June 2006
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Photos

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Maps

Ketchikan to Wrangell

Wrangell to Swanson Harbor

Swanson Harbor to Sitka

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6/30 - Inian Cove via Pelican

Weather: Cloudy and 55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, Sea Otters, Humpback Whales,  LOTS of Sea Lions

Catch Counts: No fishing today

 

 Yahoo!   A day without rain.  The weather was cloudy and cool, but the rain held off.  Maybe the weather has made a turn for the better.

 

We stopped at Pelican on the way to Inian Cove.  Pelican is the smallest town that we have stopped at in Alaska.  The primary road is a board walk and the main method of transportation are 4x4 or bikes.  There is a store, cafe, post office and a both a small elementary and high school.  A much smaller place than I would want to live.

 

As we passed through North Inian Passage heading towards Inian Cove, we were greeted by at least 100 sea lions.  They were hauled out on the rocks of a small island and also swimming around the island.  As the boat approached, the sea lions came over to play around the boat.  There were easily 2-3 dozen at the bow of our boat swimming, diving and jumping over each other.  It was quite a sight.  The sounds and smells of the sea lions were also impressive.  They are VERY loud and smelly.

 

The anchorage in Inian Cove was peaceful.  The kids had fun driving the dinghy around and also kayaking.  It was nice to play in the evening without needing raingear.

 

6/29 - Porcupine Bay

Weather: Cloudy with off and on rain,  55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, Sea Otters and Humpback Whales

Catch Counts: No fishing today

 

The run to Porcupine Bay was ok but not great.  We were exposed to the open water for about 6 miles.  While we didn't pound as much as we did as the day before, it wasn't smooth sailing.   We went for a dinghy ride outside the bay and watched humpback whales and sea otters while being bounced around in the waves.  We had a peaceful evening in the day, though we did rock due to the wind and swell.  We had a cake in honor of Grandma Judy's birthday.

 

6/28 - Drip Point in Ogden Passage

Weather: Cloudy with off and on rain,  55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, Sea Otters, Humpback Whales,  Brown Bear w/ Cub

Catch Counts: 3 Kings (2 - 14lbs, 15lbs) and 3 little Kings that we let go

 

The fishing was pretty good.  In the short time we were fishing, we caught Ben, Danny and Shelby each caught Kings.  We had 3 small kings all hit at the same time.  They were all released.

 

Later, we headed up the West Coast of Chichagof Island.   The ride up the coast was not pleasant.  It was a rough ride for a little under 2 hours.  The swells and the wind made for a bumpy ride.  Our plan was to spend the night in Double Cove but it already had 2 sailboat in it.  There wouldn't have been enough room for the Summer Wind and our boat.  We continued up smooth channel and found a nice little spot to tuck in for the night.  We anchored by Drip Point in Ogden Passage. 

 

We went for a dingy ride after dinner in search of a brown bear that Jim had seen while putting down the crab trap.   We were successful!  As we were watching the brown bear on the shore, her cub appeared.  It was fun to watch the two of the from the safety of the dingy a far distance away.  We also saw another bear across the bay but it was gone by the time we got there.   We also saw lots of sea otters in the passage.

 

6/27 - Kalinin Bay

Weather: Cloudy with off and on rain,  55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, Sea Otters, Whale

Catch Counts:  1 - Silver (6lb),  3 - Kings (27 lbs, 19 lbs, 15lbs), a couple that got away

 

Before we left Sitka, we went to the Russian Bishop's House, the Sheldon Jackson Museum and the Alaska Raptor Center.   It sad to say goodbye to all the birds for the summer.

 

After heading out of time, we headed to Point Kruzof to go fishing.    The fishing was great.   We caught most of the fish in the same location as we did the previous days. 

   

    Christine - 6lb Silver

    Jacquie - 15lb King

    Shelby - 19lb King

    Nancy - 27lb King

    Jim - a good size king that caught away

 

We spent the night in Kalinin Bay and planned to fish again in the AM with folks on the Summer Wind.

