July 2005



Ketchikan to Wrangell

Wrangle to Swanson Harbor

Swanson Harbor to Sitka

July 30 - August 1: Gorge Harbor

The weather on the 31st was very wet and windy.  It poured a good portion of the day.  By late afternoon,  it stopped and continued to clear off.    Went to Shark Spit a couple of times to dig clams and look for shells.   The water was way to cold for swimming (barely 60 degrees), so the kids played games and went for walks.  They enjoyed the company of all the kids that are here.

July 28-29: Pendrell Sound

The 28th was hot and sunny and everyone enjoyed the water in Pendrell Sound.  The water temperature was over 72 degrees.  On the 29th,  the weather cooled off and was cloudy.   Jacquie - along with a group from the Summer Wind - went for a hike.  Christine, Jim and Nancy kayaked in the lagoon.  The lagoon is a long drying mud flat which is high and dry on low tide.  The mud was very squishy and the type where if you took a wrong step,  you'd get stuck!   There were lots of snails,  little rock crabs and baby bottom fish.

Christine had many "firsts" while in Pendrell sound.    She jumped from the roof of the Summer Wind,  knee boarded and water skied!   All of it was "AWESOME" according to Christine.

Jacquie knee boarded more with Ben and all the kids also went on the wind glider.

July 25-27: Tenedos Bay

The fleet grew to 8 boats on the 25th!   We were joined by the Summer Wind,  Tylo, Maribu, Amazing Grace and friends of Ben and Nancy Ellison.   We have been swimming in the bay and also hiked to Lake Unwin for a fresh water swim.   Jacquie learned how to knee board as well.

We also ran into Refuge Cove for lunch and to pick up a few groceries.

July 22-24: Laura Cove

More nice weather,  but again the water was on the cool side.  We dug clams, collected oysters and caught shrimp.  We were joined by the Kerina.

July 20-21: Squirrel Cove

The weather was nice,  but the water was a little too cold to go swimming.  We hung out,   towed the wind glider behind the dingy and dug clams.   The girls enjoyed French Toast on the M&M - something they have been looking forward to all summer.

July 12-19: Nancy, Jacquie and Christine's Stay at Home

The entire week at home was devoted to the horses.  They participated in the July Quarter Horse Show in Monroe.   The show went well with JR & Jacquie winning under both judges Youth Equitation Over Fences and placing 1st & 2nd in Green Working Hunter both on the first day.  She also placed 3rd in Equitation on the flat.  They received an assortment of other placing for her other classes.

Christine placed 3rd and 5th in Walk/Trot Under Saddle and received two 4th in Equitation.

One the second day,  JR continued to behave.  Jacquie and JR placed 2nd in Youth Working Hunter and 3rd in Open Working Hunter.   In the other classes,  they placed in the middle or lower end of the pack.    Christine received 4th under both judges in both of her classes.

July 12- July 19: Jim & Dave's Trip Down

Jim and Dave got stuck in Foggy Bay for a couple of days waiting for Dixen Entrance to settle down.   Even after waiting,  the crossing still wasn't the best.   They pulled into Prince Rupert, cleared customs and then headed south the Lowe Inlet.

After Lowe Inlet,  they headed to Goat Cove.   They fished a caught a large Red Snapper and a small halibut.  From here,  they headed south and decided to head across the Queen Charlottes and stay in Allison Harbor.   From there,  it took another two days to run down to Squirrel Cove.

July 11: Vixen Harbor to Ketchikan

We fished outside of Ketchikan.  We caught 2 silvers (7 & 9 pounds) and a couple of pinks that we released.   Nancy and the girls are going to try to fly out on the 4:30 flight instead of the 7:40 flight they are booked on.

Update:  Nancy and the girls made it onto the flight.  The only things that was a MAJOR bummer was that the flight was delayed 2.5 hours.  We go home an hour or so earlier than planned,  but not as early as we would have liked.  The Ketchikan airport is really boring!

July 10: Anan Creek to Vixen Harbor

It poured rain all night long.  It let up in the morning and made for a nice day.  We spent the morning watching the bears.  As we were hiking up,  we encountered a black bear on the trail.  It crossed the bridge and continued up the trail towards us and then made it's way into the woods.  As scary as this might seems,  the bear didn't appear to find as a threat and has just meandering along.

The river as raging from the rain the night before.  The water level was up at least a foot.  The bears had a much harder time trying to catch fish.   There were quite a few black bear around again.  We saw both sets of cubs.  The only brown bears we saw were at a distance fishing down at the base of the falls.  

We spent the night in Vixen Harbor.  The kids played with some other kids off a sailboat that was also anchored in the bay.

July 09: Berg Bay to Anan Creek

We hiked up to watch the bears today.  We had good luck seeing 3 different brown bears and lots of black bears.  There were also set mothers with cubs.  Sweet Mama had two cubs which she usually treed by the outhouse.    The other mother had a single cub and appeared more careless.  She had her cub on the top of a cliff above the falls.  She started to climb a tree that hung over the cliff.  The cub followed her up part way and then they both came down.   She also would race down to the river to catch a fish and not appear to pay a lot of attention to her cub trailing behind.

