Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Craig on Prince of Wales Island

Wednesday July 30, Craig Alaska

We arrived in Craig on POW today, after a beautiful sunny morning of motoring through intricate channels and islands. This is an area where you really have to pay attention otherwise you will end up on the bottom or hitting a rock. And after all the rain we have had, it was really nice to finally dry out.

Fishing trawler at anchor on west coast of Baranof Island.

Our trip from Sitka around the west coast of Baranof was not as exciting as we had hoped. The weather has not co-operated for us, we mostly had rain or showers and light wind, but the chop was just the kind that makes for an uncomfortable ride. 

Merganser with her chicks.

Fortunately we have found some very nice anchorages, little nooks of calm. We have seen lots of wildlife (sea otters galore, sea lions, whales, seals, bears and so many different birds) and absolutely beautiful scenery. The creeks and waterfalls are spectacular (because of all the rain), and pictures really don't do them justice. 

This is Maggie when she gets on shore!

On our way south out of Chatham Strait, we encountered humpbacks by the dozens, all doing their bubble-net feeding and completely out of the water breeching. The first time we actually heard the sound a humpback makes after such a breech was when we were sailing slowly along and all of a sudden just off the port side a whale did a total body slam! The sound was unlike anything I have ever heard, a big KABOOM! Scared the s**t out of me. I think they do this to stun the fish, making them easier to catch. At least that is my theory, I really don't know for sure.

West coast sunset.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sitka.... & our first day of rain in 4 days!

Thursday July 17, Sitka
Well, we are back in Sitka, one of our favourite towns in Alaska. Unfortunately, it started to rain late today, but we are hoping it won't last too long since we plan to do some biking around town tomorrow. We will stay here two nights and then head south along the west coast of Baranof Island. Once we get around the southern cape, we will decide which way to go depending on which way the wind is blowing... hehe... we might be heading north again!!

Some of the boats in the harbour in Sitka.

On our way yesterday, we came across this colony of over 100 sea otters, just hanging.

That little boat in the centre is Splendid Mane at anchor in Kalinin Bay, Baranof Island.

The two waters in Glacier Bay ... one full of glacial silt.

Ice berg, unusual colour, and unusual shape.

Reid Glacier, Reid Inlet where we anchored for two nights.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ticking off the list...

Monday July 14, Pelican Alaska
Internet at the library in Pelican. This town of 80 residents has no roads, only boardwalks. People get around on quads or bikes or on foot. 

Well, we "did" Glacier Bay, and I would have to say we were disappointed, but only because of the weather. The first day was fine, but the next 4 it rained or was foggy and we couldn't see much. I am sure we missed some beautiful scenery but what can you do? 

Sea lions in Glacier Bay, part of a colony of about 1000.

Reid Glacier, in Reid Inlet where we anchored. This glacier is only partly tidal, meaning most of the time it is not in the water. The chunks in the middle of the picture would be about 20' cubes. 

Momma bear in Reid Inlet.

Momma with her two cubs from this year.

Our next port of call is Sitka, if all goes as planned. Our favourite little town from our last trip here, we are looking forward to visiting again. If the weather co-operates, we will stay on the "outside" and travel down to the southern end of Baranof Island. 

Maggie on one of her shore leaves. She gets her business done and then wants to get back to the boat.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Juneau on the 4th of July

Friday July 4
We arrived in Juneau earlier today. We thought we would be here and enjoy July 4th fireworks, but seems they have already had the display... it happened last night at midnight. :-(

Jerry hanging the laundry out to dry on a warm sunny day!

We have settled into a new weather pattern... one day of mostly sun and then next day mostly rain. But that's okay, as long as we plan accordingly. Tomorrow in Juneau it is suppose to be only a slight chance of rain, so we are taking the bikes and riding to Mendenhall Glacier.
Maggie enjoys this special spot on Jerry's lap while we are sailing, she has her life jacket on.

After almost a full day of sailing, we anchored in Oliver Inlet on the north end of Admiralty Island. It was a little difficult to get into, on high tide slack we only had 4.5' under our keel through the entrance. So we knew we would have to leave on a high tide (this morning) and it was 2' less, so as we slowly motored out, in two places we had as little as 2.5' under our keel. White knuckles and sphincter tightening! :-)

This is the railway tram used for portaging a canoe or kayak across a muskeg bog from the end of Oliver Inlet on Admiralty Island about half a mile to the end of another inlet on Admiralty. This was way too much fun!! Worth the visit for sure!

Alaska brown bear in Tracy Arm Cove feeding on grass.

We anchored in Tracy Arm Cove with the brown bears and ice bergs. Last trip to Alaska we ventured up Tracy Arm to see the glaciers but couldn't get close because of too much ice. This trip we were going to go up Endicott Arm but decided to visit Glacier Bay instead. Talking to other boaters, we have learned there is a lot of ice in both arms and we would not be able to get close anyway. 

Ice berg in Tracy Arm. 

We learned that ice bergs are blue because the colours in the light from the sun are all absorbed by the ice except for blue. When the bergs are first formed is when they are the bluest, but as they age, they then to become white. The intense blue colour is hard to capture with a camera, there is something about seeing it with your own eyes that makes it so special.