We’re excited to kick-off our first Skipper of the Month! This month, we’re featuring Rick Cree who’s celebrating his 14-year anniversary as a NW Explorations customer.

Rick and his wife, Annie, live in Dallas, TX and are avid charterers who’ve cruised all over Alaska, British Columbia, and the Virgin Islands. Fifteen years ago, they attended coastal cruising school at the Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, Florida. Since then, they’ve had many amazing charter experiences through NW Explorations!

Here are a few tips and stories from our friend, Rick.

1. What are your favorite boating spots?

The west coast of Chichagof Island.

For those of you who don’t know, Chichagof Island, also known as “Shee Kaax,” is part of the Alexander Archipelago of the Alaska Panhandle. The island is the fifth largest in the U.S. and has the highest population of bears per square mile of any place on earth! This rugged island represents true Alaska and is a great place for boaters to spot wildlife.

2. Where are the best places to spot wildlife?

Piehle Passage, which has an abundance of whales and sea otters.

Piehle Passage is located in southeast Alaska and takes you along the rocks and islets of Khaz Head to Slocom Arm. There’s very little information published about this passage, so if you make it there, you’ll most likely have the place to yourself!

3. Do you have any secret spots you like to visit?

They’re not a secret, but eating lunch while anchored at the Dog Islands in the British Virgin Islands and an overnight anchorage in Foggy Bay, south of Ketchikan, are special.

Here's a beautiful sunset shot Rick snapped while anchored at Foggy Bay, Alaska.
Here’s a beautiful sunset shot Rick snapped while anchored at Foggy Bay, Alaska.

4. If you could give one piece of advice to your fellow boaters, what would it be?

Always carry a crab or shrimp pot.

5. What was your favorite boating excursion?

Our first trip from Ketchikan through the Inside Passage with my son. The only boat available when we decided to join Mother Goose was a Grand Banks 36’. There were times when the water seemed quite large, but we had a great adventure in a little boat! It was a wonderful bonding experience for both of us.

6. Do you have a favorite Captain Brian story?

Brian still believes he can start a campfire with a flare gun.

Glacier Bay--Rick Cree
Here’s Rick and Annie at Glacier Bay, located in Alaska’s famous Inside Passage.

7. What’s your favorite boating story?

One night, our boat was blown off our anchor in Tracy Arm, east of Admiralty Island, with high straight-line winds and blinding rain. Earlier, another boat had anchored behind us and we dragged into it and tangled our anchor lines. There wasn’t anything we could do, but keep the boats separated and man fenders the remainder of the night.

Once the wind died down early in the morning, we went to work to separate our anchor lines. While doing so, we noticed a large burgee blowing into the entry of our anchorage and heading straight for us. It was about twice the size of our 52’ Grand Banks and looked to make an even greater mess of things! We were stuck. Luckily, several boaters arrived in their dinghies and pushed the burgee off its course enough to slip by us both.


Want to be our next Skipper of the Month? We’d love to feature you! Contact us if you’re interested.

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