 

6/26 - Sitka

Weather: Cloudy,  55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, ravens and all the birds at the raptor center

Catch Counts: no fishing today.

 

We picked Shelby up from the airport today.  After grabbing a quick bit for lunch, we headed out to the Alaska Raptor Center.  We walked back from the Raptor Center through the park and by the aquarium.  They had just received a two octopi.  The kids enjoyed touching all of the creatures in the tanks.

 

We did a little shopping on our way back picking up a few souvenirs.   We arrived back in the boat in time for the kids to head to the public pool for a swim, to the grocery store for new provisions and then to the park.  Koda had a great time running around while the kids played on the rope swing. 

 

6/25 - Sitka

Weather: Rain &  50 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, ravens and all the birds at the raptor center

Catch Counts: no fishing today.

 

It was a yucky day in Sitka today.  It poured for most of the day.  Despite he rain,  we volunteered for a little while at the Raptor Center,  visited the Russian's Bishop's House, the small aquarium at the Sheldon  Jackson College and walked through the Sitka National Historical Park.

 

The Russian Bishop's House was very interesting.  The upstairs portion of the home has been restored to it's 1853 appearance.  The restoration took over 15 years to complete.  The highlight of the tour was the viewing of the Chapel of the Annunciation.  The chapel is still in use today when the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Alaska comes to town.   The craftsmanship of the tapestries and the icons in incredible.

 

We returned to the boats later in the afternoon to dry off and warm up.  My early evening, the rain had let up. YEAH!

 

6/24 - Sitka

Weather: On and Off again rain,  55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagle

Catch Counts: no fishing today.

 

We arrived in Sitka around 10:30 this morning.  Our timing was perfect and we managed to get a spot in the marina before they were filled up.  We immediately headed off to the Alaska Raptor Center to visit the birds.   Jacquie was happy to see all of her old bird friends.

 

Later, we hung out at the internet cafe to download email and upload trip logs.  We also made a trip to Harbor Book Store.  It's one of our favorite books stores in SE Alaska.

 

We went to our usual eagle watching spot to find very few eagles.  The Fish and Wildlife Agency no longer allows the Bed and Breakfast to toss out the fish remains from catch of the day.  This is a major bummer as watching the eagles was one of our favorite things to do.

 

6/23 - Kalinin Bay

Weather: On and Off again rain,  50 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles and bear scat

Catch Counts: no fishing today.

 

We spent another day in Kalinin Bay.  We hung out and went for a hike along the trail to Sea Otter Cove.  The trail to the lake is approximately 2.5 miles long.  We hiked approximately 1.5 miles to the lake at the top of the trail and then along the shore.  The trail was slippery and steep in places.  Bears are known to be in the area.  Thankfully, we didn't see any, though we did see recent bear scat along the trail.   It rained off an on along the hike and was coming down fairly hard by the time we returned.

In the past we have seen bears and deer on the shore.  So far, we haven't seen any wildlife.  :(

 

6/22 - Appleton Cove to Kalinin Bay

Weather: On and Off again rain,  50 degrees,  light wind

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles, sea lion, sea otters

Catch Counts: 3 Silvers (2 - 6 lbs, 1 - 7 lbs),  5 Kings (13 lbs, 2- 14 lbs, 18 lbs, 27 lbs)

 

The fishing was great today.  We trolled outside of Kalinin Bay off of Point Kruzof.   Here is a summary of what we caught:

    Ben -  13 & 14 lb Kings

    Danny - 6 lb Silver

    Jacquie - 6 & 7 lb Silvers

    Christine - 14 lb King

    Carol - 27 lb King

    Tami - 18 lb King

Kalinin Bay is peaceful and full of boats.  We ran into the Amazing Graze - another extended Ocean 50.  This is the boat we saw that inspired us to extend our boat many years ago.  The sun is peaking out between the rain drops.

