I am aware, kelp is a plant, well, we anchored that night in Portage Bay, on the East side of Kupreanof island. It states in the book, that it is a secure anchorage, with a narrow entrance, yes, indeed, but we went in when the tide was not running very hard, so, no problem. Later on we found out, that the best anchoring is just around the corner after you come into the bay, but heh!! It looked so very nice further up, so we traveled a bit more and then dropped anchor in the center, as it is quite shallow near both shores. We went on shore to do some exploring, and had a great time. When back to shore, we noticed a couple more boats had come in and anchored, but they were right around the corner of the entrance…….hhhmmmm…….should have told us something!!! I made dinner, washed the dishes, and then heard some very strange noises. A loud whoosh ,all along the hull, it stopped, and then another , very loud whoosing sound. Both of us leaned out of the boat, and here were huge patches , almost small islands of kelp, coming into the bay at high speed, we were surrounded!!! This was no good, it was almost dark by now, but we started the engine, hauled up the anchor , and headed to where the other boats were anchored, there was not a single piece of kelp near them!!! Lesson learned!!!! The rest of the evening was peaceful ,we were sung to sleep by the calls of the loons.
I just dont know what other title i could put for this post, this is my whale post, my incredible encounter, close encounter!!! Continue reading
The anchorage lies behind Payne island, and i think it is so well protected, it stays quite warm here during winter, maiden hair ferns grow here, lots of them, they are surrounded by Blue bells, Columbine , Cow Parsnip ,daisies and Yarrow. Lots of dew settles here every morning, as this spot is close to the Pacific Ocean, we could see the town of KAKE ,across on Kupreanof island, Kake is a First Nation town, and the islands here hold a lot of Clam gardens and Middens, history goes way back here. This is a place of natural wealth, we checked all the beaches for garbage as we always do but found nothing, such a good thing!!! we truly loved it here.
At the entrance cascades a lovely waterfall, as we rounded the corner ,we saw that we were the only ones, good thing… The bear meadows at the head of the bay were very busy indeed!! A momma brown bear was grazing with her two cubs, further down a lone bachelor hung around, staying well clear of her and her two off spring, i then noticed a very small bear, all by himself, he seemed to be hanging around, rubbing against bushes, munching a bit on the grass, he looked to be too small to be by himself already, we never did see a mother, he stayed all afternoon and all evening, lying down , stretching in the sun, i dont think he was having a hard time…… We took the dinghy towards the creek entrance, looking for tracks and wild flowers, the fresh water was still flowing hard, the tide was out, so we had the mud flats to explore. I am just reading in my journal and i wrote that the little bear by himself was very light colored , almost cream, while the other ones were all the usual brown. Towards the evening, a National Geographic boat, the MV SEA LION , came into the bay, they went and anchored at the very far corner, and turned the engines and the generator off, which we were very grateful for. The peace and tranquility here needs to be reveled in, and not spoiled by engines running. Then a second small cruise ship came in, the MV WILDERNESS WONDERER , but they left again after looking at the bears for a while.
On July 18th we headed out, beautiful day, no rain!! We cruised along the shores of Baranof Island and promised each other we are coming back here again. These two islands, Chichagof and Baranof , are wild and wondrous, they are both covered in glaciers , none coming down as far as the waters edge , but still covering the hillsides of the mountains. Mount Radamaker at 4320 feet, and Mount Harding at 3050 feet, are truly impressive. We want to cruise around these islands, at the Oceans edge, both have a wealth of deep bays and coves to anchor in and to explore. Trish and Will stayed another night at the hot springs, but we would see each other again. Continue reading
While we were there, a bright yellow steel boat came in, MV POLAR BOUND , we didnt get a chance to talk with the owners, we saw a very well dressed lady on her, she seemed out of place, and later on i found out this was Jane Maufe, the author of the book; THE FROZEN FRONTIER !! This boat went around the Northwest passage, she sure looked, (the boat that is),immensely capable. The book is an interesting read, but did disappoint me.
