July 30, 2012 – By Becky
This has been a trip that began with learning. The first day I learned that the stove and the cabin heater run off of the engine batteries. I learned that when you turn the house batteries off and then back on an alarm is likely to sound if someone has not disengaged the throttle when they stopped the engine. I learned where the key to the padlock we put on the aft cabin is. I learned how to find the correct bus for the Juneau Costco, Fred Meyer and Mendenhall Glacier. I also was reminded that even though Paul and I both might get frustrated when faced with a difficult situation we are still full of love and respect for each other and can work together to solve a problem when we are many, many miles apart.
Ellie, Paul and I all started the trip feeling a bit worn down. The first day out of Juneau was the first day I wasn’t able to see the tops of the mountains due to low cloud. We sailed out from Juneau just as three huge cruise ships sailed in. Great timing!
God was good to me and gave us amazingly smooth seas. It usually takes me a couple of days to find my sea legs…..and stomach… but today was easy. We had very interesting looking waters and skies and our imaginations had lots of fun describing what we were seeing. Although the first whale we spotted didn’t take any imagination. It was beautiful!
We made it all the way to Hoonah even though we didn’t leave Juneau until at least noon. 67 miles. Tomorrow we head to Glacier Bay where we have a reservation of several days. It is hard having to be on a tight timeline since there are so many little places to stop and explore. It seems a shame to have to hurry by them without at least slowing down but we are so thankful we get to be here!
31-July- 2012 B
Started the day buying Crabs at The Office Bar in Hoonah, talking with the local Tlinget Ladies and stepping behind a cruise ship tour of some native carvers who are building a 16’ x 32’ Cedar House Panel for the cedar house being built for the NPS in Bartlett Cove. Pressed for time having a slow boat and wanting to cover large distances, we left Honanah at 10:00. Ellie was waiting for Becky and I when we got back to the boat, she is enjoying her aft cabin solitude and sleeping well and late. Disappointed by the rain, made some last minute cell phone calls as I set a course for Point Gustaveous; settled into the southerly swell and watching a few whale spouts in the distance. As we approached Point Aldolphous we saw a number of whales flapping their tails, on their sides and breaching, we had to stop for a few minutes and observe, wonderful. As I lie here tonight in a great secure anchorage, North Sandy Cove, I am amazed at the life we witnessed today. Everywhere today there life we saw Murrelettes, Kittywinks, Gullitmonts, Terns and Gulls. After we made our way into the Park and had our orientation we continued on, with a few more whale sightings and soon we saw our first of a dozen sea otters. The last highlight was South Marble Island which is a Bird Rookery and Stellar Sea Lion Haul Out, we must have see a couple hundred animals as well as about ten Puffins swimming around the boat. That was a nice end to a great day even if it rained most of it still we had sightings of the Mountains shrouded in wisps of clouds with some moments of showing their peaks.
An early start, trying to make up for the tide fighting rough going of yesterday, we went 55 miles in 10 hours. In Glacier Bay you have to adhere to a mid-channel course in order not to disturb the Humpback Whale near shore feeding. The result of this and our timing had us fighting the peak flood tide and at one time we were down to 0,4 knots over ground. The benefit of this was some great bird watching and the occasional Sea Otter. I was trying to identify a sandpiper,ish, type of bird; so when I called the ranger to check out of the park I asked for their help. It turned out to n=be a Red Necked Phalarope; a new on for me. The bird life in the Park was wonderful and everywhere. We saw large floats of Sea Scooters, Marbled Murrelle, the rare Kittlitzs Murrelet. Our departure was highlighted by a visit from a Crested Puffin. Indeed the trip to Glacier Bay was well worth it; one of those special places with natural wonders and a biological richness that draws a lot of wildlife. Today it is evident, as we slog into 15knot winds and 3’ swells, gone are all the sea birds and the concentration of whales we saw off of Point Aldolphos. None the less we are doing good and I’m pleased to see the 6.7 knots on the read out, even thought the way point 32 miles away started out being 4.5 hours away.
Oh look it is raining again, Things couldn’t be better however, we are in Petersburg awaiting the tide and will be heading to Anan Creek Bear Observatory. The last few days have been action filled, with 80 mile days and stops in Sitka for two Nights, Baranoff Hot springs and Thomas Bay.
Walking in the rain to the Tottem Park and tales of the Russian Orthadox Settlers and Tlinget Natives. Lots a miles and Fredrick Sound filled wilth Whales. WE got passes to get into Annan Creek Bear Observatory and had to keep Ellie for another day to do it. She is such a pleasure to be with and the three of us are having a blast.