 

6/21 - Ell Cove to Appleton Cove

Weather: Rain,  50 degrees,  windy

Wildlife Sightings: Eagles and seals

Catch Counts: 30 pound King outside of Appleton Cove,  kept 8 crabs

 

It rained off and on all day.   We had some sun breaks here and there.  We fished for a couple of hours outside of Appleton Cove and caught one 30 pound king.  It was huge!  The fish yielded about 20 pounds of salmon.   At the prices we pay at home for fresh fish,  this one fish more than covered the cost of the fishing license.  A non resident license with a king tag costs $240.  It's a good thing that kids under 16 don't need a license.

 

We met up with the Summer Wind tonight.  It will be great spending the next week or so with them.  The girls are looking forward to playing with Ben and Danny.  Jacquie has decided that she will not talk to the adults until we arrive in Sitka.  It sure will be a quiet ride for the next couple of days. :)

The crabbing was good in Appleton Cove.  We had over 24 keepers.  Since there was no way we could eat that many, we kept 8.

 

6/20 - Red Bluff Bay to Ell Cove

Weather: Cloudy,  55 degrees, light wind

Wildlife Sightings: porpoises, eagles

Catch Counts: no fishing today

 

Chathman Strait was much more pleasant today.  It was flat and glassy for most of the ride up to Ell Cove.  The cove is a small "L" shaped cove on Baranof Island.  We shared the bay with 2 other boats.  Around the corner from the bay is a beautiful sandy beach.  We had a great time beach combing and Koda enjoyed a good run.  The wind kicked up later in the evening and the chop in the straits had increased again.

 

6/19 - Stedman Cove to Red Bluff Bay

Weather: Cloudy,  54 degrees, off and on rain

Wildlife Sightings: eagles, loons, black bear

Catch Counts: 2 pounds prawns (approximately 130)

 

After we left Stedman Cove, we took a quick run down Port Camden to take a look into Goose Bay.  According to the Douglass book, there were supposed to be bears in the area.   As we pulled into the bay, we spotted a black bear on the shore.  We managed to snap a couple of pictures before it ran off into the woods.  Next we made a pass through a small group of islands near Kuiu Island.  The water was calm and it was very beautiful. 

 

From there, we made our way across Chathman Strait.   The wind was blowing pretty hard and made for a rough ride across the strait.   We are hoping for smoother waters tomorrow.

Red Bluff Bay is as beautiful as ever.  This is one of the prettiest spots on Baranof Island.   We actually had to share the bay with 2 other boats.  We kept a sharp look out for bears, but didn't see any tonight.

 

6/18 - Port Alice to Stedman Cove

Weather: Cloudy,  58 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: eagles, humpback whales, black bear

Catch Counts: none

 

The ride across the entrance to Sea Otter sounds wasn't a pleasant one.  The swell from the ocean and the wind made for a rough ride.  Once we made it around the corner and started up Sumner Strait, the ride was much smoother.

 

We continued north and transited through Rocky Pass.  Rocky Pass is one that you need to do during high tide as it is very shallow in places.   At some spots, the water is only between 10-20 feet deep and is narrow.   Despite the challenges, it is a very beautiful peaceful ride.  We saw a black bear on the shore as we entered Rocky Pass.

 

Stedman Cove is the site of oyster farms.  For the the first time in a week, we actually shared the bay with another sailboat.  

 

6/17 - Nagasay Cove to Port Alice

Weather: Cloudy, windy, off and on rain, 55 degrees. 

Wildlife Sightings: eagles, humpback whales, sea otters, seals, loons and kingfishers

Catch Counts: 2 cod fish

 

The weather continues not to be the best.  It is windy, cold and rainy.  We fished for a little while for both salmon and halibut and caught nothing.   In port Alice, we watched humpback whales in the entrance of the cove.  The anchorage was nice and tucked away from the wind and swell.

 

6/16 - Craig to Nagasay Cove, Esquibel Island

Weather: Cloudy, windy, off and on rain, 55 degrees.  By the evening is was pouring.

