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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Pacific Northwest & Alaska
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Old 02-07-2012
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anchoring at the head of knights inlet

I'm planning on spending July in the Broughton's and would like to anchor at explore the river at the head of Knights Inlet. Any advice?
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Old 02-07-2012
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No specific experience with Knight, (hopefully 'Seayalatermoonglow' will chime in here) but generally these coastal fiords are deep, deep, deep & steep-to and then shelve rapidly to the glacial deltas at the heads. Always a challenging situation depending on average depths in the deltas.. often not a lot with a goodly tidal range to boot.

Another issue (generically) with these types of inlets is that they are often subject to significant winds - daily inflows in good weather that can often build to 25-30 knots with assistance from thermal heating inland , and overnight outflow winds are typical in summer as well. This often means that a good looking nook in the afternoon can turn into an unsheltered trap sometime after midnight. Fortunately there's typically little fetch in that case, but you can get some decent breezes in the dark.

That, coupled with the bottom profile will make a secure-feeling overnight stop a bit of a challenge.. of course you might bet lucky and get a calm patch - it's sometimes difficult to predict exactly what will happen - but even so finding a decent spot can be a bit of fun.

The twists and turns will probably keep the wave sizes down and these areas can provide the most wonderful sailing if you're happy beating in 20 knots or more.. These same twists and turns can make for some interesting 'wind holes' and reversals near headlands.

And finally, I'm not sure how much logging/booming was done in that area but there's good odds of some logging debris here and there.. people can hook into some interesting things if that's the case. Very remote place if you get truly 'stuck'.

All that said, though, these places are spectacular on the scenery front and if you get good weather it will be a trip to remember.. and probably well worth the effort and challenge. There may even be a logging camp float or barge that could provide overnight dockage.. It's not my intent to be discouraging, but knowing what you may run into never hurts...
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Last edited by Faster; 02-07-2012 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Welcome to Sailnet

I've been up Knight Inlet a few times but have not explored the rivers. I have explored the rivers at the head of some of the other inlets up here over the years. By the way, exploring the Klinaklini River has been on my radar for quite some time and I may do it this summer as well. Knight Inlet is about a 50 nm trip so you need to leave early, it's better to have daylight to anchor back there.

Not sure how much you know about the inlets up here but here goes. Generally you can get some pretty nasty winds funnelling through the inlets but managable if you have lots of chain and don't mind heavy air sailing. They usually pick up in the afternoon. From my experience, sounders don't work very well way back in the inlets because of the runoff, so I usually use a lead line near the head. I try to arrive near low tide so I can spot most of the stumps/trees/old pilings etc. If I get there on a high tide I slow way down and usually shoot for a bit deeper water to set the hook. Looking at the chart it looks that you would be pretty exposed to the outflow winds pretty much anywhere but the holding should be pretty good.

Exploring the rivers... In July, the rivers are usually still running pretty strong. you won't be able to see the bottom even at 6 inches due to the milky colour of the water. Kayaking would be quite a workout and if your using a skiff/motor, generally swing wide at the turns but you can get a good indication of the depth by the look of the water surface. You could expect to hit bottom a few times, I've always drifted back down (that's the best part). I have been up rivers with no indication of any winds only to look up at the tree tops, to see them laid right out. This makes it difficult on your way back at the mouth of the river and it will generally be quite rough getting back to your sailboat and into your sailboat so be prepared for that. You will see grizzlies up there for sure. You won't see anyone back there so your basically on your own. As I say, I haven't been up that river but it should be spectacular and definately a must do. Kingcome Inlet would be another good one to try. Your up for a great adventure for sure and have fun.

Hope this helps,
Steve
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Last edited by Bilgewater; 02-07-2012 at 09:15 PM.
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Old 02-07-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
No specific experience with Knight, (hopefully 'Seayalatermoonglow' will chime in here) but generally these coastal fiords are deep, deep, deep & steep-to and then shelve rapidly to the glacial deltas at the heads. Always a challenging situation depending on average depths in the deltas.. often not a lot with a goodly tidal range to boot.

Another issue (generically) with these types of inlets is that they are often subject to significant winds - daily inflows in good weather that can often build to 25-30 knots with assistance from thermal heating inland , and overnight outflow winds are typical in summer as well. This often means that a good looking nook in the afternoon can turn into an unsheltered trap sometime after midnight. Fortunately there's typically little fetch in that case, but you can get some decent breezes in the dark.

That, coupled with the bottom profile will make a secure-feeling overnight stop a bit of a challenge.. of course you might bet lucky and get a calm patch - it's sometimes difficult to predict exactly what will happen - but even so finding a decent spot can be a bit of fun.

The twists and turns will probably keep the wave sizes down and these areas can provide the most wonderful sailing if you're happy beating in 20 knots or more.. These same twists and turns can make for some interesting 'wind holes' and reversals near headlands.

And finally, I'm not sure how much logging/booming was done in that area but there's good odds of some logging debris here and there.. people can hook into some interesting things if that's the case. Very remote place if you get truly 'stuck'.

All that said, though, these places are spectacular on the scenery front and if you get good weather it will be a trip to remember.. and probably well worth the effort and challenge. There may even be a logging camp float or barge that could provide overnight dockage.. It's not my intent to be discouraging, but knowing what you may run into never hurts...
Very well said Ron, and you brought up a good point about logging. Lately there has been a lot of logging going on in the inlets and you can sometimes run across a boom-stick float or something similar along the way. Check them out and mark them so you can always back track and use them if need be. I have my own special fenders I use when securing to logs.
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Thanks, Steve, and thanks for chiming in here..
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Old 02-07-2012
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Good information above. We went to the head of Toba with Steve in 2010 and had strong winds in the afternoons, but the scenery was definitely worth it. We went part way up Bute but ran out of time to go all the way. Knight looks pretty spectacular on the charts and Google E., have only seen it from Minstrel Is. area so can't offer any first hand info.
Toba In. Impulse III


Milky water of Toba In.


Looking up Bute In. (I think, might be Toba?)
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Here's a GE view of the area...

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1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)

Last edited by Faster; 02-07-2012 at 10:11 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrd22 View Post
Good information above. We went to the head of Toba with Steve in 2010 and had strong winds in the afternoons, but the scenery was definitely worth it. We went part way up Bute but ran out of time to go all the way. Knight looks pretty spectacular on the charts and Google E., have only seen it from Minstrel Is. area so can't offer any first hand info.
Ya and remember this day up in Bute Inlet John...this is you. I was so tired that day.

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Short night and a very early morning as I recall, and a long trip back home for you. Good memories Steve.
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I have been part way up the Inlet (July), the winds got really nasty.

Sailing Directions ( a must have) indicates at three anchorages

Wahshihlas Bay
The bay North of Ahnuhati Point
The head of Knight Inlet (at the mouth of the river)

but they all shoal rapidly and is unsafe in north winds (winter months).


Anchor watch anyone?
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