Salish Sea (Vancouver) to Harrison Lake in an A25?????

Albin's "power cruisers"

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SalishAire
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I know it is reported that via the Frazer River then the Harrison River that Harrison Lake in BC is supposed to be accessible by boat from Vancouver. Question: has anyone done this trip and is it practical in a 6 kn boat?? I didn't find any quick information on the Albineers of BC site but it may be there. I just remember driving to the lake one time and thinking it would be a fascinating trip.
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
dkirsop
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It is doable but timing is everything. Right now you could float your boat to the Sumas Border Crossing! But in a "normal time" you do have to avoid the peak flow season as the current, water levels, floating debris and changing river bed present very real hazards. There is a tremendous amount of debris that floats down the river that can easily damage a boat like the Albin.

That being said, there are people who take their boat upriver. From my own perspective, I have avoided it due to the numerous logs that float down the river each year. The Province used to run a debris trap near Harrison but abandoned it as a cost cutting measure a couple of decades ago. Speed is not a problem as most tugs on the river operate at Albin speed.

Definitely plan for late summer after the high water subsides.
Hull No. 1013, 1971
DesertAlbin736
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I read your blog, very nice. Interesting idea about Harrison Lake via Fraser River. In all our Salish Sea adventures we have avoided that stretch of the Sunshine Coast between Blaine and Secret Cove with the exception of stopping at Point Roberts to clear back in to US Customs. Mostly for reasons that dkirsop talked about. If you haven't been up that way yet a better trip would be up Jervis Inlet via Agamemnon Channel to Princess Louisa Inlet & Chatterbox Falls via Malibu Rapids. Just make sure to run Malibu Rapids at slack tide.

Hope to see you come down here to Lake Pleasant during your winter RV travels.
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
SalishAire
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We have a tradition of taking every boat we have ever owned to Princess Louisa so Hyacinth should get her chance. The last trip was in our Nordhavn 46 in September a few years back. It was different and wonderful despite the pouring rain as we went to bed with about 12 waterfalls around us and woke up to over 20 falling from the cliffs and Chatterbox Falls absolutely roaring. We even had one 8 hour period where we were the only people in the park which was pretty special. Another Vancouver Island trip that is pretty special in a trailerable boat is tow across the island (make sure you have good trailer brakes and use your gearing to slow the tow vehicle all of the way down the final hill!) to Port Alberni where you can launch in the river and then go to the west side of the island via a well protected fiord. Once there with care you can go north as far as Hot Springs Cove which is well worth the trip. If you are a cold water diver the water is as clear and full of creatures to see as anywhere in the world!
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
dkirsop
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Have you considered trailering your boat to Gold River and venturing up Muchalat Inlet, Tahsis Inlet and Esperanza Inlet? This is a great place to cruise around and one of the few places where large rafts of Sea Otters can be seen. Check out my earlier post for a description of what you can expect. The inlets are well sheltered. If the weather gods cooperate you could return along the outside coast of Nootka Island.

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Hull No. 1013, 1971
DesertAlbin736
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Another Vancouver Island trip that is pretty special in a trailerable boat is tow across the island (make sure you have good trailer brakes and use your gearing to slow the tow vehicle all of the way down the final hill!) to Port Alberni where you can launch in the river and then go to the west side of the island via a well protected fiord
I was told by the most recent previous owner when we purchased La Dolce Vita from them in 2014 that they had trailered our boat to Port Alberni from their home in American Falls, ID & done just as you said, exploring the Broken Group at some point during the time they owned it from 2001 until 2014. Back then the boat was named "Nowell's Ark", a word play on the owner's last name. So obviously that name had to go & be re-christened to the current name. Port Alberni could be an option for us next summer, in which case after we did the Broken Group we could haul out & run up island to Comox & launch for a Desolation Sound cruise.

We're used to dealing with long 5% & 6% mountain grades. Anywhere we go in the west we run into steep grades somewhere. Our trailer has Kodiak disc surge brakes on both axles & my Dodge Ram 2500 Diesel 4X4 with disc brakes all around weighs 7,000 lbs empty (I know because when I haul tree trimmings to the landfill they weigh coming in & going out), almost 1,000 lbs heavier than the boat + trailer, so there's no 'tail wagging the dog' with this rig.
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Preferably launching at high tide. Quite the tide range up there.
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Dave, we'll have to see what the Albineers of BC rendezvous schedule will be for 2022 & see if we can make it to one of those. We had such a good time with the gang at Ladysmith in 2018 & '19.

