From Hoonah, after filling with fuel, we headed into Chatham Strait, our goal was Pavlov harbour, a beautiful place from what i was reading about it. I was quite ready for that….. It is also called Fresh water bay, it offers good shelter from all kinds of weather. So we headed there on JULY 12TH , Vaughan Balaam’s birthday. We were the only boat, which is quite lovely, as we came into the harbour, we were met by two Alaskan brown bears, sauntering along the shore, not paying any attention to us!! After a while, two more boats came in , but there was lots of room for us all. This place is magical, there is a waterfall at the head of the bay, with a fish ladder on the one side. The path to the falls leads around the bay, and winds in and out of the beautiful forest. Everywhere i looked there was bear scat, she grasses were very lush , and it looks like they come to feed here all the time. The trees all were giant Sitkas, immense trees, i will write down what i wrote while i was there……
PAINT BRUSH ,ALL ALONG THE SHORE , PEEKING OUT FROM UNDER THE TALL,TALL GRASSES. REDS AND PINK,PEACH ,YELLOW, EVERY VARIETY GROWS HERE. THE IMMENSE SITKAS STAND JUST INSIDE THE FORESTS EDGE ,HUGE TREES,AMONG THEM, DEVILS CLUB, ALMOST IN BLOOM. TWO YOUNG BROWN BEARS STROLL ALONG THE SHORE, TURNING A ROCK HERE AND THERE ,SNIFFING THE AIR ,BITING AT THE GRASSES. AT THE WATERFALL ,A MINK SCURRIES TO THE WATERS EDGE,BUT SEES US ,AND RUNS BACK INTO THE FOREST. FISH ARE JUMPING EVERYWHERE ,BUT THEY ARE NOT BITING……THEY ARE KING SALMON WE THINK, MAYBE READY TO JUMP UP THE FALLS, OR USE THE FISH LADDER.
So, that is Pavlov, a gorgeous anchorage, i loved it there…..
July 11th we headed to Hoonah, we needed to get fuel, do some laundry and walk to the local store for some provisions. The weather was still beautiful, the docks were quite full, looked like the total fishing fleet came back into harbour, but our spot from last time was still unoccupied, so again, we made that turn, in low tide, i kept on waiting for that sound, where the keel meets the bottom, but nothing happened…… The carving shed was quiet as the carvers were all still in Bartlett Cove, we walked to the store, bought what we needed , talked to some very nice folks there and strolled back to the boat. I was ready to go on pretty soon, so much more to see, the other boaters we had travelled with, went to Sitka, which lies at the West shore of Baranof Island, we were contemplating to go, but the weather turned nasty, and i think we were a bit tired, i still felt so very overwhelmed, and didnt feel very good. So heh, we said, Sitka wont be taken away any time soon, so we will go again, which will be in 2019!!!! Continue reading
That evening, after the performance, Owen asked us if we liked apple pie, he really , really would like some apple pie. Sarah joined us, but we found out that there was no apple pie, so, ok, we all decided on the chocolate cake. Owen held us captive with his stories, and we enjoyed a wonderful evening. This had been day7, so we figured that we would leave the next day, little did we know, that we had exceeded our welcome. All in all, we did go with Sarah to Gustavus, and thought, since it was not very busy, we could go the next day. Well, NO WAY!!!! We had to leave that afternoon, the weather had turned bad, wind blowing, tide against us, but NO!! they would not let us stay!!! So July 11th , we headed back to Hoonah. The Sea otters smiled at us, as we struggled on, against the tide. Continue reading
We were and are very interested in the Huna (Hoonah) , tribal hut, its a big project and as i told before , we had met 2 of the master carvers already. if you are interested, go to;http://go.nps.gov/tribalhouse We heard from Sarah that there was going to be a presentation by two Tlingit representatives , who would tell stories by dance and song. Owen James, one of the master carvers, who also is the captain of a 40 feet canoe, carved out of 1 , yes, ONE Sitka tree, was glad to see us, and remembered us from Hoonah. Owen’s Tlingit name is SANEK, which means little frog. He told us about life here, about his story, a rebirth, and i was deeply impressed by this humble man. Every carving, every painting has a story, some of the carvings tell about what happened here , in Glacier bay, the ice overtaking the villages. Owen and his friend Doug, danced and sang, and all the folks present seem to really enjoy the show. Continue reading
The second time, anchoring in Blue Mouse cove, the Black Cottonwood did not have any scent left at all, the cottony seeds hang in clusters from the branches and were covering the water surface and everywhere else, the job was done!! The other boats left , and we stayed two nights, again, listening to the whales, shore feeding and sleeping. This place is magical.
