Heading up Johnstone Strait is one of the hardest sailing challenges we anticipated for our cruise, and this year we planned for it to take as long as 5 days. Many boats motor it in 1-2 days, but we wanted to sail, and had a detailed strategy for different wind and current conditions.
We ended up doing it in just two days – thanks to good timing of a super ebb (very strong ebb tide giving us a 1 to 5 knot push) and a ripping southeasterly on the second day which propelled us on a crazy downwind ride that got a bit too windy towards the end.
Two years ago on our 3 month cruise to the Broughtons we took the back route, going through several rapids to avoid northwesterly wind in Johnstone. Details on that route are here. The downside to this approach is it can take longer because it’s a greater distance and the tidal passes have to be timed around slack. Also it’s even more difficult to sail 100% of the way because the channels are narrower and some areas are big wind holes.