June 30th: Auke Bay to Crab Bay
Crab Bay is locate up Tenakee Inlet. It's a quiet bay which we hoped would contain lots of crabs. We put our traps down and explored the shore. Christine found lots of little sand crabs. When we pulled the puts up in the morning, we had some many good sized crabs. A couple of them were 8 3/4 inches in size.
June 29th: Auke Bay
We had originally planned to leave today, but the engine cross over pipe that Cummings had ship was defective. Jim took the old one to a welder to try to patch the leaks while Nancy and the girls went to the bookstore and then to the fish hatchery. Later in the afternoon, Jim and Jacquie went fishing in the bay. Jacquie caught her first Salmon of the year - a 9 pound chum. She plans on bring on piece of it to the raptor center for the eagles and the other piece we will smoke.
The welded pipe seems to be functioning ok, so we will head out of town tomorrow.
June 28th: Downtown Juneau
We went downtown today and took the tram up Mt. Roberts. The weather was perfect for a hike around the area. We hiked up to the lookout by the cross and then up the the trail towards the top of the mountain. Each year we hike up the trail a little further. In a couple of years, we will hopefully make it to the top. Along the way we say 5 marmots, a mother ptarmigan with 3 chicks and a porcupine.
After our hike, we had dinner at the Twisted Fish Cafe by cruise ship docks and then went to the Alaska Fudge Company one last time. The Thomas packed up and headed to their hotel for the evening. It seems far to quiet now. We had a great time with them and already miss them.
June 27th: Gambier Bay to Auke Bay
The trip to Auke Bay was uneventful. The weather is cool and cloudy. We spent much of the morning in the fog and mist by late evening it was drizzling. The kids had fun fishing off the dock for little fish. We also went downtown to the Alaska State Museum and then to dinner.
Late in the evening, there was an amazing thunder/lightning storm. One thunder crack was about 1.5 miles away. It was very loud! The boat shook. There was also an earthquake in centered in Craig around 2 am. We heard it was around 7.0. We didn't feel anything on the boat.
June 26th: Red Bluff Bay to Gambier Bay
We made a leisurely trip to Gambier Bay. We stopped and fished for halibut along the way. We caught a 15 pound halibut, a small true cod, a bull head, a ling cod and a couple of other bottom fish.
June 25th: Cosmos Bay to Red Bluff Bay
It was another windy day and the ride down to Red Bluff Bay was very rough. Once in the bay, it was beautiful as always. It was a little windy in the bay, but it died down by the end of the day and the evening was beautiful. We took the kayaks and dingy to shore and went partially up the river and then headed over to the shore where we had seen bears in the past. Tonight, we lucked out. We saw a mother brown bear and two cubs! We weren't able to get very good pictures because they were fairly far away.
Next, we headed over to the waterfall. Greg, Jill and Elizabeth got very wet from the spray.
June 24th: Kalinin Bay to Cosmos Bay
We fished the spot one more time before heading through Peril Straits. As Jacquie was reeling in the only fish for the day, a seal stole her fish! He grabbed our fish and all of our tackle and took off! She was very disappointed.
The ride down to Cosmos Bay was pretty bumpy as we turned south out of Peril Straits. It was very windy and there was quite a bit of chop/swell. We were glad we only had to endure the water for about an hour.
Cosmos Bay was a beautiful bay. We crabbed and kayaked in the area. The crabbing was excellent. The sun was still shinning.
June 23rd: Sitka to Kalinin Bay
We fished our usual spot in Salisbury Sound. We managed only one fish again. Greg caught a 30 pound king and it made the 13 pounder we caught earlier in the trip look tiny!
We spent the day at the Alaska Raptor Center. Christine, Jacquie and Nancy rode their bikes first thing in the morning and then Jim and the rest of the crew joined them later in the morning. Melissa took the kids back to the clinic area and showed them the newest patients - 2 bald eagles and one humming bird. The kids got to name the birds. They chose Allegro for the hummingbird and Baranof and Smarty for the bald eagles. They also watched Melissa re-hydrate the hummingbird.
After lunch, we headed back to the Raptor Center to watch the afternoon presentation. Melissa brought out Jacquie's favorite bird - Duke. She was very excited because the original plan for the day had been to show Volta. Later, we watched Melissa put away all the birds at the end of the day. It was very cool. Jacquie is ready to spend her summers here volunteering at the center. She can't wait until she is old enough. For her, one of the highlight of the day was when we purchased her official Alaska Raptor Center fleece pullover. An adult small is still to large, but she loves it anyway...
We fished our usual spot in Salisbury Sound and managed our first Salmon of the season. It was a 13 pound king. The rest of the day was pretty much fruitless. It's been very frustrating not catching fish were we usually do.
We arrived in Sitka around 3pm. The harbor was full and we have to anchor out for the evening. Hopefully, there won't be too many boat wakes to toss the boat around.
Tomorrow, we will head to the Raptor Center and other sites around town.
The heat wave continue! Record temperatures are being set all over Southeast Alaska. It was almost too hot today! The temperature was in the 85+ range on the water.
We anchored in Appleton Cove after fishing. Once again we had no luck. Dressed in wetsuits, the kids went for a swim on the island where we usually took Izzy ashore. The water was clear and warm. After dinner, Jacquie and Tyler swam off the boat. They had a great time jumping off the top deck until Jacquie got stung by a jelly fish. The sting was pretty painful and turned her forearm red. After applying cold towels most of the evening, the redness had pretty much gone away. The next morning she was fine.
