OK, you can stop asking for the new Inside Passage video… It is done!
It has bears! Whales! Sea lions! Grizzly bears! Aurora! Lots of drone footage! More bears!
Actually the video came together pretty well. I already had a piece of music picked out, that saved a great deal of trouble. Nearly four weeks on the water meant a great deal of photographic material to work with. As usual the Inside Passage provided plenty of photographic opportunity, particularly the first week when is seemed like even the wildlife was performing on cue.
And there were lots of bears…
There are fewer and fewer good ruins to explore along the Inside Passage. This last year saw one of the best set of ruins bulldozed and burned.
The region is littered with abandoned canneries, mines, and shipwrecks, ample material for those who wish to explore and photograph. I must count myself among those who seek out such places.
The steamship stop and cannery at Buttedale is no longer the picturesque set of collapsing buildings it was when I last visited two years ago. We made a swing through the cove this year to note that most of the structures were gone, replaced with blackened ground and foundations. Just a few buildings and the large steam engine remain.
We did not go to Ocean Falls this year, it is a fair ways off the primary cruising route and we had a great visit a couple years ago. Instead I planned for Namu, a large abandoned cannery on Fitz Hugh Sound I had not had a chance to explore before.
A visit to Namu was not assured on this passage. With our alternator repairs and planning for a crossing of Queen Charlotte Sound before bad weather set in, time to explore the cannery might easily get crossed off the schedule.
We are done voyaging for the day. The anchor lies deep below the boat, a heavy chain descends from the bow into the dark depths. Switched off, the steady thrumming of the engine is silenced after a long day.
The boat floats upon dark still water, the deep green of the spruce forest surrounds the little cove we selected for this night’s anchorage. Otters play in the bight across the cove, the call of a loon echoes over the water.
Cheery lights spill from the salon, inside dinner is eaten, the dishes are done. It is just a bit to early to retire to the bunks below. Instead cards are scattered about a cribbage board, the game too close to call.
A radio recites a weather forecast, charts are consulted, a plan a sketched out for the next day. Down this channel, across that passage, a stop the hot springs, and a couple possibilities for the next anchorage are plotted.
Tomorrow will bring another day of voyaging, there are hundreds of miles to go before Bellingham, a journey along the Inside Passage is not yet done. We have plotted the next day’s course. After we pull the crab pots we again turn south, tomorrow…
SE Alaska and the coast of British Columbia are a place where the past does not get wiped away. Ruins, wrecks, and abandoned places are often left for nature to reclaim rather than scrapped or redeveloped. When traveling the waterways of the Inside Passage you are often wandering through echoes of the past.