Innocent Passage

Innocent Passage is a concept of maritime law that allows for a vessel to pass through the archipelagic and territorial waters of another state as long as no harm is rendered.

Covid concerns since March of 2020 mandated the closure of the US-Canadian border and, as of this writing, it remains restricted for the foreseeable future. Recreational cross-border traffic between Washington or Alaska and British Columbia is barred.

Last summer Jupiter remained in US waters and explored Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. After knocking up against the Canadian border in 2020 we long to sail north.

In the starting gates for Alaska

Through Transit

Currently foreign-flagged vessels may not enter Canadian waters for the purpose of touring, sightseeing, or pleasure fishing.

CBSA Website

However, Canada Border Services Agency stipulates that foreign vessels may navigate through Canadian waters if the passage is direct, continuous, uninterrupted and by the most reasonable route.

This morning the crew arises at 0400, wracked with anticipation of testing these theoretical concepts at Port of Sidney Customs Dock. Weeks of planning and research together with a large measure of hope are parlayed.

The physical and metaphysical direction of Jupiter’s summer program totters on the shoulders of two CBSA officers who stalk the dock, summoned by our offshore call to Canadian Vessel Arrivals.

Jupiter hoists the Canadian Courtesy Flag and the
yellow ‘Q’ Flag indicating the boat is in quarantine during the BC Transit

The Most Reasonable Route

Passports, Locator Forms, Crew Manifests and Jupiter’s geography-eating Float Plan are handed over and carefully examined.

The entire 620 nautical mile navigation of maritime British Columbia, which might normally be enjoyed during a month’s cruise, will be attempted in eight days.

Float Plan showing our intended transit details.

No Unnecessary Intercourse

In times of unease and disease we must not be a threat to any Canadian soul, setting no foot upon their soil.

Rules are rendered, and we are asked to read aloud a statement of innocent intent. We are instructed by the border officers to have “no unnecessary intercourse” during our transit.

Steering northwest


  1. Sally Seymour says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a nail-biting adventure. Too bad you can’t take time to savor those BC wines you love. But will there be a chance to at least procure? Happy voyaging. Sally W splashes next week in Camden, minus a new paint job due to the painting contractor contracting COVID. Sigh. We are all making sacrifices. Cheers!

  2. Ross Tennant says:

    Great update and very readable. It reminded me of some strange initiation process that you passed through! Glad that all of the prep and research produced a good outcome.
    Looking forward to more good reports – calm seas!

    Ross and Evie

  3. Mary says:

    Two “for reals?” 623 miles in 8 days and did you both keep a straight face as you promised
    “No unnecessary intercourse” during transit.

    Did you, in fact, pass muster and get underway on your innocent passage? We hope so.
    Bon voyage. Will look forward to more posts.

    Mary & Geof

  4. Lisa Mize says:

    Have a wonderful trip! I am looking forward to experiencing it through your blog and photos!!!

  5. Dana Starr says:

    Great to hear you guys are back in Canadian waters and headed for a great summer. It’s Friday May 7 so you are likely approaching Gowland Harbour today. Here’s wishing you safe travels and fun times. Keep us blog enthusiasts posted.

  6. Terry says:

    Have a great time guys! Miss you. As to the unnecessary intercourse – so little time – so much to say; so I’ll pass.

  7. Tim Stalnaker says:

    With such navigational challenges, I am grateful you are both so very young.

    Beautiful photographs.

    You will find Ocean Reef doing well on your return.

  8. Peter C. Macdonald says:

    Bon voyage! I look forward to living vicariously with your adventures. Wish you safety and enjoyment.

  9. Tina Jones says:

    Fiona & Randy ~ Safe travels…looking forward to your terrific blog updates…and, the recipes as well ~
    “Unnecessary intercourse..” really…? Love our cheeky Canadian neighbors 😉

  10. Bob Griffin says:

    Bottle Neck was always Susan and my favorite anchorage…think of her when you are there…thanks for sharing your plan…safe travels.

  11. Heather Dwight says:

    You a both so organized. Wishing you safe travels. I can’t wait for your blog posts and photos. xo Heather

  12. Karen Shorr says:

    Your “float plan” MAY rival (in organization) Emma’s “farm plan!” Best of luck my friends! I look forward to following your adventure, intercourse or no intercourse. 🥴



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