The Broughton Archipelago and Thoughts on Cruising Guides

DSCF1174The Broughton Archipelago is located east of Vancouver Island and made up of hundreds of islets and a few big islands. It is the farthest north we are able to travel this summer as work is calling…

A Note About Sailing Guides
We have a collection of over ten cruising guides for our area on board. Most of them haven’t been updated in years and contain a lot of outdated information. Some guides add a new date to the cover but don’t actually go out and confirm the information. We made a stop where we were expecting a small grocery store that was mentioned in a couple of our guides – it had been closed for several years. In Mexico I was nearly arrested on a beach that was praised in our cruising guide.

Our favorite guides on this trip have been the Salish Sea Pilots (I only wish they made guides north of Desolation Sound – though I hear there are plans). They have a chartlet for EVERY listed anchorage showing exactly where to anchor and attach to the shoreline – most guides simply write a short blurb about the destinations. The Salish Sea Pilots are only available electronically, which at first I thought was a drawback but it makes them easy to navigate, zoom, search and switch back and forth between the overview chart and the chartlet.

DSCF1928 DSCF1904 DSCF1884 Most of the coast line up here is made up of dense trees. We finally found a white (shell) beach. These shell beaches are ancient middens and some are protected as archeological sites.DSCF1807DSCF1820 I have a kayak and Mike has a SUP. Both are inflatable to minimize damage to the big boat and to be able to easily store them when if not needed (when inflated we use this storage rack). They are also much easier to use to go to shore. The tides are quite large here so a dinghy could easily float away or end up high and dry. It is much quicker to launch and beach a kayak or SUP than a heavy dinghy with a 15hp outboard. Mike likes to use the SUP to run our lines to shore, too. DSCF1815  I always have a few sarongs/pareos on hand to make shade. DSCF1742 Lion’s Mane Jellyfish – the largest known jellyfish.DSCF1731 Underway to the next destination.DSCF1617 DSCF1600 DSCF1561  We haven’t been doing too well with the shrimp pot but we have been eating a lot of fresh crab!DSCF1539 DSCF1533 Witch’s Hair = clean airDSCF1526 DSCF1489 Happy hour aboard the Limerick.DSCF1447 “Sometimes” it rains and we have to stay inside or bundle up.DSCF1405DSCF1361 DSCF1397 DSCF1388 DSCF1381  Watch standing, whale watching and enjoying a freshly baked scone. All from the comfort of a dry, heated cabin. That’s Trawler-Life. DSCF1327 DSCF1318 The vase is attached with museum putty which I re-use endlessly. DSCF1316 DSCF1303 DSCF1280 DSCF1263 DSCF1244 DSCF1236 DSCF1218 DSCF1191 We like to tie to shore to keep the boat from sailing around at anchor. DSCF1179




Princess Louisa Inlet, BC

Monk 36 LimerickOur cruising guide states that Princess Louisa Inlet is the “‘holy grail’ for cruising people all over the world”. It did not disappoint. After a 40 mile trek up beautiful Jarvis Inlet we arrived at the entrance to Princess Louisa: The Malibu Rapids – which can run up to 9 miles an hour.  We arrived a few hours before slack tide and took a look at the pass. Here is a video of when probably not to enter the inlet in a slow boat. 

When the tide turned our transit was smooth sailing. 

At Malibu Rapids is a beautiful lodge that was built for the rich and famous back in the 1930s and is now being used as a youth camp.Malibu Rapids, Princess Louisa Inlet, BCWe cruised another four miles up the inlet, surrounded by 6,000 foot fjord walls and water falls, to arrive at Chatterbox Falls and the free dock. Note the size of the boats in the center of the photo compared to the surroundings.Princess Louisa Inlet and Monk 36 LimerickAnd looking the other way.Princess Louisa Inlet, BCKayaking in my inflatable.Princess Louisa Inlet, BC Donations are accepted for the free dock.Princess Louisa Inlet, dockPrincess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls Mike and Chatterbox FallsPrincess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox FallsPrincess Louisa Inlet, BC Chatterbox Falls DSC_0779DSC_0798Dinner on the bow.Dinner on the bow. Limerick Monk 36We also spent a couple of nights at the other anchorage in Princess Louisa Inlet: McDonald Island.Princess Louisa Inlet, BC McDonald Island Monk 36 Limerick at anchorThere was an abundance of oysters and mussels for us to enjoy. We made it just in time before the season closed on May 31.DSCF0300 DSCF0272 DSCF0256 DSCF0220 DSCF0192Breakfast on the flybridge with this view.Breakfast on the flybridge. Limerick Monk 36Monk 36 Limerick, binoculars

Right now we are in a marina for the night, stocking up on food, defrosting the fridge, cleaning the boat, doing laundry, and catching up on internet. Oh, and taking showers – in Mexico we could just jump in the ocean and then have a quick rinse but the water here is very cold – a water-maker is definitely on our upgrade list!



