Cruising British Columbia's Inland Passage

or

It's beautiful but ...


Thursday
April 26, 2012
Livermore, CA to Blaine, WA
Friday
April 27, 2012
Blaine, WA
Saturday
April 28, 2012
Blaine, WA to Nanaimo, BC
Sunday
April 29, 2012
Nanaimo, BC to Comox, BC
Monday
April 30, 2012
Comox, BC to Campbell River, BC
Tuesday
May 1, 2012
Campbell, BC to Helmcken Island, BC
Wednesday
May 2, 2012
Helmcken Island, BC to Echo Bay, BC
Thursday
May 3, 2012
Echo Bay, BC to Port McNeill, BC
Friday
May 4, 2012
Port McNeill, BC
Saturday
May 5, 2012
Port McNeill, BC to Fly Basin, BC
Sunday
May 6, 2012
Fly Basin, BC to Pruth Bay, BC
Monday
May 7, 2012
Pruth Bay, BC
Tuesday
May 8, 2012
Pruth Bay, BC to Namu, BC
Wednesday
May 9, 2012
Namu, BC
Thursday
May 10, 2012
Namu, BC to Shearwater, BC
Friday
May 11, 2012
Shearwater, BC
Saturday
May 12, 2012
Shearwater, BC to Livermore, CA

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This is the diary from my two-week cruise in the Inland Passage of British Columbia. I hope you enjoy it.

Marcus Libkind

 

Day 1
Thursday
April 26, 2012
Livermore, CA to Blaine, WA

A blind date

Clara, my wife, didn’t know the details of how I met Ivan (pronounced E’von) Getting, the owner of the J/42 that I’m going to crew on going north through the Inland Passage of British Columbia. But last night as we celebrated her 59th birthday at Demitri’s Taverna, a Greek restaurant on Main Street in Livermore, she took an interest in the details of what would be a two-week adventure aboard the sailboat Kittiwake.

Like the other berths I’ve found in the past, I found this one on the internet. Clara’s comment on finding out that I had not ever met Ivan was, “oh, it’s sort of like a blind date.” I guess she’s right though there is one big difference; in signing on for a multi-week cruise there was no going home if the dinner conversation was not to your liking.

But I’m very confident that Ivan and I will get along well. I was immediately attracted to his posting on the internet and a more than three hour phone conversation ended in mutual agreement that this was a great match.

Ivan Getting
Ivan Getting

Did I get the date wrong?

This is Ivan’s seventh cruise through the Inland Passage, but this time he is continuing north to Glacier Bay, Alaska. It’s a five-month cruise. I signed on for a four-week passage from Bella Bella, BC to Blaine, WA beginning at the end of August because this fit in with my daughter Sophie’s schedule for being home on summer break.

That’s odd, it’s April and I’m going to crew from Blaine to Bella Bella. Did I get the date wrong?

Turns out that Ivan had his crew list full, many of the people returning after past cruises with him, except for the first two weeks. Though a little hesitant because this leg is ostensibly the same as the August-September leg, the chance of rain is high and it’s going to be a push north with few stops other than to sleep, I agreed to crew going north too.

So here I am typing away as I wait for my connecting flight to Bellingham, WA where Ivan will pick me up.

Here I am in Blaine, Washington

Ivan picks me up at the Bellingham airport. His list of unfinished boat preparation takes us to two marine stores, a grocery store and Costco. He has already stocked the boat with $500 in food but we have three items that still need to be purchased. $300 later we are on our way to Blaine and the marina where Kittiwake is docked.

Blaine Marine Park
Blaine Marine Park

Marina at Blaine
Harbormaster building at Blaine

Sculpture and flowers around marina
The marina is kept immaculately clean and
the flowers are well attended to

Flowers abound at marina
Flowers abound at marina

More flowers at marina
More flowers at marina

Other than a photo, I have never seen a J/42. Several things are obviously striking on first look. The gunnel sits very low to the water compared to other boats of similar length. The mast is far forward making the fore-triangle small and the boom long – about 18 feet long is my guess.

Sailboat Kittewake
S/V Kittiwake, a J/42

We set about unfinished tasks after I settle in. There’s lots of them and it’s 8:00 PM before we head out for dinner. There are only a couple of restaurants in town and Big Al's, a greasy spoon, is already closed. Ivan ate the Chinese restaurant last night so we opt for the remaining Mexican restaurant. It’s 10:00 PM when I crash. It’s been a long day having woken in the wee hours of the morning and not able to return to sleep. Then it was two airports and two plane rides. It’s sooooo good to have that behind me and soon we’ll be heading north into British Columbia.

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