Later in the afternoon,  we went fishing in the lagoon.   Both girls caught a couple of dolly varden.  Jacquie snagged a pink the worked it's way free as we got it to the boat.   Nancy took over on of the kids lines and thought she snagged a rock.  The line appeared stuck and wouldn't move.  As we pulled up the anchor and started getting ready to move towards the stuck line,  it moved!    Nancy had snagged a pink on the dorsal fin and not a rock.   While all of this was going on,  we heard what we think was a brown bear growling in the woods.  It was very loud and scary sounding!   We figured we were pretty safe in the boat and we could out run him...

July 08: Wrangell to Berg Bay

We took a dingy ride over to Berg Bay Basin (around the corner from where we anchor).  We puttered around the basin and then headed up the river that feeds the basin.  Along the way,  we saw two families of mergansers.  As soon as they saw the boat,  they took off.

Up the river,  we saw a small school of trout,  so we stopped and fished.  Jacquie had a couple of bites,  but didn't catch anything.   We saw smashed grass and bear tracks on the shore.

As we were heading back,  we encountered the merganser families again.   The mother mergansers though we were a threat, so they flew out along side and then ahead of the dingy.  We were heading out of the basin as full speed and couldn't get past the birds.  Once in the bay, they broke off and flew back to their babies.

July 07: Farragut Bay to Wrangell

Not much to report on the run from Farragut Bay to Wrangell.  We stopped briefly in Petersburg to purchase fuel and continued through Wrangell Narrows.   We spent the evening in Wrangell.   The sunset was beautiful.

July 06: Tracy Arm Cove to Farragut Bay

We had a wonderful time watching humpback whales east of the Brother's Island.   We had a couple come within 200 feet of the boat as they were feeding down a tide rip.  We watched a younger whale breech a half of dozen times,  but where never able to get a good picture.  

We anchored in Farragut Bay and caught a couple of dozen shrimp.

July 5: Tracy Arm Cove to Tracy Arm Cove via Sawyer Glacier

We took the trip up Tracy Arm today.   It was much longer trip than expected because of the amount of ice bergs.   The large concentrations of ice usually start the end of the arm where you branch off to approach each of the glaciers.  This time the ice started a few miles prior to the usual spot.  We had to inch our way very slowly through the ice.   The ice was far too thick for us to attempt to see the South Sawyer Glacier but we were able to make it to the North Sawyer Glacier.   Along the way we saw a couple of seals (most of the seals are usually near the south glacier),  black guillrmots,  artic terns and a few different types of sea gulls.

As we pulled into anchor back in Tracy Arm Cove,  we were greeted with a huge rain storm.  The visibility dropped and we were no longer able to see across the bay. 

July 4: Auke Bay to Tracy Arm Cove

As we were leaving Auke Bay,  we came across two different groups of Orca whales.  On group consisted of 4 whales - one of which was a calf.  The other group was huge.  There were at least 15 whales.   We watched this group as they left Fritz Cove and headed down the west side of Douglass Island.  They would surface and dive for around 5 minutes and then sound and proceed southward appearing 5-10 minutes later.  It was amazing watching that many whales at one time.

The remainder of the run to Tracy Arm Cove was uneventful.   We took a dingy ride around the bay looking at ice bergs and looking for wildlife.  We spotted a brown bear on the shore (the first one we had seen in this area) and a river otter.  We watched the river otter dive down and then appear shortly on the shore with a fish!  He jumped out of the water and headed into the woods to eat his dinner.

July 3: Auke Bay

It rained on and off again today.   It stopped long enough for us to enjoy a hike up Mt. Roberts.  Each year we make it a little further up the mountain.  This year we stopped just below the ridge before you get to Mt. Gastineau which is before the peak of Mt. Roberts.  The ridge is at about the 3200 foot level.   Along the way we saw a black bear that was really far away,  a few deer,  marmots and ptarigans.

After our hike,  we made a trip to Costco, the book store and headed back to the boat for dinner.   Later in the evening,  we headed out to the Mendenhall Glacier.  There we saw a Great Blue Heron, a beaver and lots of artic terns.  The fire works were downtown at midnight.  It was cold and drizzly,  but a nice display.

July 2: Swanson Harbor to Auke Bay

It's been a windy, rainy day.   Since we couldn't find a car to rent,  we took the bus downtown.  The first stop was the Alaska Fudge Company!   We wandered around down town and then headed back to the boat.  If it isn't pouring tomorrow,  we plan to hike on Mt. Roberts and then take a trip out to Mendenhall Glacier.

July 1: Appleton Cove to Swanson Harbor

It rained off and on today.  The crab pots yielded another couple of crabs.  We caught on very small shrimp. 

We saw whales off in the distance as we cruised through Chatham Straits.   We had 6 porpoises play in our bow wake.  They are so much fun to watch but it is incredibly difficult to capture the experience on with either photos or video tape.