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Elfin Cove and Pelican

We left Glacier Bay National Park on Sunday (July 31) and headed to Elfin Cove (through South Inian Pass in Cross Sound). It was nice and calm as we left Glacier Bay, and we even got a little humpback breach on our way out.

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A humpback near shore, closer to Elfin Cove:


We were excited to revisit Elfin Cove and Pelican this year with Tiffani and Deke and Sam and Anna. We tried the inner harbor first but there wasn’t enough room for both boats (and maybe not even for one boat), so we ended up on the outer dock (rafted like good visitors, so we took up less dock space in this busy place).

(Just going in and out of the inner harbor is so cool though…it’s very narrow and shallow, and feels like a special place you aren’t supposed to be.) The entrance is up ahead on the right of the photo, by the vertical pilings in the distance:


You can kinda tell from this photo of our walk to the market (later) how narrow the entrance is. (That’s it on the left!)


Elfin Cove’s inner harbor:


The gang, watching the float plane land and take off at the end of our dock:


We walked around town, reprovisioned a little bit at the general store, and then made pizzas for dinner. (Tiffani made the dough, and Deke made the delicious red sauce, and we all made personal pizzas from a variety of toppings…so good!) We hung out on the dock talking to a troller named Joey (F/V Silverlance) about fishing and boats and Elfin Cove…he was really nice and fun to chat with!


Anna bought some coho from him because she hadn’t caught any fish yet and wanted to be sure the freezer on Safe Harbour was stocked!


Our route from Shag Cove in Geikie Inlet in Glacier Bay National Park to Elfin Cove (43.4 nautical miles, 5 hours 49 minutes):


In the morning we went up to the Coho Bar & Grill for breakfast, did another loop around town, and then took off for Pelican. Another gorgeous day!

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Here we are rafted on the dock, after all the fish boats left for the day:



Great view of the Fairweathers!

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We had no trouble finding dock space in Pelican. Once settled, we walked the boardwalk a bit to explore town.

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Totems in front of City Hall (which is where you pay your moorage, by the way).



Springy dolphin in front of the Pelican school:

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At the south end of the boardwalk, this area is called “Whiskey Flats”:

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Where the river (and the bears) join town. There were quite a few salmon in the stream here, but no bears.

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Before dinner we all went up to Rose’s Bar for a beer and some local color.

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Rose’s finally has (soon-to-be) new owners! We talked to them quite a bit about their plans for a few upgrades, and how they really want/need to walk a fine line when making changes to this place. It’s got some serious history, and they know the regulars won’t deal well with too much change. They sound excited and like they have some great ideas though. It’ll be cool to see what they do with the place.

From one of the regulars (Bill Pierre, of Bill Pierre Ford), we learned about a place called Radioville, on a small unnamed island on the outside of Chichagof Island (where we plan to go next). Bill Pierre kind of sort of pointed it out on the chart to us, and told us it was a radio station run by a retired signal corps operator to deliver messages from the outside world to the gold and silver mining village in Klag Bay during the early 1900s. Apparently this retired signal corps operator drank quite a bit, and Bill said that the beach is covered in glass from this guy’s broken booze bottles, and for us to look for a red shack and the blue and purple sparkling beach in front of it. (We are of course intrigued by all of this and may try to find it!)

In the morning we walked up to have breakfast at the Lisianski Inlet Cafe. The two specials of the day were biscuits and gravy (really good) and corned beef hash (amazing).


After breakfast we stopped in the gift shop (next door, and part of the cafe) and Tiffani and Anna bought a couple Eric Bealer prints (Alaskan artist/printmaker who lives just outside of Pelican) and a tshirt, and Anna stopped at Yakobi Fisheries and stocked up on some more salmon and halibut. (At home in Portland as part of our weekly organic veggie delivery–Organics to You–we occasionally add a pound of salmon to our order, and guess where it comes from? Yakobi Fisheries in Pelican! Pretty cool.

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Elfin Cove to Pelican (19.6 nautical miles, 2 hours 55 minutes):


We left the dock in Pelican and are headed forLisianski Strait. The weather looks good for doing the outside of Chicagof Island to Sitka, and so that’s our plan.