Speaking of full keel sailboats, our friends that sailed across the Great Lakes in July got their Southern Cross 31 cutter transported 2,000 miles back from Bay City, Michigan on Lake Huron to Lake Pleasant here in Peoria, AZ near Phoenix, arriving at the sailboat shop yard last Tuesday. They're hoping to complete a number of repairs over the winter & transport the boat out to Washington State to home port in Anacortes or somewhere nearby depending on slip availability & proximity to a boat yard with Travelift capability for haulout & winter storage. We're keeping fingers crossed that they can cruise Desolation Sound with us next year. The crane used to off load it from the trailer had a built in scale & measured the boat's actual weight at 17,000 lbs without the mast which weighs another 200 to 300 lbs..


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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
WillieC
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Our BC friends are in a world of hurt right now.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L9zKELpBA2w
dkirsop
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It is challenging but we will get over it.
Hull No. 1013, 1971
SalishAire
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DesertAlbin:
Finding a place to winter in Puget Sound "on the hard" is not difficult BUT finding an in-water slip is a huge challenge. We needed a 50 ft slip for the Nordhavn and called every marina we could think of finally ending up in a marina with some "challenges" while we were on a waiting list (a slip opened 3 months after we sold the boat). Finding a travel lift big enough will not be an issue - a friend recently had his boat trailered from Mexico and had it launched here in Olympia as we are the southernmost port on Puget Sound.
It used to be that during the summers the BC ferries would offer a BIG discount for recreational vehicle traffic that reserved ahead. We never were questioned that our RV happened to look like a boat. Perhaps dkirsop will hear before any of us Staters if they are going to have a similar program this summer.
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
DesertAlbin736
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Norman,

Thanks for the advice, will pass along. I think they'd like to locate further north, like Anacortes, Fairhaven, Bellingham, Semiahmoo, Blaine, or even Islands Marine Center in Fishermans Bay on Lopez or elsewhere in the San Juans if it came to that.


RE Sumas Prairie, that really sucks! Climate change is here! We saw a lot of rain on the Erie Canal which messed with our plans. NYC got hammered with Hurricane Ida. The Ottowa area in Ontario regularly gets pounded with spring rains & flooding. California & the Desert Southwest is enduring long term droughts & heat waves, and in California's case devastating wildfires. While our aforementioned friends were sailing (and often motoring upwind) across Lake Superior they were seeing a lot of smoke from wildfires in Ontario to the north.
La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
DesertAlbin736
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RE: Puget Sound/PNW marina slips: Our friends are only interested in dry storage & Travelift availability. When they're up there in the summer they plan to be out cruising & mostly anchoring out in the San Juans & Gulf Islands & points north. Two things they don't like, a) being forced to run the motor when there's not enough wind or "on the the nose" to sail, and b) staying in marinas.

Look for PM about winter RV'ing.
La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
SalishAire
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Home Port: Olympia WA

Sorry to let you in on a dirty secret - sailing in the San Juans pretty much doesn't work well. Having tried it for years we came to respect that an island archipelago has windy spots for a mile or so followed by calm spots when the wind is shadowed. Tell your friends it is still very much worth the trip and to bring their passports and vaccination records as the American San Juan and Canadian Gulf Islands pretty much all run together. Some other hints: old charts are fine here as solid rock doesn't tend to move much (unlike sandbars) (but they do make a nasty dent if you ignore them), Washington's expensive boat registration system helps pay for the best pump-out network we have found during our extensive travels (and all are free), if they decide to put the boat in in South Sound they will just have that much more area to explore (South Sound tends to be overlooked but is an interesting area on its own - perhaps WillieC will jump in with some comments from Hood Canal (really a natural fiord)) and getting from Olympia to Seattle in a day with a slow boat is easy if you time the currents correctly through the Tacoma Narrows and know that the current only goes north along the west side of Vashon Island. The only place they would have trouble finding a good sized Travel Lift is Seattle (I learned this when I watched new Nordhavns being launched in Everett because they didn't have the capacity in Seattle). Sorry to wander so far off topic and I know that La Dolce Vita has explored our waters herself but its a rainy November day (Happy Thanksgiving by the way!!) and after our successful sea outing last week we are very eager to get Hyacinth back in the water so my mind wanders to places we've been and are eager to return to.
Norman and Clarice Gregory
A 25 Hyacinth
Lacey WA
https://claricenorman.blogspot.com/
DesertAlbin736
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Norman,