The next day , a sailboat came in, it looked familiar: SV SHADOWDANCER II, and we had seen the boat in Hoonah but never did talk with the owners, and here they were, rafting against us!! The start of a great friendship!!! Both Trish and Will are from Australia, have a catamarin over there, and this boat over here. They came over for dinner that evening,after a soak in the tubs, and i believe we all had a soak again later on, its hard to stay away.
We stayed in Cosmos Cove till July 16th, then headed towards Baranof warm springs, so many boating folks had told us about this place, about the tranquility, and the wonderful warm water waiting there, as you come into the bay, there awaits you a 100′ waterfall, which used to provide the residents here with power, three natural hot springs come down the hillside , next to the river, the temperatures are hot and then hotter!!! The hot water is piped from up high, to three bath houses, which have large, metal tubs inside, you let the “old” water drain out, put the plug in, and fill it up!!! TADAH!!!! a wonderful warm soak, a curtain gives you privacy and you can lock the door, which i did, Bert was in another tub, but it didnt take long, or he knocked on my door, just as i was nicely submerged in the warm water, he didnt have a cold water faucet in his tub,mine did, so it got too hot for him. I didnt mind sharing, the tubs are more then big enough. I can take very hot water, but not for long, so after a few minutes Bert took over, added cold water and sunk down into bliss!!! I think we enjoyed this three times while we were there. The next day we also walked up the trail, and visited the natural hot pools, i didnt strip there but slowly sunk into the water as much as i could….The trail is gorgeous, it is lined with dogwood, salmon berries ,blue berries and huge skunk cabbage, every colour green imaginable. The dock was full when we got there, but a very kind lad moved his boat for us so we could tie Curtsy up, i found the atmosphere was good, people are kind and considerate, could have stayed there a long time….. The folks living in the cabins seemed to be from Norwegian decent , some had been there a long time, others live there to get away from it all, which you truly do!!!! A boardwalk lines the bay, which leads to the forest, and the warm pools. There are bears there every day, one even uses the boardwalk, might as well right? Signs are everywhere to warn of them, we saw two of them, both brown bear, i can so understand that the bears hang around the warm pools, i am sure they enjoy them at night!!!
Last year we were on our way, a whole year ago, and i am still struggling to tell my story, it has been beautiful weather so i have been scrubbing and cleaning the boat, we are surrounded by large trees, maples, weeping willows, and they all have been sending their pollen into the wind, it seems right at Curtsy, who has been covered with a fine, stubborn layer of green, it doesn’t wash off easily, it means spending most of a day, washing, using hot water and soap. But, i love taking care of her, this is my home, and so the blog had to wait for a while!! bright, sunny day today, 22 inside the boat, 32 up on deck, my micro greens are busy, most of them are now 6 ” tall and ready to be eating .
But, thats enough about that, here we go with the continuation of the journey last year.
We aimed , on July 14th, for Cosmos cove, on Baranof Island, it has a L -shape and provides great protection if the weather gets rough. No one seemed to head to this Cove, all the more reason for us to anchor there. We were well awarded, the shore line was wild and beautiful, huge Sitkas lined the beaches, lush, waist high grass grew every where we looked, my first thought was….bears!!!! The day was sunny and warm, and we sat in the open cockpit, relaxing, didnt take long, and there out of the forest ,ambled a brown bear, i think a male, bachelor maybe, he didnt not once looked at us, but proceeded to munch on the fat grasses. After an hour , he stretched out , scratched himself, (what a life), and dozed for a bit….. he then got up, and started walking towards the little reef , that was right in front of us, he kept going, straight for the water, and let himself sink into the coolness, i could so understand how good that must have felt to him! he then kept going, swimming to the other side of the narrow bay. Here was new grass to check out, more to explore, he shook himself out, gave us one look, and off he went.