Inside Passage Blog

By Linda Lewis



May 22, 2007 – Royal Sounder Crosses QCS & Arrives at Prince Rupert


We crossed Queen Charlotte Sound with an excellent flat-water cruise. I had hoped to hookeybob onto someone's wifi at Shearwater and send this email, but it was just not to be. We even tried a friend's trick and cruised close to Bella Bella as we left. There were lots of unsecured wireless systems out there and we could connect with several, but then we could not get online - regardless of having an "excellent" signal. It's a mystery.
Communications mysteries aside, here are some pictures.
Dave caught me with my hat askew; I wear it that way to shade my eyes from the sun coming in the side window. Yes, sun. We have been very fortunate with many days of sun for the start of this trip. (Mike, note the "confuser" in use.)

I can't resist sending one more little whirlpool picture. This one was at Seymour Narrows which we challenged by going an hour early. This time we were going through with the flow so it gave us a nice boost.

The Queen Charlotte Sound crossing was so calm that we went close to Cape Caution (pictured below). We were once again able to go behind Egg Island things were so nice.

We were about 2 mi N of Cape Caution (5-17 - 0930) when I saw something I could not make out at first. A kayak? No, the boat configuration was not exactly right for a kayak. I was puzzled because the bow person was in fact using a kayak paddle but the shape of the vessel didn't fit a kayak. And what is that in the middle? Nahhhh. Can't be.

As we got close, I could see that it was a canoe. That is not something I have seen out in these open waters before. But what really amazed me was what was sitting in the middle seat.

Could I be seeing things? Doesn't that look like a dog?
It was a dog. A huge Alaskan husky-type dog. What a sight.

You can read their story on the web at:, as I later did. They are a young couple who intend to canoe from Victoria BC to St Johns NF over the next four years.The dog is an Alaskan Malemute named Taq (pronounced "tack"). People ask me frequently how big a boat you need to do the Inside Passage. THIS picture is going in my next talk to answer that question. And it will also cover the question of who you should take with you as crew. In an interview of this couple, she said that Taq can act as a mediator when necessary. They both had a great sense of humor. What an adventure.
I found their email address and sent them the above picture to post on their website if they wanted to.
One of our favorite anchorages is Green Island Anchorage in Fitzhugh Sound. That is where I found my first kaleidoscope images years back that I love so much. (Land reflected in still water at low tide.)
To my amazement and pure pleasure, I even spotted my first "totem man" image from years ago on our first trip up here. Native lore says the inspiration for totem poles came from images like this.

Rotating the picture makes it very believeable.

Here are a few more new images.
A beautiful beetle?

And a bird?

Green Island Anchorage is aptly named. Here are a few shots of a boat that anchored right in front of the "green."

The boat is "Toad Hall" (a Krogen) and is operated by a couple who have been on the water since 1994. We arrived in Shearwater together so I gave them these pictures. She is planning to make a boat card with it. The words will go right on "the green."
The picure below is perhaps my favorite shot in this series. I am trying to teach myself a little more about photography and am currently experimenting with different exposures. Photoshop is great, but my goal is to get better original shots. Just one more way to have fun on the water.

Of course, Davy is getting his usual great pictures of the flora and fauna. Here is an eagle in "The Eagle Tree" at Shearwater. It was a gloomy day, but since the eagle allowed him up close, he went for the picture.

Dave has been tweaking the (new) electrical setup mercilessly since our departure. He jokingly says our "Sea Trial" this year was finally concluded in Shearwater. That's because he is (almost) satisfied with how things are going. The autopilot is soooooo nice.
We love our electronic charting, but the software upgrade from a previous version really vexed me. The upgrade process was a very negative experience that took many hours to straighten out and I still can’t access some of the advertised features (the new Tides and Currents database). Now we are seeing some holes in the associated chart database update. The vector Canadian Chart # 3939 is completely missing. That means there is no chart for the Bella Bella/Shearwater area. This is a cruising area almost every boat goes through. If it were not for the fact that we carry paper charts and I have always had the entire Canadian raster chart set on our laptop, we would have been without a chart for these waters. I also discovered that the company’s vector Canadian Chart # 3738 has NO depths noted on it whatsoever. What else am I going to find? Grinding teeth…
OK. Enough grousing. The sun is out again! We are on the water, cruisin.....
Our best to all of you

Linda & Dave
M/V Royal Sounder


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