putting our pot out with minimal success so far, but we finally got a decent haul…decent enough for us anyway. Fresh shrimp and pasta for dinner!

HARTLEY BAY IN DOUGLAS CHANNEL. This is a small Indian Village with boardwalks running throughout the entire village. No vehicles, only ATV’s.

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Can emergency vehicles be cute?

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YES. THEY. CAN!!  Village Fire Trucks.  I guess that’s the fire Chiefs ATV.

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Very small harbor in Hartley Bay.

After we fill up with water tomorrow we’ll make our way up Douglas Channel, Devastation Channel (hoping it doesn’t live up to it’s name), Gardner Canal, Ursula Channel…eventually working our way to Shearwater, our next BIG town. But we have a lot of ground to cover before then (and several hot springs to soak in).. We’ve updated our page with our cruising plan with all of our “planned” stops.

All is well.







Lucky Russell got to tour the famous boat, Polar Bound. I am so jealous!


While I was out of town Russell met Mr. David Scott Cowper on M/V Polar Bound AND toured it. We had heard about him, he is well known in Petersburg.

Mr. Cowper is a British yachtsman. He was the first man to sail solo around the world in both directions and also the first to successfully sail around the world via the Northwest Passage, and oh by the way he did it single-handed. I m p r e s s i v e.

This is a big deal folks.

Just to be sure we are all on the same page, where is the Northwest Passage you ask?  Copied straight from Wikipedia:

The Northwest Passage is a sea route connecting the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.


This is super serious cruising people.

His first solo circumnavigation via the Northwest Passage took four years and two months.

For his latest voyage he left Greenway August 17th of this year and arrived in Petersburg a few weeks ago.

Many consider Mr. Cowper to be the finest yachtsman there is. Checkout a more detailed account of this fascinating man along with some super cool pics found on either of these websites:


David Scott Cowper

This is his seventh circumnavigation. Oh yeah, he is 74 years young. This is not your run of the mill kind of boat either…it is a very special boat, built for serious Arctic cruising.

I made a walk down to the south harbor on a frosty, but sunny, morning to get a closer look at the famous Polar Bound. What jumped out the most to me was how well built and sturdy this boat is. You immediately get the impression this boat can take a LOT. A lot more from Mother Nature than I EVER want to encounter.


Despite living and cruising on a boat full time I am not what I consider “boaty” or boat knowledgable. Mr. Cowper has no idea how lucky he was that I wasn’t with Russell touring his boat because I would have had ENDLESS questions for him.

Apologies but my technical advisor (Russell) is currently in Texas and not here to answer all my questions. Feel free to email him, he’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Like why the “roll bar”? Is it just sturdier for mounting things on and less likely to fail?


Polar Bound struck me as a trawler on steroids and an extremely functional and safe boat. This is the entry door. What are those vents next to the door for? One assumes the engine room but I see identical vents on the bow, hmmmm.



The serious hatch on the bow.


No idea what the pipe is – I’m guessing some sort of vent for something.


Look at the windows….there won’t be any giant waves busting these windows out/in. Sturdy full window wipers all the way across to keep the windows clear during bad weather. I see another vent in front of the windows….it looks like an engine vent. See how I have so many questions??


Looks like a bright LED light for the walk around. But, what is behind that little door next to the left of the light? (the white is frost!)


Fascinating boat! Maybe Mr. Cowper will be back before we leave Petersburg and I’ll be lucky enough to meet him….and ask my endless stream of questions.


Take the time to look Mr. Cowper and his boat up on the Internet, both are impressive and fascinating!!

So what else did Russell do while I was visiting the “parental units”? He spent a Saturday at the craft fair – thank you for the new candy dish, yarn bowl (both local pottery), a beautiful quilted Christmas table runner by a local quilter, local jelly, local salmonberry syrup, and last but not least, a beautiful hand painted nordic Christmas ornament.

He also enjoyed a steak dinner at the Elks for Veterans Day along with all the other local Veterans in Petersburg.

Four days after I returned home Russell left for Texas. Yes, with dogs we have to travel separately. Hey, we aren’t freaks, we know others that do the same thing.

p.s. Flying in/out of Petersburg is different from when we fly out of DFW. Only one airline, Alaska Air, and only two flights a day. The back half of the plane is for passengers, the front of the plane is cargo. Only one “gate”. The walk to the plane is outside regardless of the weather. The security is quick and the agent likely knows the majority of the folks passing through security. 


With Russell gone it is my turn to hold down the floating fort. Snow is in the forecast…he left me a list of cold weather instructions. I’m ready, bring it on!

All is well.