Wildlife Sightings: eagles, humpback whales, Sitka Black Tail Deer, sea otters and seals

Catch Counts: No fishing or crabbing today

 

We headed out the Esquibel Island with the hope of fishing.  The weather made for less than ideal conditions, so we skipped it.  Along the way, we saw lots of whales and sea otters.  We also saw 5 Sitka Black Tail deer - including a mom and fawn.   The anchorage was great and the area was fun to explore in the dinghy.  Had the weather been nicer, it would have been a fun area to explore further in the kayaks.

 

6/15 - Craig

Weather: Cloudy, windy, off and on rain, 55 degrees.  By the evening is was pouring.

Wildlife Sightings: eagles and herons

Catch Counts: No fishing or crabbing today

 

This morning I hung out at the Voyager Bookstore/Coffee Shop/Internet Cafe uploading our last round of pictures.   Koda came with me and was an instant star.  She had her picture taken many times.  We met some very nice locals who were quite taken with her.   Kathy and her friends have been debating whether to breed her yellow lab with her friends standard poodle.  I think Koda may have tipped the scales in favor of breeding the two of them.

 

Later in the day,  we went for very bumpy dinghy ride and then back to watch the eagles.  We had the opportunity to watch a few dozen eagles in the small bay by the marina.  We managed to get a few more good shots.  The guys at the fishing lodge weren't supposed to feed the birds again, so we didn't get to see the same flurry of activity as they had last night.   Kind of a bummer, but the weather and lighting would have made it tough to get good shots.

 

In the evening, Christine and Nancy went to the pool for a swim.  The aquatic center is a relatively new facility with a 6 lane pool and a small kiddy pool.   It was pool toy night so they had a giant inflatable toy in the pool.  There is also a fun slide.    The ride back to the boat was a little chilly as the wind and the rain had picked up.

 

While Christine and Nancy were at the pool,  Jacquie and Jim watched an injured eagle near the marina.   She was shaken up hanging out at the side of the road.  When the local person who captures the injured eagles came, he flew away a short distance to the deck of the house next to the parking lot.  They will try to catch him again tomorrow or the next day. 

It is currently pouring rain and very windy.  Hopefully it will let up tomorrow.  Our plan is to move on and go fishing and explore the area further.

 

6/14 - Sarkar Cove to Craig 

Weather: Cloudy, off and on rain, 55 degrees

Wildlife Sightings: sea otters, eagles and seals

Catch Counts: No fishing or crabbing today

 

The weather has turned from clear and sunny to cool and cloudy with off and on rain. The temperature has dropped about 20 degrees and we had to pull out the pants and jackets.

The run down to Craig was beautiful and uneventful.  We came across a couple of large groups of sea otters.  They scatter before we were close enough to take any good pictures.  They are certainly fun to watch.

 

Craig is a quaint little town.  It is similar in size to Wrangell.  We found a fun little bookstore with an internet cafe and a great pizza place.  Later in the evening, we found the spot were the local eagles hang out.  There were easily 30+ eagles in the trees - very similar to what we have seen in Sitka.  The trees surround a small bay where a local lodge cleans their fish and feeds the left overs to the eagles.

The lighting wasn't great, so our photographing opportunities were limited.  We plan to stay another day to see if we can capture some great shots.  Hopefully it won't be raining.

 

6/13 - Port Protection to Sarkar Cove

Weather: Clear and sunny - 70+ degrees.

Wildlife Sightings: humpback whales, sea otters, eagles, seals, blue herons and a mink

Catch Counts: No fishing or crabbing today

 

The sun continues to shine.  It was another gorgeous day.  On the way down from Port Protection we watched a couple of humpback whales splashing their fins.  They also breeched a couple of times.  

