Tuesday 9 June 2020

Meeting up with more friendly Alaskans - SV Denali Rose

Donna and Benjamin comparing notes on their devices.
When we started planning our return to Canada via Alaska we realised that much our time would be in "delivery mode" rather than dawdling enjoying ourselves in one place.  Out of all the amazing places we could stop we decided that we would budget some time to spend several weeks exploring Prince Williams Sound (PWS).  All our research kept pointing to resources that were no longer in print.  Bill on SV Denali Rose helps many folks on-line with a wide variety of boating topics and has extensive experience operating in PWS so I reached out to him while we were still in the Marshall Islands.  Bill had lots of good advice for us and even loaned us a bunch of "rare as rocking horse excrement" resource material.

We could of course mailed the loaned material back to him but it would be a lot more fun to return it in person.  As we were making our way through SE Alaska Bill and Donna suggested that they leave their Wrangall base in their lovely SV Denali Rose to intercept our southerly track.  They picked Red Bay as a place to meet and, conveniently, wait for some unpleasant weather to pass by.  To help us get there he also sent us a GPX track to help us get through the narrow (and aptly named) Rocky Pass.  The US Coastal Pilot describes it as "a narrow, intricate passage about 18 nm long ...  parts are very foul ..."  Other blogs describe it as "Rocky Pass is a narrow, shallow and rock infested passage way" but with Bill's guidance and a bit of planning it was fine.

We made it safety through Rocky Pass and spent an enjoyable two days with Bill and Donna and even remembered to return the books.  I also took the time to overhaul our uncooperative Espar diesel heater under Bill's tutelage in a hope it would work again (the heater not Bill).

Lots of kelp heading through Rocky Pass

Drinks on Denali Rose ...

Followed by the next night by drinks on Fluenta.  Note it is 6C outside.  Getting colder but not bad for mid October.

SV Denali Rose in the distance.  It was forecast to be a gale so we have 10:1 scope in mud with our big Rocna anchor.  Pretty confident we were not going to drag.

Trying to fix the heater.  No luck as I needed parts which I had shipped to Prince Rupert.

Overview chart from Warm Springs Bay to Red Bay.  Point 1 is Devil's Elbow and Point 2 is Red Bay

Larger scale view of Devil's Elbow in Rocky Pass.


  1. We are so grateful you had the time to rendezvous with us on your way by. What a lifetime of treasures your journey has fostered for Victoria, Johnathan, and Benjamin, and it shows...

    We had such a great time visiting with ALL of you, and can't wait for the next opportunity... [We'll be in touch...]

    It was [admittedly selfishly] a sad day for us when the weather abated last October, nudging you along on your journey home.

    1. Thanks Bill. Looking forward to crossing paths again.



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