July 9, we are heading back to Bartlett Cove and the tribal hut. The tide would be running hard in Sitakaday Narrows, so we took our time, we had been warned by the parks folks, that the whales shore feed in the narrows, so we were on guard. We had left at 8.30, but when we came close to the narrows, we had to wait quite a while, it was still running at 5 knots, against us, which means that we would be standing still!!! eehh… floating still!! We never did see one whale, must have left them all in Blue Mouse cove!! We anchored in our “old” spot, in Bartlett cove, and headed to shore for food, a shower, laundry and more. A hot shower is $5.00 US, yikes!! i decided to shower on board which i had been doing all along anyways, but Bert disappeared in the shower, while i got the laundry going. We ended up talking with a very nice young lady, Sarah, from Michigan, she was camping with her husband, he went home and she decided to get a job here at the park. She offered to borrow a friends car and take us into Gustavus, do a bit of shopping and look around. Bert was all done with his shower, standing outside, and all of a sudden called me over, very urgently, and there, right on the small path, was a porcupine, a very large one, waddling down the path, not looking at us at all, i called him and called him, and eventually he stopped, very slowly turned his black head and face , looked at me, as if to say, “what do you want”??? and onwards he went again!! His quills were creamy white, and very long, very impressive, would not want to piss him off!!!!! He made my day!!!! The only thing is, NO PHOTO!!!!!
We headed back to Blue Mouse Cove for anchoring, the weather still gorgeous, there were three boats anchored already so we decided to stay close to the entrance, as we came in, a very big Humpback came alongside Curtsy, quietly swam alongside us, came up for a breathe and made eye contact with me, i was at that point just about hanging over the side of the boat!! I noticed his dorsal fin, it had two,what looked like barnacles attached to it. I remember this well, as we saw him again and again on the trip. I have so much to write about these magnificent animals, they stole my heart, its as if they knew , how i was traumatized, its as if they “told” me , that i was suppose to be here, suppose to meet them, the joy i felt, every time i saw them, whether it was one or a whole family, it confirmed for me, that we needed to continue this journey. I will write a lot more about them, and show some great photos!!
The Tlingit people who live in Hoonah, tell the story of what happened in Glacier bay, a long time ago. They did not always live in Hoonah, but occupied several villages in Glacier bay! This was way before the 1700’s . But by 1795, the massive glacier was 4000 feet thick, 20 miles wide and extended more then 100 miles. In 1879, the ice had retreated more then 30 miles, slowly a bay was forming. In 1916, the Grand Pacific Glacier which was the main glacier and responsible for carving out the bay, had melted 60 miles. There is nothing written about what happened here, but the Tlingit have great stories of the happenings, the elders pass the stories on , and its very worthwhile to listen carefully when they speak. Continue reading
The Grand Pacific glacier is advancing slowly for the last few years, as is the Lamplugh glacier, this is my most favorite one, it calves quite often, and it did when we were floating around in front of it, Lamplugh glacier is fed by the Brady Ice field which is why it still advancing at quite the rapid speed. It is a tide water glacier. The best part really was that we could come so close to it with the boat, and, naturally, a hug chunk of ice broke off, with a loud bang, and yes, i just happened to be down below for 2 minutes!!! GGRRRRR…… So i didnt get a photo of that but i took lots of other , great shots. When we were floating around , to the North side of the glacier, the weather was calm, no wind at all, but when we decided to slowly move around the glacier, pointing South, a 35 knot wind hit us sideways!!! talk about being surprised!! This is a katabatic wind, it comes from radiational cooling of air on top of a plateau of mountain or glacier, the air will flow downwards ,gaining speed, it can actually reach hurricane speeds of wind, but the 35 knots was impressive enough!! Katabatic comes from the Greek word katabasis , meaning descending.
We left Reid glacier on July 7th, ready to explore into the West arm. We motored into Tarr inlet ,towards the Grand pacific glacier and the Margerie glacier. WE so could feel the cold coming off of the ice, the bay was manageable ,ice chunks were everywhere and we scooped up a few chunks for in our drinks later that evening. NOT easy , to scoop them up, this ice is so heavy!!! It also is very clear , very beautiful actually, and a piece , put into the freezer stayed clear right till now. We could not get close to the Margerie glacier, too much ice, we were warned to not go into John Hopkins inlet as the seals had their pups, and keep them on the ice flows, as the babies do not have enough fat on them for the frigid waters. We came as close as we could , so i could take some photos of the seals on the ice.