Airship Goes to Alaska 2016
We slept in this morning, had some breakfast, and then Kevin went to check the crab traps. (Two large keepers, woohoo!)
The wind had definitely picked up, so we opted to go through Jackson Narrows and head over to Finlayson Channel, and then poke our head out to see what the conditions were like. Gale warnings were still in effect, and the wind had definitely increased, but didn’t seem too bad. Finlayson Channel was white capping a little, the current was with us, and the wind was straight on our nose. The waves were still only about 2ft and not bad at all, so we headed north up Finlayson, with several spots identified as duck out spots in case the waves picked up. It was probably blowing about 15kts gusting to 30kts (we saw 33kts once), but the conditions stayed the same and just got better as we got further along. We headed for Khutze Inlet, where we stayed last year on our way south.
If you never poked your head out to see what the conditions were like where you are (or where you’re going), and operated strictly by the forecasts, you’d never leave your home or anchorage. It’s important to pay attention to weather of course, but it’s also important to know your bodies of water and the land structures around them and how things affect other things.
Here we are in those conditions:
We both showered underway and things were fairly calm by the time we turned into Khutze Inlet. Khutze Inlet is about 4.5 nautical miles off the channel, but so worth it!
We anchor all the way back at the end, near (but not too near) the shelf off of the bear meadow. Oh, and look! A brown bear sow and two cubs, just as we arrive.
They heard us and kept an eye on us as we anchored.
You can see how far we are from the bears in this zoomed out photo:
All of a sudden there was a big ruckus on shore when we weren’t looking, and guess what? GEESE were chasing the grizzly bears. And the grizzlies ran from them.
Kevin put out some crab traps (we haven’t managed to freeze any yet, but I know we’ll get tired of crab at some point). Tonight: crab enchiladas! Again!
There’s one other boat in here with us. There’s a gorgeous, really tall waterfall we can see and hear from the boat (light is not good now for photos). This place is just beautiful. (Ford’s Terror kind of beautiful.) Highly recommended. Just be careful about that ledge…we’re at low tide now and swung all the way toward the shoal and can see it from the back of the boat VERY clearly. It’s a steep drop off, but it feels a little close. (We’re good, don’t worry.)
Here are some drone shots to give you a better idea of the space in here:
After dinner we took the dinghy out to explore a bit. Airship with waterfalls:
We headed up the river a little ways. Super pretty back in here (no bears).
Then over to get a closer look at the biggest waterfall. The scale doesn’t translate at all in this photo.
Tomorrow, Hartley Bay (we think). There’s cell service there and internet, so I’ll finally get to post Days 12 and 13!!
Airship after sunset:
The light was so pretty last night:
And then, the moon:
Today’s route from Rescue Bay to Khutze Inlet (44.3 nautical miles 6 hours 31 minutes):