Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 1 – Bellingham to Ganges | NW Explorations


Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 1 – Bellingham to Ganges

Walking NW Explorations’ docks in Bellingham, WA this morning, there is a sense of business and excitement that can be felt among the lucky few who will be leaving for Alaska today. Sometimes there is only one way to signal the start of an adventure and Captain Brian Pemberton certainly knows how to leave with a bang. Aboard Deception, Captain Brian ignited a canon to initiate the beginning of 2017’s Mother Goose Alaska Flotilla; and just like that, we were all off!

Our charter guests come from both near and far to wander the scenic fjords and beautiful, quiet anchorages only the Inner Passage can offer. On Change of Latitude, Mike Eidam and Ulla Swanljung- Eidam have traveled all the way from Finland. Jim Joy and Jane Bataille have also come a long way, traveling from Australia with their old friend Doug Matthewman from Nanaimo, BC accompanying them aboard Victoria. Jack Alquist and Jan Morseman-Smith from California will be at the helm of Patos. And finally, on Alaskan Dream, Roy & Donna Wilson, along with Christ & Pam Sellars join us for their third time up the Inner Passage. Leading the gaggle is Brian Pemberton, Owner of NW Explorations and Captain of Deception, Rich Fitzpatrick as lead mechanic and relief skipper, and Sean Kelly as the flotilla’s naturalist.

The timing could not have been more perfect. After a week of rain preparing the boats to go north, the skies have opened up and the sun can be seen casting long rays of sunshine upon the richly forested islands of the San Juan Islands. Not more than an hour into the journey, we had a surprise visit from a small pod of humpback whales between Eliza Island and Lummi island. Never have I seen the whales comes so close to Bellingham Bay, what a treat! The bar has been set very high straight from the beginning and we take this as an omen of good things to come.

We travel now to our first destination of Ganges Harbor on Salt Spring Island where we will gather the last of our provisions, such as fresh fruits and veggies. The next two weeks will be rather remote as the flotilla meanders through the famous cruising grounds of Desolation Sound where paradise awaits in the amazing anchorages provided by these protected waters.

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