Trawlerfest: Seattle offers several opportunities to get yourself ready for exploring the world class cruising grounds of the Pacific Northwest.

Several years ago I was interviewing Dr. James Ellingford, a world cruiser and author of Cruising Conversations: A Million Nautical Miles and Counting. When I asked Ellingford about some of his family's favorite places they had been he looked forlorn and said, "Nothing will ever top cruising in Alaska." With the entire Pacific under their keel and the rest of the world to cruise, Ellingford was worried he'd already seen the best part and wondered if he had anything else to look forward to. 

Tony Fleming's Venture in Alaska.

Tony Fleming's Venture in Alaska.

Passagemaker readers know that the Pacific Northwest is home to sacred cruising grounds, some of the best in the world. You need look no further than our features on cruising the Inside Passage, Alaska, and the various gunk holes along the way. But don't just dream of cruising the Pacific Northwest, make it a reality by attending some of our great cruising seminars at this year's Trawlerfest.

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Laura Domela, Sam Landsman & Kevin Morris from Slowboat.com have several seminars about cruising the wondrous waters of Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Their goal, at Slowboat.com is to demystify cruising in the Pacific Northwest and to empower and enable cruisers to explore further with safety, comfort, and confidence. They have made numerous trips up and down the Inside Passage to and from SE Alaska, both individually and leading flotillas. Sam is former managing editor of the Waggoner Cruising Guide, and lives aboard his 37’ Nordic Tug Safe Harbour. Laura is a professional photographer and writer and is usually at the helm of Airship, a 34’ Nordic Tug. Kevin is an entrepreneur, engineer, writer, pilot, and deck-hand, and travels with Laura aboard Airship

Make sure to catch their Seminars on cruising in the Pacific Northwest:

Tuesday April 23rd:

Packing, Provisioning and Preparing Your Boat for the Inside Passage to Alaska.
With the Slowboat team: Laura Domela, Sam Landsman & Kevin Morris
8:30-10:30 a.m.
$65
Before you embark on an extended cruise in the Pacific Northwest or up the Inside Passage to Southeast Alaska, you might want some tips about what to pack, and how to prepare your boat (and yourself) for the adventure. The Slowboat team shares lessons from numerous trips and leading flotillas up the Inside Passage from Washington through British Columbia up to Southeast Alaska. They’ll discuss food, clothing, first aid, spares, ground tackle, boat systems, general best practices, and how and where to get parts and supplies along the way. The seminar is a distillation of lessons learned by the SlowBoat trio from having guided several cruising boat flotillas to British Columbia and Alaska.

Wednesday April 24th:

Mastering the Inside Passage
With the Slowboat Team: Laura Domela, Sam Landsman & Kevin Morris
1-5 p.m.
$130
Want to cruise further, but deterred by one of the gates? This presentation is about the gates collectively and individually: the Strait of Georgia, the rapids north of Desolation Sound, Johnstone Strait, Cape Caution, and Dixon Entrance. We’ll cover why you might want to cross each gate, tips for making a safe and enjoyable trip, and answer questions you might have.

We’ll practice using real-time weather information to fill out Slowboat Weather Worksheets to help participants build a complete picture of the conditions at each of the gates. We’ll practice calculating times of slack at the major rapids along the Inside Passage and how to time your transit perfectly. The Slowboat goal is to demystify cruising in the Pacific Northwest and to empower and enable cruisers to explore further with safety, comfort, and confidence. They have made numerous trips up and down the Inside Passage to and from Southeast Alaska, both individually and leading flotillas.

A classic Northwest experience.

A classic Northwest experience.

Thursday April 25th:

Zero to Alaska: How to Successfully Cruise the PNW without a Lifetime of Experience
With the Slowboat Team: Laura Domela, Sam Landsman & Kevin Morris
8:30-10:30 a.m.
$65
Daunted by differing opinions from old salts at the marina? Intimidated by the jargon? Scared of storms and boat-eating rapids and dragging anchor in the middle of the night? This seminar is for you! We’ll help you understand the basics needed for successfully cruising in the Pacific Northwest. We’ll break down the various cruising areas and introduce you to the gates that separate them. We’ll unravel the customs & border mysteries and share techniques for trip planning, navigating, and weather routing. We’ll examine ways to stay connected. We’ll even look at the basics of marine electrical and water systems and help you understand practical ways to monitor and conserve these resources. Most of all, we’ll encourage you to get out and cruise!

Circumnavigating Vancouver Island

 With the Slowboat Team: Laura Domela, Sam Landsman & Kevin Morris
3:30-5:30 p.m.
$65
Explore the West Coast of Vancouver Island with Slowboat! This seminar will cover why you might want to cruise the West Coast of Vancouver Island (and why you might not want to), the best destinations and times of year, and how to avoid getting beaten up! Landsman is former managing editor of the Waggoner Cruising Guide, and lives aboard his 37-foot Nordic Tug Safe Harbour. Domela is a professional photographer and writer and is usually at the helm of the Nordic Tug Airship, and Morris is an entrepreneur, engineer, writer, pilot and deck-hand, and travels with Laura aboard Airship.

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