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Kayaking at Sucia

David B Cruises - kayaking in the san Juan Islands
Kayaking at Sucia Island is a great way to find low tide creatures

Low tide is one of the best times to kayak at Sucia Island. One sunshine-y fall day I took several of our guests for a paddle along the wind-and-wave-sculpted sandstone that makes up Sucia. My guests were agreeable to a slow paddle where we could inspect the sea life that lives just below the surface. The easiest animals to find were sea stars:  giant pink stars, purple sea stars, sunflower stars, and leather stars. A few of the purple sea stars and leather stars were exposed on the rocks giving us the opportunity to reach out and feel the difference between the two species.

Below our kayaks we watched several types of small fish including a school of bay pipefish that  look like a straightened sea horse. There must of been many other fish in deeper water even though we couldn’t see them, since we spotted several seals hunting.

We glided along, talking about the creatures hidden in the rocks and seaweed. We discovered many of them by focusing on the slightest movements or a differences in color. We found chitons, sea urchins, sea anemones, crabs, and two kinds of sea cucumbers — the California sea cucumber and  the orange sea cucumber. We could have spent all day looking and watching the intertidal world and not see it all.

Our paddle lasted about two hours. I was a little reluctant to end our time at Sucia, but it was nearing lunchtime and time to return to the David B. Besides we had other adventures awaiting us.

Tides, Currents and Rapids in the Inside Passage

Cruising in the Inside Passage should be on every boater’s Must-Do List. The rewards for making the trip to Alaska are interesting towns and villages to visit, amazing natural beauty and a wild and remote feel you can’t find elsewhere. The southern part of the Inside Passage from Seattle to Desolation Sound is chic with upscale island towns full of art galleries, small wineries and craft breweries. North of Desolation Sound the Inside Passage grows more remote and wild. It’s where you’re most likely to find solitude. All of it is over-the-top beautiful.

Dent Rapids at Slack Water

Cruising through Dent Rapids at slack water.

For the last several weeks I’ve covered many topics about cruising in the Inside Passage from electronics, to charts, to outfitting, to planning your trip. This week, I’m going to focus on the natural aspects of the trip, and how wind, tides and geography affect your voyage, as well as how to take some of the apprehension out of cruising in the Inside Passage.

The Inside Passage gets its dramatic geography from advances of the massive Cordilleran ice sheet that pushed its way south, all the way to Washington State in the late Pleistocene. Evidence of this long ago glaciation is written into the Steep-walled fjords where grooves in the rocks show the slow-motion scraping rock and ice. When you begin to study the charts of the Inside Passage you’ll notice that the long winding deep inlets that cut into mainland are the beds of the long ago glaciers and you can trace their retreat to the high coastal mountains where their remnants still remain. To continue reading about how tides and currents will effect your cruising in the Inside Passage click over to CruisingNW.com

For more information on our Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage…
For a sample itinerary of our Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage trips…

 

Cruise the Inside Passage – Presentation April 10th

If you love the Inside Passage and are dreaming of cruising to Alaska? Join us for an evening of photographs, fun stories and tips? on cruising the Inside Passage at the Whatcom Maritime Association’s monthly meeting on April 10th — 7pm. 2633 S Harbor Loop Dr, Bellingham, Washington

It’s free and open to the public. Click on the link below for printable flyer:

InsidePassageTalkWMA

InsidePassageTalkWMA

 

Directions to Squalicum Yacht Club


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Tips for Buying Your Boat’s Electronics Package

Laptop Chart PlotterOutfitting your boat for cruising in the Inside Passage doesn’t have to be over-the-top expensive. You do, however, need to be prepared to spend a lot of money, but if you follow some basic guidelines for decision making, you can put together the best electronics package that will fit your budget.

When we were first buying electronics for the David B, we asked ourselves the following questions for each purchase:

  • How much does the equipment contribute to safety of the boat and crew?

  • How easy is it to operate?

  • Is it in my budget?

Click on over to CruisingNW.com for a complete list of our tips on buying electronics and why some electronics are more important than others.

Where’s the Salish Sea?

Salish Sea Map
Map of the Salish Sea & Surrounding Basin, Stefan Freelan, WWU, 2009

Most of the time when I talk about cruising on the David B, I say that we’re cruising the San Juan Islands, or Gulf Islands, but it turns out that we spend most our time cruising the Salish Sea. Find out where the Salish Sea is by visiting my blog over at Yachting Magazine.

http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/blog-post/cruising-chartering/yachting-life/just-where-is-the-salish-sea

Planning Your Inside Passage Cruise – Part Two

Cruise the Inside Passage | David B | Boater EducationThis week I wrote my second installment in the Learn to Cruise series I’d doing for CruisingNW.com. We’re doing set of articles in conjunction with our 12-day Learn to Cruise educational cruises in the Inside Passage. For week two I’m giving some tips for planning an itinerary. The topics include:

  • What are my time constraints?
  • How far will we go?
  • What are our daily itineraries?
  • What are our planned activities?
  • What did I needed to know for Canada Customs and US Customs?

You can read the whole article at http://cruisingnw.com/planning-your-inside-passage-cruise-itinerary/#

Be sure to check out our 12-day Learn to Cruise the Inside Passage trips. These are fun one-way cruises departing from either Bellingham, Washington or Ketchikan, Alaska that are great for individuals or couple who want more hands-on boating experience in the Inside Passage.

For more information or to book a reservation:

 

Taking on the David B

David B at Anchor in the Inside Passage
David B at Anchor in the Inside Passage

I sometimes find it hard to believe that Jeffrey and I have owned the David B for fifteen years. The first eight years we put all of our time, money, and energy into rebuilding the boat. Our drive was to pursue the dream of offering nature based tours in the San Juan Islands, Inside Passage, and Alaska. We realized that dream in 2006, and for the last seven years we’ve enjoyed meeting people from all over the world.

This month I get to begin to tell our story to a wider audience in Pacific Nor’West Boating Magazine. The stories will be based on my book, More Faster Backwards: Rebuilding David B. My article appears on page 32.

http://digital.turn-page.com/i/112495

Great Boater Education Organizations

Center for Wooden Boats
Center for Wooden Boats

Since the release of More Faster Backwards, Jeffrey and I have been invited to give talks about how we restored the M/V David B. What has impressed me about the places that we talk, is how much enthusiasm surrounds these groups for educating boaters of all kinds. Some of the groups we’ve talked to empathize seamanship skills, while others are more focused on boat building. I recently wrote a post for Yachting Magazine about our experiences giving talks to United States Power Squadrons, the Center for Wooden Boats and Northwest Maritime Center.

 

http://www.yachtingmagazine.com/blog-post/how-to/seamanship/opportunities-for-boating-education