We're all aware of summer sailing conditions in San Juans & Gulf Islands. We got our first intro to the area in 2011 when we shared a 7 day bareboat charter with these same friends on a Jeanneau 40 out of San Juan Sailing in Bellingham. Rule of thumb is you motor or motor sail 80% of the time. They don't like to motor any more than necessary, but the islands themselves make it worthwhile, since the Salish Sea is THE MOST awesome summer cruising ground, especially when it's 115 degrees in the shade & blazing sun down here. After 2011 (in 2012 we sailed our Catalina 25 sailboat from San Diego to San Pedro & out to Catalina Island, our last trip with that boat before selling it in 2013 & buying La Dolce VIta in '14) we went back with our Albin in 2014 by ourselves, meeting up with wife's sister & brother in law in their Bayliner sedan cruiser & met other Albin owners at the AOG PNW Rendezvous in Roche Harbor. Only one other A25 showed up that time, "Transition" from BC. The rest were TE's and a 43 trawler. The next time in 2016 our Flagstaff friends hauled their O'Day 25 up & we cruised together, spending July 1st Canada Day in Sidney, then going up through the Gulf Islands to Nanaimo & across the Strait to Secret Cove & Pender Harbour intending to continue on to Desolation Sound. A number of minor disasters with both our boats forced us to scrap that plan & do Princess Louisa Inlet, Malibu Rapids, & Chattebox Falls instead. 2018 we finally made it to Desolation Sound, buddy boat cruising with WillieC. Our Flagstaff friends didn't come up that time. Later in 2017 our friends cruised Puget Sound without us while we did our 55 day, 9,600 mile cross country RV trip. Then in 2019 we went back to PNW, cruising with our Flagstaff friends for part of the trip. We spent that July 4th rafted up in Fishermans Bay on Lopez & then on up through the Gulf Islands. Our other sailing friend, the one who crewed on Sea Dragon across the Great Lakes, the tall guy seen in the photo standing next to Sea Dragon, hauled his O'Day 272 LE up to Blaine later (his burgundy colored RAM pickup & trailer is seen on the Google Maps street view of Blaine Harbor parked in the launch ramp parking lot next to my truck) & we all met at Montague Harbour on Galiano & took the bus ride to Hummingbird Inn Pub for dinner. My Admiral didn't want to do long runs on that trip, so we split up & we stayed in the Gulf Islands & went to the BC Albineer rendezvous in Ladysmith while our friends went on up to Chatterbox Falls. And of course COVID hit in 2020, so that put the kay-bosh on all travels. Then this year we did the Erie Canal and meetup with tribologist & Driftless.
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
WillieC
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Shhh! Not a word about Hood Fjord!

Last week we saw a big gray boat cruising towards the end end of the Canal a stone’s throw off our bulkhead. The only boat out that day was some kind of training mission for the USCG.

It takes us the better part of two days to get out of the Canal but I suspect they had steak and fries in Pt. Townsend for dinner. After witnessing the majestic Olympics rising above the mists in the fir trees across from the sub base.

It’s only a canal, small c. A mere ditch. With few amenities. Keep out!
DesertAlbin736
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Our sailing friend is making amazing progress on his Sea Dragon project. In the 12 days since the boat arrived from Michigan he's managed to pull the Yanmar 2QM20 engine out of the boat, load it on the back of his pickup truck, and take it back up to his home in Flagstaff to work on finding & fixing the oil leak and other PM's over the winter. He also found a crack in the exhaust manifold. May be good excuse to convert it from direct raw water cooling to fresh water cooled if he can find the part. Looking at my 3GM30F the heat exchanger & exhaust manifold are one single cast iron unit. Hopefully the same with the older QM series. If he can get that and other punch list items done by next spring & can find a yard to store & launch in up in Puget Sound/Salish Sea area we'll be in good shape for a PNW cruise in 2022. To do any work on site where the boat is now he has to drive 2 & 1/2 hours down from Flagstaff & stay in their travel trailer which is parked in the boatyard. It may be summer-like 80 degree weather down here, but up in Flagstaff the lows are dropping into the mid-20s. By Christmas the lows up there may be in the teens to near zero.
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The 2QM20 looks like this (photo of similar engine off the 'net). 17 HP engine pushing a 31 foot, 17,000 lb boat.
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He's made a deal with another friend who's good at brightwork finishing to redo all the teak trim, including bulwark cap rail all around, rudder side cheeks, hatch rails, etc, etc in exchange for taking him a along as crew up in the PNW for a couple weeks next year.

This is Ed at right, enjoying Dungeness crab dinner with us aboard La Dolce Vita while docked at Roche Harbor in 2016, the same guy who went along with our friends for a week as far as Sidney where he had to jump ship and fly back home to & go back work & was also best man at mine and wife Helen's wedding in 2007. Ed is also a master aerospace machinist. Another issue with Sea Dragon is the lower bronze rudder gudgeon attachment strap on it' big keel hung rudder is cracked through on one side & hanging by a thread. Ed has the skill & capability to fabricate a replacement.

All one big happy family.
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But now we've got this new South African Omicron COVID variant on the horizon to worry about! (I call it the OMG variant). Will Canada still allow us to cross over into BC next summer? Fingers crossed!
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La Dolce Vita
1971 Albin 25 #736
Yanmar 3GM30F
Gig Harbor Boatworks Nisqually 8 dinghy
Residence: Peoria, AZ
Homeport: Lake Pleasant, AZ & beyond
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