the North Coast of British Columbia
Channel to Douglas Channel:
The Inside Passage continues across Mathieson
Channel, through Perceval Narrows and into Finlayson
Channel. The next supply centre is Klemtu where
you can stock up on gasoline, diesel fuel, lubricants,
and water. Klemtu has a store, cafe and post office.
Mary Cove across the channel from Klemtu offers
some protection and anchorage for small crafts.
Make your way up Tolmie Channel, Graham Reach
and Fraser Reach, where the north coast main land
is on one side and Prince Royal Island on the
other. This is a pleasant area with many waterfalls
cascading into the deep waters. Both reaches are
straight and wide, meeting cruise ships and other
large vessels is an everyday occurrence in this
region. Butedale in Fraser Reach offers protection
and anchorage. This once thriving cannery has
fuel and primitive dorm camping. When you reach
Angler Cove, you can take Ursula Channel, Devastation
Channel or Sue Channel into Douglas Channel. Continue
going north and by-pass Douglas Channel, by way
of McKay Reach, Wright Sound and into Grenville
The side trip into Douglas
Channel is well worth your time. Soak in the
hot springs and visit the city of Kitimat
at the head of the channel. The Gardner Canal
that branches from the Douglas Channel leads to
Kitlope and the Kitlope Valley. Enjoy the tranquility
of the Kitlope Valley and the Haisla People. This
protected valley is known as the world's largest
undeveloped coastal temperate rain forest.
In Ursula Channel, are Bishop Bay and the Hot
Springs. This is a very popular stopping spot
and the wear and tear on the environment is showing.
Weewanie Hot Springs, in Devastation Channel are
not as developed as Bishop Hot Springs, but a
great place with moorage at the two buoys in the
cove. Coghlan Anchorage, between Douglas Channel
and Wright Channel is well used by pleasure crafts
and fishing boats.
This 72 km (45 mi.) channel looks like the classic
fjord It is narrow and the snow-covered mountains
seem to start in the water and reach for the sky.
To see waterfalls cascading for hundreds of feet
down the mountains is a sight you will never forget.
Grenville Channel can become crowded with ferry
boats, cruise ships, fishing boats and pleasure
crafts, always be alert and careful. Many places
in Grenville Sound have sheltered anchorage. Popular
with most pleasure boaters is Lowe Inlet and Nettle
Basin. This is a pleasant place to spend time
and stretch your sea legs. Hike to Lowe Lake and
photo opportunities of Verney Falls at low tide.
Next is East Inlet, with plenty of room and protection
for small pleasure crafts. Kumealon Island and
Kumealon Inlet offer good anchorage with shelter
from the chop and winds. To avoid the waters flowing
in from the Skeena
River, take Arthur Passage where Lawson Harbour
and Kelp Passage provide anchorage. Approaching
Chatham Sound, waters can become choppy, due to
the Skeena River, preplan your trip before crossing
this stretch of open water.
Chatham Sound and Prince Rupert:
The currents can be strong and waters choppy in
Sound. If uncertain about crossing the sound,
call the Prince Rupert Coast Guard for weather
conditions. Should there be any reservations about
nasty conditions turn back and find temporary
The city of Prince
Rupert, on Kaien Island, has the third deepest
natural harbour in the world and is BC's northern
port for the exporting of grain, coal, lumber,
pulp, minerals and fish. Prince Rupert is served
by air, road and rail and has facilities for all
types of pleasure and commercial crafts. This
is your first port of entry heading south from
Alaska and Canadian Customs is open twenty-four
hours a day for clearance. There are two moorage
facilities, one is the Prince Rupert Rowing and
Yacht Club in Cow Bay, the other is the public
floats at Rushbrooke. Spend a few days here by
taking in the sights and learning about the history
and culture of the area. Visit the Museum of Northern
British Columbia and the Mariners Memorial Park
both are very interesting and entertaining. Stock
up on necessary groceries, fuel, water and boat
parts. Enjoy eating out and take in the night
life that makes Prince Rupert a special place
North to Alaska:
Portland Canal, north of Prince Rupert, serves
as the border between Canada and the United States.
If heading north beyond this point, non US residents
must have permission to stop or anchor in US waters.
The distance between Prince Rupert and Ketchikan
is 137 km (85 mi.) and can be a hard trip to make
in one day, telephone Ketchikan Customers for
permission to make anchorage along the way.
Pleasure crafts reentering Chatham Sound often
do so by way of Metlakatla Passage (Venn Passage).
Near or ahead of high water out of Prince Rupert
means favourable current to Green Island. On the
island is an important weather station you should
monitor when crossing Dixon Entrance. Whether
heading north or south Brundige Inlet on Dundas
Island offers needed protection and good anchorage.
Take care when crossing Dixon Entrance, it is
open water that can be nasty and demanding. Monitor
both US and Canadian weather forecasts and depart
early in the morning. This is American water.
Portland Inlet and Portland Canal
(Stewart and Hyder):
A longer but more scenic and a smoother route
is to stay close to the mainland coast where the
coves, bays and inlet offer shelter and anchorage.
You might want to put in at Pearl Harbour or Port
Simpson before crossing Portland Inlet and into
Tongass Passage. Cruising up the Portland Inlet
takes you by the Nass River entrance, into Observatory
Inlet, up Alice Arms and into Hastings Arm. Along
the way there are spots that offer shelter and
good anchorage such as Kumeon Bay and Somerville
Inlet is very scenic and deep. This area is home
to the largest concentration of grizzly bears
along the BC coast and is a designated sanctuary.
