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Float Plan: Skeena River Run
Initial Mooring: N54 17,43 W139 25,58 Heading 286

Overview: This is a cruise from the Prince Rupert Digby Island Sea Plane Base, down the Inverness Channel then eventually heading up the Skeena River past Terrace, BC to the Skeen a River Lodge. Most of the trip is scenic and quiet, but there are some exciting rapids and small waterfalls to negotiate. Along the way, there are many special attractions to see. This trip takes you past many of them.

1. At the Digby SPB, pull away from the dock and turn 90 degrees to starboard and head toward a marker buoy about 200 yards ahead. Round that buoy to starboard and come to a heading of 138 pointing toward the center of the far channel ahead.

2. As you approach Parizeau Point (at the entrance of the channel to starboard, you will see red marker buoy to port. Pass both and continue down the center of the channel. Fredick Point will be toward the end of this channel.

NOTAM: There is a dolphin (large wooden piling to the left of this channel, watch for it so you don't hit it.

3. As you approach Fredick Point, watch for a channel marker tower ... pass just to port of that tower and set your heading for 140 heading just off the coast of the far point to port. A green channel marker will come, let it pass to starboard and continue.

4. Ahead, watch for the tiny Kidson Islet. This is marked with three red and white warning buoys (flashing) ... as you approach the islet, turn to port to a heading of 048 for 2 miles to High Point.

5. At Hicks Point turn to starboard to a heading of 082. You are now in the Inverness Passage ... stay toward the center of this passage

6. You will pass by a cannery on the port shore, continue down the center of the Inverness.

7. Telehem Point comes up to starboard, off this point adjust your heading to 109 to stay in the center of the Inverness Passage.

8. In two miles you will pass a second cannery to port, continue on your 109 heading and stay in the center of the Inverness Passage.

9. Osborne Point appears to starboard, 2 miles, you will be going around this point to starboard into DeHorsey Passage (on a heading of about 176). Steer to the center of this passage.

10. You will be passing Osland Harbor to starboard. This is a great "mooring" or starting place if you don't want to make the run down from Prince Rupert. You can find the mooring coordinates on the Map Room at Return to Misty Moorings.

NOTAM: As you continue down the DeHorsey Passage. Watch for a small island in the center of the passage (it is marked with a red and white flashing buoy), pass to port side of the island and continue.

11. Kennedy Island is ahead of you, when Croax Island is at 2:00 o'clock to starboard, change your heading to 136 to go around Parry Point (2 miles ahead to port).

12. Round Parry Point and come to a heading of 17 and run this heading for 6 miles to Veich Rock which will pass by to starboard. When abreast of this point, change your heading to 070 heading for the Port Essington Cannery Ruins.

13. As you near the shore, slow down so you can view the cannery. Watch for the shipwreck there, it is marked with two red and white flashing buoys. Pass to port of those buoys to move on toward the cannery ruins.

14. Near the shore of the cannery, turn to a heading of 358, (watch for the tiny island, it should pass to port). Continue on this course to the Raspberry Islands.

NOTAM: as you cruise to the Raspberry Islands, notice the Ecstall River entrance to starboard, that is the direction you would go to go to Big Hydro and Doug's Outfitters.

15. When the Raspberry Islands pass to starboard and are at 3 o'clock, change your heading to 039 for 5.8 miles to the Railroad Bridge.

NOTAM: You are now in the Skeena River

16. As you get near the railroad bridge at the Khyex River, look around, you will see campers and a steam locomotive! Just off shore, change your heading to 107, then round the point to port staying about a half mile from shore.

17. You will find red and green channel marker buoys about 1/2 mile off the shore, stay between them. After you pass the second sand bar, look for a set of red and green marker buoys that have 4 smaller buoys around them. Go near the Red Buoy to starboard. When you pass that specially marked buoy, set a heading of 116 degrees for Scotia Camp.

18. Carnation Island will pass to port as you near the shore ahead. Scotia Camp should be dead ahead. Go near enough to enjoy the view, then set a heading of 041 heading back out into the Skeena River.

19. Follow 041 until you come upon a large red and white buoy, With that buoy passing just to starboard, set a heading of 355. Watch for a sand bar that will show up to starboard, stay close to the port shore. Watch for red and green channel marker buoys.

20. Continue straight coming to the "Two Bridges" area ... again view them, then set a heading of 073. Follow the marker buoys to be guided around the sand bars and small islands. Remember to keep the GREEN buoys to your LEFT and the RED buoys to your RIGHT. They are not always placed in pairs but sometimes just left or right.

NOTAM: As you wind through the sand bars and islands, always check them for wildlife. When you see the large sandbar to port, be ready to swing to port ... watch the buoys carefully in this area, this is a key turn.

NOTAM: The highway to port is #16, the Yellowhead Highway. You will be following this most of the rest of this trip. Sometimes you will see people stopped and pointing ... usually there is some wildlife show going on for them to see.

21. Continue following the markers, mostly cruising along the port shore. Eventually you will come to some rough water, there is a bit of a rapids in this area. The safe route through them is clearly marked with buoys and signs.

22. After the rapids, look to your left to see a tunnel for the railroad and ahead. As you approach the bridge and just past it, there is some more rough water. Follow the markers, they will guide you safely through the hazard.

23. You will eventually come to the outfall of the Alastair River and this is a good place to slow down, grab some lunch and refuel. There's a Brad's Bait & BBQ near the mouth of the river. If you go up the Alastair River, you will find "The Landings" about 6 miles distance up another scenic river, situated on a quiet mountain lake.

24. About 4 miles later, the River Houses show up on the starboard shore. Be careful in this area, there are many rapids, again, follow the markers they will guide you past the hazards.

25. Three miles later, the Exstew River outfalls from port. This is a great meeting place for people, there's a roadside market set up where you can buy snacks, fresh vegetables in the summertime and a hot cup of coffee in the winter.

26. The next attraction is Graveyard Point where there is a small community ... a place to dock and meet friends.

27. Terrace, BC. Highway 16 and the railroad tracks cross the river at Terrace. The marker buoys will guide you through the pilings, but you are just going to have to "duck" when you go under the railroad bridge (it is just too low).

28. About half way between Terrace and the Skeena River Lodge is a dangerous waterfall and rapids. Stay to the starboard shore and let the markers guide you through. This is a tight squeeze, but better than going over the falls that are about 20 feet high at their maximum.

29. You will find a fishing boat with birds flying around it, when you see that, look to the starboard shore and you will find the Skeena River Lodge.

30. Welcome to the Skeena River Lodge.

Doug Linn
Charter Manager
Misty Moorings, Inc