Skip to content

Airship to Alaska | Day 5 | Squirrel Cove to Shoal Bay BC

Airship Goes to Alaska 2016

We got up early (5:30am!) to make the 3 hour cruise up to Dent Rapids. Looks like it’s going to be another gorgeous day.


After we’d woken up a bit, I cooked some breakfast for us (bacon and eggs underway, woohoo!) and we made it to Yuculta Rapids about an hour and 15 minutes before slack. Transiting this direction, the three rapids in order are Yuculta, Gillard, and then Dent. Dent is the one that matters most, so you want to get to Dent at slack. We were aiming for about 45 minutes before slack at Yuculta, but it looked (and was) just fine when we got there. Approaching Gillard we binoc’d the shores and it all seemed fine as well. By the time we got to Dent it was…well, kind of calm! Anyway, no big deal.


A tiny bit of churn here at Gillard:


We decided to stay at Shoal Bay for the night. We arrived just after 10am due to our early start, so we get a whole day to work and hang out here. Except the Wi-Fi doesn’t seem to be on or working, so we’re pretty much just hanging out. Kevin’s doing some work (texting back and forth with our employees using the InReach app on the DeLorme, 160 characters at time…hey, whatever works!). I’m writing this blog post in TextEdit on my Mac and I’ll post it when we next get connected. This place is one of our favorites. It’s super chill, and extremely beautiful with the view up Phillips Arm. We stopped here last year on our way south and we’re pretty happy to be back.


We put out a couple of crab traps and then went up and walked around the grounds.




It’s SO picturesque that it’s hard to believe the landscape just looks like this, colors and all. At the hummingbird water cooler/crack delivery system up at the pub things were SUPER peppy!




You can't believe how MANY hummingbirds are flocking to this feeder. I think the owners filled the feeder three times today…and it's empty. Again. The hummingbirds are total bitches to each other too. They slam the others away…you can HEAR it. Blam! And they're constantly chirping. I wish you could hear the fluttering/buzzing sound that their wings make. All together it's like a swarm of wasps, Hitchcockian-style. Kevin took some video (that includes a hummingbird body slam and then the two lock (one hummingbird's feet around the other's head as they plummeted to the ground). NOT what you think of when you think of these cute little buggers, is it?

Here's a video. Not for the faint of heart:

Back at Airship, Kevin took the drone up and I used the other controller and my iPhone to manage the drone’s camera. I’ve got left, right, up, down, and shutter…so I took the photos while Kevin flew. (He refers to himself here as the aerial tripod, but it’s much more than that!) Here are some of the shots we got today:




Back on Airship, the hummingbirds were trying VERY hard to get some nectar out of the Canadian flag, poor things.




In the morning we’ll leave here around 8am to get through Greene Point Rapids and Whirlpool Rapids at agreeable times, and then head to Port Harvey by way of Johnstone Strait and Havana Channel. 

Oh yeah!! First whale sighting of the trip! In Calm Channel today, we saw a few spouts and then the tail of a humpback as it dove…but we never did see it surface again.

We checked crab traps a bit ago and had two keeper male Dungeness and one LARGE red rock. So…guess what's for dinner?


Today's route (30.7 nautical miles, 4 hours 28 minutes):