To view the bears, you must take an authorized
guide service. At the mouth of the Nass River
is Kincolith, Mill Bay, Iceberg Bay, Nass Harbour
and Echo Cove, where there is limited anchorage
and protection from Portland Inlet. Observatory
Inlet takes you to Eagle Cove, Perry Cove, Alice
Arm Settlement, Hastings Arm and the abandoned
mining community of Anyox.
This is a long and narrow canal that goes to Stewart
and Hyder Alaska. The sides are steep and rugged.
Places to stop and enjoy as you head into Portland
Canal are Whiskey Bay, Reef Island, Halibut Bay,
Maple Bay, Hideaway Lodge, Fords Cove, and Glacier
Bay. Stewart is a small settlement that has a
hospital, doctor, RCMP, a pharmacy, liquor store,
post office, several stores and hotels, craft
shops and airfield. Anchorage and mooring are
available at the public wharf or at the Stewart
Hyder in Alaska has two floats. The settlement
advertises itself as the friendliest ghost town
in Alaska. Hyder connects to Stewart by road and
a paved highway
to Prince Rupert and Prince
Portland Inlet and Portland Canal both have excellent
fishing and crabbing.
You are now in American waters and on your way
to Ketchikan. Rest spots and sheltered anchorages
along this route include Gilanta Rocks, Foggy
Bay, Kah Shakes Cove, Bullhead Cove, Mary Island
Anchorage, Ham Island Bight, Hassler Harbour and
The Inside Passage continues north from Ketchiakn
to Wrangell, St. Petersburg, Juneau and onto Haines
and Skagway. Exploring and cruising the Inside
Passage takes time. It can be grueling and challenging,
but an unforgettable experience. Be prepared for
all types of weather and ocean conditions. The
warm and sunny days offer scenery that is breath
taking and unbelievable. When rain and fog set
in, find a well-protected anchor spot and wait
it out, not even bad weather lasts forever in
this remote part of the world. Along the way,
take time out to meet the locals and learn about
their history and culture. Whether you make it
all the way or only part of the way, always remember
that safety comes first. Enjoy your Inside Passage
cruise. Be safe, have fun!
is a boating experience that can be challenging
and rewarding. The I50 islands are an archipelago
across Hecate Strait from the mainland of British
have a very diverse ecosystem. One of the best
remaining old-growth rain forests is here, and
the islands have an extreme amount of sea birds,
eagles and falcons. A cruise to Gwaii Haanas/South
Moresby National Park Reserve offers exceptional
scenery and quiet beauty that is mystical. Enjoy
misty inlets, mountains with snow-covered peaks
that reach for the sky, abandoned Haida village
sites, and rugged wilderness.
This strait separates Queen Charlotte Islands
from the mainland. Never take the crossing lightly.
The most direct route is from Browning Entrance.
Monitor the weather forecasts and when seas are
calm be prepared to leave early in the morning.
Wait for favourable weather at Larsen Harbour
or at Beaver Passage. Make sure your boat is sea
worthy and you can be self sufficient when cruising
the Queen Charlotte Islands.
Skidegate is where BC
dock and where there is a small public float and
moorage facilities for pleasure crafts. Farther
into Skidegate Inlet is Queen Charlotte City,
the administrative hub for the Queen Charlottes.
The town has needed facilities such as fuel, grocery
supplies, post office, car rentals, RCMP Office,
and guided tour services. Lina Island and Kanga
Bay both offer sheltered anchorage.
Haanas/ South Moresby National Park:
You must have permission to visit Gwaii Haanas.
Boats and their crews must make reservations and
complete an orientation course in Queen Charlotte
City before cruising this section. After leaving
Skidegate Inlet, Beattie Anchorage on Louise Island
in Cumshewa Inlet offers safe anchorage. Gordon
Cove has a public mooring buoy and float. Trotter
Bay and Cecil Cove have some protected anchoring.
Your last spot for emergency communications and
transportation connection is Pacofi Bay, and Thurston
Harbour has excellent public buoys that offer
good safe anchorage.
You are now cruising in Gwaii Haanas/ South Moresby
National Park. Find protection and good anchorage
on Moresby Island at places such as Crescent Inlet,
Anna Inlet and Echo Harbour. Stock up on fresh
water at Hoya Passage Cove. Tie to a float and
stay overnight or for a couple of days. A very
interesting and enjoyable place to visit is Hotspring
Island. Anchor your craft between Hotspring and
House Islands or at Ramsay Passage Cove. Haswell
Bay is sheltered from all weather and by cruising
deep into the bay, anchorage is excellent. Heading
south along South Moresby there is anchorage and
protection at Hutton Island Cove, Matheson Inlet,
Section Cove, Skaat Harbour, Bag Harbour, Slim
Inlet, and Jedway Bay. Continue your boating trip
by way of Houston Stewart Channel, which is the
protected route between Moresby and Kunghit Islands.
Protected Rose Harbour is a good place to stay
when visiting Anthony Island.
Island and Ninstints (Sgan Gwaii):
The creme de la creme for boating this part of
British Columbia is Anthony Island (Sgan Gwaii)
and the abandoned Ninstints village. UNESCO has
designated this a World Heritage Site. When visiting
here, walk carefully, stay on the paths, do not
touch or remove any items from this site. Anthony
Island Cove has room for a few small crafts on
the east shoreline and more anchorage room is
available in the northeast corner of the bight.
Enjoy boating in British Columbia. Be safe, have