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Spirit of Adventure

by NWY Staff
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Photo by Mark Albertazzi

Photos and Text by Mark Albertazzi

Will this be your summer of adventure? With the month of May kicking off the Pacific Northwest boating season, many folks are looking to explore the cruising grounds of the Salish Sea—the collective waters of Puget Sound, Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia.

If you’re lucky enough that opportunity comes in the form of a curated rendezvous like the Axopar/BRABUS Pacific Northwest Adventure hosted by Jeff Brown Yachts, which will take place next month, running June 17-21.

 These distinctive all-weather, all-season boats from Finland have built a base of dedicated owners worldwide, with adventure at the heart of the brand experience. This particular exploration has become a bit of a rite of passage for Axoparians, as they refer to themselves, coming from as far as San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, to gather up with a dozen Puget Sound Axopar owners for a six-day rendezvous. 

Take as inspiration the last adventure cruise held in 2023 as to what these explorers can expect from the 2024 iteration.

The journey began in Seattle, with a kick-off party and chance to meet Axopar founder, Jan-Erik Viitala. An overnight stay in Poulsbo to enjoy the town’s Viking Fest and a run to Friday Harbor helped the crews get their sea legs. Departing from the San Juan Islands, the group then crossed into Canadian waters, clearing customs at Van Isle Marina in Sydney on Vancouver Island.

“Transiting the Strait of Georgia to the mainland, we entered the majestic realm of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. Deeply carved fjords split the coast, as mountains thrust straight up out of deep water,” says Jeff Brown. “You’ll nudge the nose of your boat up to sheer cliffs and drink from waterfalls that cascade hundreds of feet into the ocean. This is one of my favorite cruising areas in the world.”

The remote Westcoast Wilderness Lodge, in the village of Egmont, served as the rendezvous base camp. The award-winning lodge offers gracious accommodations, locally sourced cuisine, cool spaces for social gatherings, and a staff that greets you with open arms. From here, the group explored a host of scenic waterways, including Princess Louisa Inlet—often referred to as the Grand Canyon of British Columbia. Local guides revealed their favorite spots like Chatterbox Falls, navigated the group though unforgettable inlets and passages, and shared the area’s rich history and watering holes.

At the end of the rendezvous, some boats continued north into Desolation Sound, the largest marine park in British Columbia. Others, took a leisurely trip back to Seattle with stops in Victoria, Vancouver, and historic Port Townsend.

 “Many of our participants from outside the area were so enthralled by the experience, they decided to leave their boats in Seattle and the San Juans for the summer,” added Brown. “Riding on the success of that first trip, we’re in the planning stages for our next Axopar adventure.”

Cruises like this remind us that the waters of the Pacific Northwest are a bucket list experience for boaters from around the world. It also begs the question: Where will adventure take you this year?

>> For more information on this year’s Axopar/BRABUS Pacific Northwest Adventure, please visit: jeffbrownyachts.com/events/pacific-northwest-adventure.

Expert Take Image
Photo by Mark Albertazzi

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