 

The trip through Dry Pass and El Capitan Passage was beautiful.   Dry Pass was narrow but not difficult to navigate.  As we came out of Dry Pass and approached El Capitan Passage, we saw in the distance a black bear on the shore.  It was too far way to take pictures. :(

We stopped at the U.S. Forest Service dock and made the hike to El Capitan cave.  It is the largest cave in Alaska and one of the deepest in the US.   The hike up to the cave has about 600 feet of elevation gain and at some parts is a 60 degree incline.  Along the way, the USFS guides talked about the old growth timber and surrounding vegetation.    

 

The trip into the cave was very fascinating.  The temperature in the cave was about 40 degrees.  Since it hasn't rained in a week or so, the cave was relatively dry.  We hiked about 600 feet into the cave.  It was flat and tricky walk at times.  It was a good thing that they USFS provides hard hats as it was easy to hit your head!   Inside the cave, we saw all sorts of interesting formations,  a deep pit and a pool of water.  It was amazing how high some of the shafts in the cave went up and then how far a couple of pits went down.

 

After viewing the caves, we headed back to the boat to find Koda on the beach.  She had jumped the boat and was playing around.  I think she was happy to see us again.  Next time, we'll have to leave her inside.

 

We continued down El Capitan Passage and anchored at Sarkar Cove for the evening.  There are lots of eagles in the area.  We saw at least half a dozen up the river and more in the trees.  As we were exploring the area, we had a quick glimpse of a mink on the rocks.   Later, as we were exploring the beach, we found clam shell fossils.   Very cool! 

 

6/12 - Vixen Harbor to Port Protection  

Weather: Clear and sunny, 70+ degrees, some wind at times.

Wildlife Sightings: orca whales, humpback whales, sea otters, eagles and a mink

 

The run from Vixen Harbor to Port Protection was a little windy though very nice.  We watched both humpback whales and orca whales from a distance.  Port Protection is a great stopping place.  We found great spot to anchor and explored the area in the dingy.  We came across a couple of groups of sea otters in the bay.  We also watched a small mink of the shoreline.

 

6/11 - Ketchikan to Vixen Harbor

Weather: Clear, Sunny and 75+ degrees.

Wildlife Sightings: nothing remarkable

Catch Counts:

    Crab: 8 keepers, 16 that were too small.  Of the 8 we caught, we keep 4.

    Salmon: One small king that we released and one 15 pounder

 

The weather continues to be fabulous.  We headed out of town mid morning.  After a stop at the fuel dock, we headed north.  We stopped to fish for a couple of hours.   Christine reeled in the first fish.  It was snagged on the fin and was also too small to keep. :(

 

Jacquie reeled in the second and last fish.  It was a 15 pound king.   Captain Jim give no mercy to the the fish.  He whacked in the head several times and there was blood everywhere! (evil laughter) 

Avoiding pirates, we made our way to Vixen Harbor.  There was a boat hogging the  harbor, it was full of pirates, and we showed them! (more evil laughter)  Since killing the salmon wasn't enough to fill our thirst for blood, we put the crab traps down as well.  Our bait consisted of the salmon head and tail.  Little do the crabs know, their free dinner will lead to their demise! (even more evil laughter)   Our youngest crew member - Christine - successfully piloted the dingy through the dangerous waters back to the boat.

 

Vixen harbor is such a safe place (not). There is a crashed boat and we laugh are heads off with evil laughter! Wah ha ha!  We will need to keep a watch out tonight to make sure out boat doesn't encounter the same fate.

 

6/8 Ė 6/10 - Ketchikan:  The weather this whole week had been unbelievable.  There has hardly been a cloud the whole time weíve been here.  There has been some wind though, but thatís not so bad.  We spend most of our time fishing.  While the salmon fishing is pretty slow (we got skunked) we did get 4 nice halibut ranging from about 10 to 25 pounds.  I put Mike on the plane today with almost 60 pounds of fish. 

 

Nancy and the girls arrived today.  Koda was very excited to see the kids as were the kids to see Koda.  We spent the day running errands and stocking up for the next leg of our trip.

