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Princess Louisa Inlet Cruise and Chatterbox Falls

          Our Princess Louisa Inlet Cruise was a great success.  Success to me means no breakdowns or major deviations from the plan.

          We cast off for this approximately 150 mile (one way) joy ride from our slip in La Conner at a little before noon on a sunny Saturday.  Our first stop was just a mile up Swinomish Channel where we visited the fuel dock to top off our 70 gallon diesel tank.  Heading off with the tanks full, the fridge and cabinets crammed with ten to twelve days of very good eating, we headed north towards ominous looking storm clouds and the forecast of gale force winds.  Yes, we are very apprehensive.  Many thoughts occupied our thinking, the first was, were we making a mistake heading into bad weather.  The second was, would we get stuck somewhere and not be able to get back in time for our breakfast date with Linda's mother a week from Tuesday.
Kraken at Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls
Chatterbox Falls from park float

           Our first overnight stop is Patos Island.  Patos is as far north, not counting Point Roberts as a boater can go before entering Canada.  We anchored with plenty of daylight left to walk out to the lighthouse and hike around.  The next morning we got going  early before 7 am. With 40 miles to cover at 5-8 mph, False Creek in Vancouver may be an 8 hour run.  With no good options to duck and cover along the way, I was a still a little apprehensive to say the least.  The wind never really was a factor that day but about halfway to Vancouver we were about 5 miles off shore from the  Tsawwassen ferry terminal when a following swell began to overtake us and toss Kraken around like the little 26 Nordic Tug she is. Steering the wallowing boat became full time work and I found myself driving a zigzag course. I was zigging to make our selves more comfy and then zagging back onto a course that would eventually get us to False Creek where we would check into Canada and spend the night.  Linda got out the Dramamine, and I took one also, something I almost never do. About every fourth zigzag an extra big quartering swell would turn us sideways causing severe rolling and much crashing sounds coming from all of Krakens many stores and equipment.  At this point we are seriously discussing changing course for Bedwell Harbor on South Pender Island. Bedwell was about the same distance, the waves would be more on our nose, and we could continue northward on the inside of the Gulf Islands affording ourselves much better protection, but then we would be on the wrong side of the Strait of Georgia, and north of Nanaimo was where the real gale winds were churning up the strait.  This is not how my Princess Louisa Trip was supposed to go.

Click below to read the rest of posting and see a few pictures along the way

Princess Louisa Inlet Cruise - Malibu Rapids - Skookumchuck Narrows - Nine Day Itinerary with layover at False Creek in Vancouver

        We just completed this trip, I mentioned in earlier posts it was in the works, and now it is history.
        We started as usual in La Conner and visited, Vancouver, Skookumchuck Narrows, Malibu Rapids, Princes Louisa Inlet, and Chatterbox Falls.

       This short accounting may help others plan out their trip.  The mileages are approximations.   We kept our speed in the 6 - 7 knt range, most of the time.

You may read a more detailed accounting over on the right side menu or just click here >>Princess Louisa Cruise - long story!
  • Day 1,  Left La Conner with full tanks, destination Patos Island. - 32 miles - Very easy day.
  • Day 2,  Patos to False creek in Vancouver - 40 miles - This was a rough water, rainy windy day that used buckets of fuel, dramamine and really made us think about changing destinations.
  • Day 3, Weather layover -  This was a great day, bicycling Stanley Park, False Creek, and exploring the shops at Granville Island. (this is a must do place to visit again)
  • Day 4,  Vancouver to Egmont  -  57 miles - On this leg I planned stays at Sechelt, Secret Cove or Pender Harbour if needed.  This day was a hard slog, but very doable.
  • Day 5   Egmont to Princess Louisa Inlet - 32 miles - A somewhat boring, very easy day. Plenty of time to check out Park.
  • Day 6   Princess Louisa to Pender Harbour - 38 miles Another bore, but we had planned Secret Cove, and rough water forced us into Pender
  • Day 7   Pender to Point Roberts, then onto Patos - 70 miles - With the currents help, this day was an easy  run.  This could have been a miserable day, I think we got lucky!
  • Day 8    Patos to Pelican Beach on Cypress with a stopover on Clark - 17 miles - We didn't leave Patos until well past 2 pm.
  • Day 9  Cypress to La Conner with a stopover at Cone Islands and a figure eight hike on Saddlebag Island. - 17 miles -   Filled all tanks in preparation for Roche Harbor and the 4th of July.

Kraken at Chatterbox Falls in Princess Louisa Inlet British Columbia
Chatterbox Falls at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet
      In retrospect, if I could do it over, I would have planned a few days at Vancouver.  We were forced by bad weather to hang out in False Creek after customs but it was the best part of the trip.  We are planning a return to Vancouver as our destination.

      Secondly, I would have planned our Skookumchuck Narrows visit (Egmont) for when  big water rapids were forecast.  It was kind of a waste to go to all the effort and not see anything but a little tide rip.

You may read a more detailed accounting over on the right side menu or just click here >>Princess Louisa Cruise - long story!