Sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage

Heading north up Grenville Channel across Dixon Entrance into Southeast Alaska’s beautiful and welcoming sunset.


"I never could have expected to have seen and experienced what we did this week, even in my wildest imagination!”

“This has been not only a trip of a lifetime, but of more than one lifetime."

These were a few of the comments we all said to each other as we said our goodbyes in Juneau last week. We were all giddy with the memories we made and the things we had experienced. In fact, we are still riding high as we return to our homes and offices and take up the daily responsibilities of our lives. Longing to return to the wilds of Alaska, the mystery of the sea and the comforts and opulence of the S/Y Kaori.

First stop is Ketchikan to buy some bear spray at Tongass Trading Company before heading into the wilderness! We called a friend in Ketchikan and did a stop-and-go alongside another vessel by sending a heaving line over with some cash and it came back with the bear spray.

Anchored up in beautiful Red Bluff Bay. Brown bears just off the stern feeding. The next morning we edge the Kaori's bow into a 500’ tall waterfall to experience the power and wonder of that cool Alaskan mist washing over us.


30 miles past Ketchikan, the Kaori is tucked into Naha Bay, tied to the trees and along a 25’ forest service float. The crew put the Seadoo’s in the water and soon we were running up the rapids into the mirror flat lake above and up into bear country.

Hiking the next day on trails used by local fisherman and hiking enthusiasts. Back for cocktails and a gourmet meal that evening by chef Ben.

Baranof Warm Springs. A 100 degree natural hot spring where we toasted life with cold bubbly champagne beside a roaring waterfall. The Kaori nestled out in the bay. Humpback whales swam into the bay that evening not 50 feet along the starboard side of Kaori. A wonderful evening of music, fine food, and stories until our eyes, heavy from the warm spring water bade one another good evening.

Brothers Island with hundreds of sea lions, some weighing up to nearly 1500 pounds. The brave ones swimming out towards the yacht to see which was willing to come the closest.

A beautiful day in Fredrick Sound and as the wind increased we were soon under sail en-route to our next wonderful destination for that evening. Wind picked up to nearly 20 knots for a beautiful sail all the way into Gambier Bay.

Having the ability to power through the various fjords and narrows with the heavy currents and swirling waters makes power yachting a wonderful benefit. But when the wind is right, and we are given the freedom to choose our own course, being under sail on a sailing yacht such as Kaori is an experience of a lifetime. The propellers are feathered to zero drag, the diesel main engines are shut down, and this large yacht glides through the waters effortlessly, the power of the sails from the large genoa to the trialing edge of the main sail taking advantage of natures gift. It is a wonderful blend to enjoy such cruising while experiencing the wonders of Alaska’s natural beauty.

Under sail in Fredrick Sound outside of Petersburg.


Aft fantail seating where we generally share our meals. One of three dining areas aboard.


Under sail in Fredrick Sound out of Petersburg. One of the best places in the world to site humpback whales.

The fjord entrance to the Red Bluff Bay doesn't look big enough for a boat of our size but what beauty it hides inside is a nature lovers wonderland. As we make are way in it opens up to a protected bay with waterfalls cascading down from the rainforest at least 500 feet. Streams opening up to the bay attract both salmon and bear alike.

A beautiful double rainbow, one of the largest we have seen over Gambier Bay. The flybridge is so protected you barely know the wind is blowing yet you experience the full 360 degree views while being right in the midst of sailing or cruising. Quiet and peaceful under power or sail. A real delight when sailing with a light classical musical piece playing and just the sound of the water lapping at the hull. Quite an experience.

Cruising up Tracy Arm through iceberg studded waters. Hundreds of waterfalls, some falling up to two thousand feet. Mountains up to 7000 feet line the fjord, creating the cathedral in which we are being blessed with this day.


The Kaori with the backdrop of Sawyer Glacier. Carefully we play around icebergs and a quick hello as we glide by a lazing seal. A gentle breeze fills the fjord and we take advantage to sail briefly through the ice, against the backdrop of this pristine beauty.

As we catch the outgoing tide and current heading SW out of Tracy Arm into Stephens Passage, we are seated around the fantail table, looking out over the ice strewn passage, waterfalls, and wildlife that gently flows past our stern.

Chief Stewardess Sarah serves us our favorite drink and we toast our time together, and our thankfulness for the immeasurable beauty we have just partaken of. We know we will be cruising into Juneau tomorrow where we will take our leave and head back to another reality. We will return home more balanced and appreciative of this natural world around us and the role we play in caring for the environment and wonder that resides not only here in Alaska but throughout the oceans of the world. And we hope that SV Kaori will be there waiting, to carry us on to another great adventure.

Smooth Sailing.