 

6/7 - Brundage Inlet to Ketchikan:  Did some more fishing in the morning, but caught nothing.  Oh well the freezer is full anyway.  The weather crossing Dixon Entrance was pretty nice with clear skies and moderate wind.  There was some chop left over from last night but all in all it was pretty good.  Got into Ketchikan and settled by about 2 pm.

 

6/6 - Lowe Inlet to Brundage Inlet:  We awoke to another beautiful day.  Not a cloud in the sky.  We picked up the crab traps, and after a lot of sorting and measuring ended up with about 10 crabs.  We probably had 25 or 30 keepers, so we only kept the biggest ones.  The shrimp traps didnít bring quite as big a bounty, but there was a good catch there as well.  The weather held all day, although the wind started kicking up a bit in Chatham Sound.  We stopped to fish for a while and caught 1 King about 10 pounds.

 

6/5 - Goat Cove to Lowe Inlet:  Another rainy day.  At least thereís not much wind.  The showers came and went most of the day, but stopped just before we went fishing.  We caught 1 King, 1 Silver and 1 pink.  We put the shrimp traps out before heading in to the anchorage.

 

6/4 - Oliver Cove to Goat Cove:  We awoke this morning to find hardly a cloud in the sky and smooth water.  Of all parts of the trip for nice weather this provides the best scenery.  We took the long way around so we could poke the bow of the boat in the big falls.  We tried some Halibut fishing along the way, but no luck.  The weather was starting to cloud up by the time we anchored, but there was no rain.  We put the kayaks down and had a nice paddle around the bay.  Koda wasnít too sure about the kayak at first, but she got her sea legs pretty quick and had a great time.

 

6/3 - Fury Cove to Oliver Cove:  Now that we made it across Queen Charlotte Sound we can relax for a while.  We stopped to fish for about 2 hours and caught 2 Kings about 25 pounds each.  It was still raining hard but the wind is not that bad and at our stern giving us a bit of a push.  By the time we were anchoring the rain had stopped.  We took Koda ashore and she swam for the Frisbee and had a great time.

 

6/2 - Squirrel Cove to Fury Cove:  Left Squirrel Cove about 6:30 and pulled the shrimp pots.  There were 9 prawns between the 2 traps, but they were really big.  Itís still raining and there is some wind forecast for today but it will be on our stern so it should be a good ride.  The currents going through Jonstone Strait were at our stern the whole way and we made it to Blackfish Sound by about 3:00.  The forecast for Queen Charlotte Sound was predicting seas to reach 2 to 3 meters by before morning, so we decided to head on across.  There was about a 3 foot chop out of the southwest the whole way and the swells never really started until we were almost at our anchorage.  It was about 10:30 by the time we got anchored.  The rain really started to come down and by the time I was trying to anchor it was a torrential downpour.  Koda lasted the whole 16 hours without an accident.

 

6/1 - Nanaimo to Squirrel Cove:  The wind in the Strait of Georgia was forecast to be out of the south, and since the military area was active, I decided to run up the strait.  The water was pretty calm at first but built to about 3 feet by the time we got to the north end of Lasquiti Island.  Since it was right on our stern, the ride was pretty good and once we turned behind the island it calmed down.  It was cloudy all day, but the rain didnít really start until we got anchored.

 

5/31 - Marrowstone Island to Nanaimo:  The weather across Juan de Fuca Strait was fantastic.  Glassy water most of the way and no rain.  There was no sun either, but it was still pretty warm.  We cleared customs in Bedwell Harbour and headed on to Nanaimo.

 

5/30 - Home to Marrowstone Island:  Left home about 11 after getting everything loaded.   Topped off the fuel and got through the locks by about 3 which didnít allow enough time to get up to Stuart Island as I had hoped.  I decided to try for Spencer Spit.  The current was against us and after a few hours it was clear that we would not get there before dark, so I decided to go to Marrowstone Island instead.  The weather was great with clear skies and light wind.  We got in about 7:00.  After dinner we put the skiff down and had a nice ride around the bay.