The weather continues to be fantastic! Once again it was 70+ and clear. Everything is absolutely gorgeous. It just leaves you with a sense of awe. The only things that would make it better would be to catch some fish. We haven't had any luck yet.
As we headed out of Glacier Bay, we saw more wildlife. Bears, sea otters, stellar sea lions, seals, humpback whales, sea otters, orca whales, puffins and eagles. We managed a few great shots of puffins. They are small fast little birds and challenging to photograph. It makes photographing eagles easy!
We anchored in Swanson Harbor again. As we were looking for a spot to fish, we came across pods of orca whales. They were everywhere across the entrance to the harbor. They were fascinating to watch. I was disappointed that I didn't have the right camera with me. I had only brought a little P&S. I will not leave the nice camera behind again...
Tomorrow, we will head towards Sitka. We plan to stay at Appleton Cove and do some fishing along the way.
Another sunny day! The weather couldn't have been more perfect for this area. The mountains were breath taking, the glaciers were awesome and the bears were fantastic! This place is amazing and due to the park system limiting the number of boats in the bay, it is very peaceful and serine. We have seen very few boats on our travels. Today we saw one large cruise ship, two smaller cruise ship, a tour boat a power boat similar in size to ours with a bunch of photographers and another mega yacht. There were also a few kayakers. I got the impression that things get much busier up here in the next week or so. I feel very fortunate that we were able acquire permits only with a couple of days notice and have had perfect weather.
Today, we went up Tarr Inlet and watched the Margerie Glacier. It appears to be larger than the Sawyer Glacier in Tracy Arm. The height was impressive. We watched some piece fall off. The noise is impressive as is the swell that is created. The ice flow was also different than what we have experienced in Tracy Arm. We were able to get much closer to the glacier with fewer ice bergs. I think this added to it's impressiveness. There also weren't any seals. The seals are located up the John's Hopkins Inlet which is currently closed to all vessels. This is to protect the seals and their pups. The area opens up in July.
We anchored in North Sandy Cove. The mega yacht is anchored in the South Cove and another mini cruise ship is anchored around the corner from us. It is amazing to pretty much have this place to ourselves. As were were sitting down to dinner, we spotted a black bear and cub on the shore line. They didn't stay very long. Later in the evening, we saw 2 more black bears on the shore foraging for food. It looked like he was eating muscles and barnacles. We watched him for a while and decided to go back to the boat and get the camcorder and better camera lens. By the time we got back, he had his fill and was wondering off into the woods. This area is closed to camping due to bear concentration, but I never thought we would be lucky enough to see 4 bears in one evening.
There are also moose in the area. While walking around on shore we spotted moose and bear tracks. We also saw tracks that could have been made by a heron. We are hoping if we get up early enough we can see more wild life.
Once again the weather was fantastic! It was clear and sunny - though it was a little windy by the end of the day. We entered Glacier Bay around 10:30 or so. We went through our orientation at Bartlett Cove and headed out.
We first stopped to fish for Halibut again. Tyler caught a bull head and Greg caught a muscle. As we fished we watched humpback whales all around. There were 3 or 4 different groups that were feeding close to shore. Just sitting and listening to the blows was fun.
Our next stop was South Marble Island. There we saw PUFFINS (the first we have seen in the 6 years we have been up here), nesting seagulls, 50+ sea lions on the north end of the island. The noises were incredible again. The sea lions were loud. The bulls were HUGE. We watched as they others away for the prime spots on the rocks. Others just happily played in the water. The seagulls sounded just like the ones in Finding Nemo when they would all say "mine mine mine". That is exactly sounded.
We anchored in Reid Harbor at the base of the Reid Glacier. It was amazing. We took the kayaks and dingy ashore. Since the tide was out, we were not able to get to the base of the glacier. The water was too shallow. The beach was fine muddy glacier slit. It was very squishy and gooey. Other spots were harder packed with gravel. We walked and played among the beached ice bergs. In some spots, were able to climb on the side of the glacier. The kids thought this was really cool. The other thing we found really interesting were "warm spots" on the shore. It was cool near the base of the glacier. As we wandered along the shore, we found spots that were significantly warmer than other spots without the sun shining directly on the glacier.
We also saw three different groups of Sea Otters today. Two inside the park and one on the way.
The weather today was fantastic. It was clear and sunny. As we headed out of town, we stopped and fished in Fritz Cove. Fritz Cove is located just around the corner from Auke Bay. There were lots of boats fishing, but once again we came up empty.
The remainder of the trip to Swanson Harbor was beautiful. The mountains that had been covered with clouds unvailed for us to see. It was amazing to be able to see for miles. During the cruise up, we saw a few different groups of humpback whales. They were blowing and diving down.
We fished for halibut outside Swanson Harbor. Jacquie managed to catch the only fish - a small halibut about 3.5 pounds. A little too small for us all to eat for dinner, but the remains made for excellent crab bait. We caught 7 or 8 good size crabs in the morning.
The hike around the Mendenhall Glacier was great. We hiked out hiked to the base of the waterfall near the glacier. This was the first time that we have made the hike out to the falls. It is a flat easy trail that goes along the lake and leads right to the base of the cascading waterfall. It is very beautiful and wet! The other thing the kids really enjoyed was climbing on the rocks in the area. That was almost more fun than seeing the glacier it's self.
We ate dinner at the small hamburger/fish chip place by the marina. It was fun to enjoy our meal while watching and listening to the eagles. I love the sounds the eagles make.
Tomorrow we will head North and get ready to enter Glacier Bay. We have a permit for June 17-June 19th. We are excited as we have never been able to go before.