Join Date: Sep 2004
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1. The books are right when they say to pay attention to the currents. The places with rapids are no joke -- pass only at or near slack water. You'll also find that it helps a lot to plan your daily runs so the currents working for you.
2. There's more to see than you'll ever have time for, so read up and decide what you want to see in the time you have available. You won't be disappointed where ever you go.
3. Fishing licenses are expensive and unless you have local knowledge they are probably a waste of money -- you can buy fresh fish cheaper than you can catch it (Now, if you know what your doing, it's a different story. I bought licenses in both BC and AK and caught one fish). Exception is crabbing -- we had really good luck with the "double hoop" type of trap and salmon heads, halibut body parts, or chicken bones as bait. Caught lots of dungies everywhere.
4. Be careful about how much booze you take into Canada -- they seem to be grumpy with people who have too much. Signing the customs document with only "Normal ships stores for 90 days" didn't cut it -- and when I told them I still had 8 or 10 bottles of rum left over from the Caribbean, a couple of cases of wine in the bilge and two cases of beer, they didn't think it was funny, or normal.
5. Be careful of the bears. I tend to take my cues from the locals and I saw more than one family out walking with a gun. I also saw lots of people who only carried bells. (Do you know how you can tell brown bear poo from black bear poo? Grizzley poo has little bells in it.) Where the salmon are running you'll probably find bears -- and most will run away, but.....well, do read up on bear behavior and take appropriate precautions. We heard of a woman killed near one of the bear observatories in '06 -- she was walking back to the boat by herself.
6. My vote for the one place not to miss -- the Punchbowl on the south side of the Behm Canal near Ketchikan.
Have fun. It's a great trip, one you'll remember for a lifetime.