Inside Passage 2007

My partner and I are planning on paddling from Glacier Bay, AK to Bellingham, WA this summer. We can’t start until June 19 and hope to finish around the end of September. We’re hoping to connect with others who are either planning a similar trip or have already done it. Particularly sticky points are: charts, food drops, customs, and local weather. We’d love to swap and share what we’ve learned so far!


Charts are not an issue
I’m copying and pasting a post I made from the advice section of this board:

Just have to share.

Most of you know you can get free US raster charts online from NOAA.

But the charts aren’t very usable or printable, they’re just good for looking at online.

A paddler in Victoria, BC wrote software to convert these raster charts into a chartbook form. It’s very reasonably priced ($30) and the end result is a chart book that prints out looking exactly like the expensive paper chartbooks. With waterproof paper and a cheap binding system you can make your own waterproof charts easily and for a fraction of the cost of commercially available charts. He also wrote a program that allows you to Photoshop the charts ($20). This allows you to determine which sections of the chart you want to print, and you can write in comments, etc.

The guy who wrote the program, Sean, is very responsive to email questions.

I have no financial interest in this, but decided to try it after spending 5 hours copying large charts designed to be used on a yacht to a book format for last year’s paddle. This is really fantastic software!!


Inside passage 2007
Kayaked Inside Passage solo in 2001 Olympia Washington to Juneau Alaska. I’ll do my best to answer your questions on the topics you asked: Considering the isolation food is surprisingly resonable at the towns along the way, my guess is because they can barge it at a fairly low cost. You should have no problem not running out of food before each town or settlement. If you start at glacier bay the town of Gustavus is at its entrance. Glacier Bay would be a hard place to start out a trip as you immediatly would have to cross Icy Straight which is about an 8 mile crossing. You can island hop it however to break down the crossing and thus a little safer.I dont know your exact planed route but I highly reccomend Marine Atlas volumne II Port Hardy to Skagway by frank morris that is the only map I used between N vancouver island and Juneau. It is very well detailed. I used no electronics no gps and was just fine. Use dead reaconing. Know where you are and just follow the shore. The atlas gives good details on points of referance. Anyway you can purchase at supermarket in Juneau, Wrangell I went to Bobs IGA, Petersberg, Ketchikan, Bella Bella which has what they call the Indian Band store, its nice. Prince Rupert has a safeway then Campbell river and lots of towns the rest the way. My biggest crossing was 10 miles from very inlet to mary Island to annette Island. You will have a blast. Once you get to the B.C border it gets different, I thought more sea life anenomes and such. Lots of bears so tie everything up very high in the trees. Keep your kayaks clean so they dont rip them if they smell fish. Leave hatches off so they dont rip the rubber if you got rubber hatches. Bears can swim great si they can be on islands. Most are not habituated so they are afraid of you. I saw a lot of bears and most in the remote areas run away. But around their salmon streams thats their turf and they will rip you a new one if you do not respect them. I had only a knife and no bear spray which if a big bad ass brownie as they call them or grizz wanted you for dinner theyd eat your can of bear spray as a tidbit. Dont run from bears or you will be lunch as they say i n alaska. Bears did not bother me even though bears and their sign are everywhere. I suggest these cool places Oliver inlet south but that is the wrong side of admiralty for yo. I that tracy arm was spectacular …Especially where the indian camp is. Anan creek has a very cool bear observatory. Butedale is so cool an abandoned cannery only a carewatcher his name is ted and he will let you stay their just sign a wavier you wont sue anybody if you get hurt exploring. A couple hours before dark start keeping an eye out for a campsite. Look for good driftwood and its nice if you land at low tide or guess from surrounding land formation what it looks like when the tide goes out for launching in the morning. The big barnacles are a danger they can rip your kayak bad. Watch for rocks while paddling. I huged the shore as close as possible to stay out of the currents. The Grenville passage was tough going north as it seems there is always a current. But use the back eddies and land forms jutting out to help if it gets real strong current ferry your kayak over to the other side and try it for a while. Be careful when your going down the big passages, stop if the wind and waves get bad and enjoy that area untill you feel more safe. Wind is the most dangerous as it can sure churn up waves. You can do this trip…but it will take using your brain. Above all be thankful for everything even the rain and the wind as that attitude of thanksgiving and accepting the inside passage on its turms will make your journey a blessing and a joy beyond your wildest dreams…Peace and Joy to you…follow your dreams…live fully…godskayakman

Its kayakman again.

– Last Updated: Jun-09-07 10:19 PM EST –

When I kayaked the inside passage there was hardly any info so i think you will appreciate any info. Its such a huge trip that its hard to write things quick enough in the 30 minute time period for these message boards. Just wanted to say on the calm nights you here the water lapping on the shore and the water is like glass. I could here whales breathing 18 miles onthe otherside of fredrick sound. I loved fredrick sound. Cape fanshaw and all inlets and islands. Lots of quarts in the rocks in alaska you could probably find some gold even lots of waterfalls. I drank water no bevers as its spruce and alaska yellow cedar everywhere. I purified my water only south of campbell river by then you can get it from a faucet. Oh yeah a cool hostel ten bucks canadian is at port edward just south of rupert the oldest cannery in canada turned into a hostel It was my first shower in 31 days. I went down the mainland of B.C instead of crossing queen charlotte straight to port Hardy. You will go past the Broughton archepelego a maze of islands . i just keept the main channel which was queen charlot straight in front of me unless it was a big island so i wouldnt get lost in the maze of islands. I camped at the koeye river mouth when the Helstuck indians or bella bellas were teaching the kids the old ways it was so neat. The brouhgton seemed desolate and forboding but such cool coves and islands. Lots of fish to catch and eat but wash up well afterwords so not to attract bears. I had no misquito problems just a few pesky no see ums in the morning as your loading your kayak. Once your on the move no problems. To rest just pull into any kelp bed. I used a tarp lots of logs to drape over and make a neat shelter. Wildlife is unbelievable lots of bald eagles ravens seals and you can here the seals snore like humans at night as they sleep in the kelp beds just offshore. I almost got knocjked unconsious when a huge king salmon had to be 80 lbs leaped over my kayak like a bullit. At the mouth of the skena I was in what fishermen call the glory hole at low tide ....a pink salmon jumped into my hach and I had dinner. As there were so many jumping. I had my spray skirt off at the time as I knew I coukld get one this way it was like raining salmon they were so thick. Had a bald eagle ride my kayak it was getting drowned by to big of a salmon it happened in dry straight just north of wrangel. I got pictures wil send it to picture of the week. Anyway there is so much cool things....but you need to explore for yourselves. Meyers chuck was a neat place you can sleep in their school yard. I slept in the bridge of the purse seiner The Miss tammy th e captain invited me and treated me like a king as did his crew...Oh yah the reason I used a tarp instead of a tent is because the bears scared the bejesus out of me and I didnt want to be a pig in a blanket if you know what i mean...Tim tredwell definatly had some balls.....Got to go now....Peace.....