Dodd Narrows, BC

Monk 36 Limerick goes to CanadaSeeing the BC ferries is a sure sign that we made it to Canada! We checked in at Bedwell Harbor with a simple phone call to customs. The poor chap next to us was searched and interviewed for hours. He was complaining loudly about his fate, so it just goes to show that if you show a little respect and follow the rules there are no problems.DSCF9566While underway this is usually our setup. Cruising guide, plotter/sounder and iPad with Navionics app. Above is another sounder. DSCF9553After checking into Canada around noon we made it to Dodd Narrows just in time to catch a nice 3-4 knot current at 6pm. We actually had to slow down on the way there so we would not be going with a 6-7 knot current.DSCF9557Here is a short time-lapse video of our transit through the narrows.




Shallow Bay, Sucia Island, San Juans

Limerick Monk 36 Shallow Bay Sucia IslandWe left Anacortes in the rain with the promise of more rain to come. Our destination being the West side of Sucia Island in a perfect little cove that we had stumbled upon the last time we were at Sucia Island a little over a month ago. The promised rain was left in our wake as we passed the south end of Lummi Island.Limerick Monk 36 underway

Weather are no weather we had to get out of Anacortes – we had been there for nearly a month getting the boat ready to head north. We topped the diesel off. At $1.78 per gallon we squeezed in as much fuel as we possibly could.

This perfect cove will be our anchorage until the perishables run out and we can enter Canada with a clean conscience that we will not be bringing in any contraband.Limerick Monk 36 Shallow Bay Sucia Island  Shallow Bay Sucia Island kayaking Trying out the new free-dive suit that will also come in handy if we get anything wrapped around the prop.Freediving aboard Limerick Monk 36It’s warm when the sun is out but the wind is still chilly so the enclosure acts like a greenhouse and keeps us out of the wind.Limerick Monk 36 enclosure flybridge Limerick Monk 36 snacks Shallow Bay Sucia Island kayaking



From the Interstate to the San Juan Islands

After three weeks in sunny San Diego it was time to head back to the boat….

San Diego Self Realization FellowshipOne of the reasons we made the trip to San Diego was to pick up our cargo trailer full of boat and household stuff.  We took full advantage of having access to a garage to go through all of our things and re-organize. When we sold Camille we didn’t have much time or space and pretty much just tossed everything into the trailer. Packing our gearWe had planned on renting a truck to haul our trailer to Washington but Mike’s parents offered to tow it for us in their own car. (Thank you!!) After only 200 miles on the road we had our first (and only) tire failure on the trailer.  The entire wheel just flew off! Good thing we have a two axle trailer. We spent an unplanned night in Bakersfield and were able to get back on the road the next day.Cargo trailer tire Cargo trailerAfter three days of driving we finally made it back to the boat.  We made a few provisioning runs and headed to the San Juan Islands on a perfect weather forecast.

On a side note: Since we usually don’t have access to a car when we are cruising we like to stock up. A few weeks ago I found this amazing shelf-stable, no refrigeration required bread. It lasts for four months, is organic, non-GMO and tastes freshly baked. Mystery Bay Washington Underway Monk 36 Limerick Dinghy on beach Sunset in Washington Shallow Bay Sucia Island Sucia Island Sucia Island Sucia Island Matia Island dock



Jones Island

Monk 36For $200 you can get an entire year of mooring and docking in Washington’s state parks. That is a great bargain especially if you don’t limit your cruising to the summer. Turns out few people actually cruise in the winter and we have had every anchorage to ourselves so far.

We spent a few sunny days at Jones Island before the weather turned ugly and drove us into port.1-DSCF7773The floating docks are removed in winter but landing the dinghy is a breeze on the steep beach. Of course dinghy wheels like we had on Camille would certainly make it easier to pull the heavy dinghy up the beach.1-DSCF78541-DSCF7777 We picked up one of five balls in North Bay. There are three more in South Bay.1-DSCF78461-DSCF7808 Winter-time moss is this amazing bright green — the photos don’t do it justice. 1-DSCF7811 1-DSCF7817 1-DSCF7843 The seals follow our every move and go under as soon as they see the camera.1-DSCF7801Gnarly!1-DSCF7852



Dealing with Condensation

Monk 36 master stateroomWhen we cruised Mexico aboard Camille we had very few issues with moisture and condensation. Baja is a desert and the windows were always open to keep the air flowing. Here in the Pacific Northwest we have the opposite: rain, cold, closed windows. A cushion resting against the hull will be damp in no time. The diesel heater is helping to dry things out on the hook. When we are at the dock we use space heaters pointed at enclosed spaces.

One of the biggest moisture collectors is the bottom of a mattress after sleeping on it for a night. On Camille we had a (rather expensive) Froli system under our mattress — mainly to try and give our thin mattress a little more bounce. On Limerick we have a great mattress but nothing to deal with the condensation. So we picked up some hypervent which came highly recommended by a great online group of women sailors I am part of. We cut it (quite easily with scissors) to also come up the edges of the mattress where it touches the outside hull.

It is working out fairly well. The bottom of the mattress is staying dry. Now the moisture has moved below the hypervent and seems to be drying as the day progresses. I had expected no condensation, but I guess that is a bit much to ask in this climate. We’ll be purchasing more hypervent for the V-berth.