The Most Dangerous Part of The [...]
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Owner: Sailing Sea Dream of Clyde

The Most Dangerous Part of The Inside Passage | Ep. 29 | Heading Past Cape Caution


Location: God's Pocket Resort
Latitude: 50.84000000
Longitude: -127.59000000
Published: 8 Apr 2023

Cape Caution is rightfully known by many as the most difficult and dangerous section of the whole Inside Passage. The combination ocean swell, overlapping currents, and numerous reefs and abrupt shoaling near the cape, and often strong winds can make this mandatory exposure to the North Pacific Ocean a very rough ride. However, with careful and cautious planning, this rite of passage for mariners headed to Alaska can be a simple, if sometime bumpy day that gets one back into protected waters.

In this episode we depart Schooner Retreat bright and early and head out into open waters, bound for the protected waters of Vancouver Island. Despite a gale warning being issued by Environment Canada, we were greeted by calm seas and the usual congregation of humpback whales that frequent Fitz Hugh Sound. Knowing full well that we could get bashed around, we decided to take the risk having recently seen the always more accurate European weather models; these models showed gale force SE winds 20-30 miles offshore, but maximum 20-25 knots where we were going; waiting until the next day would have meant calm foggy conditions.

The tides lined up perfectly for us, with the outgoing ebb current giving us a boost out of Fitz Hugh Sound too Cape Caution. The flood tide greatly aided us by pulling Sea Dream of Clyde into Queen Charlotte Strait. It was remarkable to watch our tack angle warp as the current sucked us south!

After a pretty rough few hours of bashing into 20-25 knot SE winds and heavy rain, the wind and swell subsided as we reached the protected waters behind Vancouver Island. Rainbows, orcas, and sunshine top off a fantastic day of sailing in an incredible part of the world.

We spend a lovely night at God's Pocket, which is home to a great little scuba diving resort that I used to work at, then continued to Port Hardy doing the "old drift anchorage" style of travel that viewers of this channel will be well accustomed to by now!

Thanks so much for watching, and if you want to catch up on previous episodes, here is where you can find them all!