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Pybus Bay to Taku Harbor

Today was another 50+ mile day, so we left Pybus Bay at 6am (after pulling in one more Dungeness crab).  Kevin pulling up crab traps at 5:30am:


I'm glad it was clear when we arrived, or we'd have missed those beautiful mountains back there, covered by the misty gray this morning. 

One of the rocky islets in the entrance to Pybus Bay:


We cruised up Stephens Passage (forecast for seas 3 feet but this morning changed to less than 2 feet) and it looked like this pretty much the whole way:


We saw humpbacks ALL ALONG OUR CRUISE. All. Along. We probably saw 40 or 50 humpbacks. Here are a few (too many) photos:






Humpback at 2 o'clock!


Humpback in the foreground, with two more behind him:





I'll chill out on the humpback photos, but it was super cool.

Oh yeah, we also saw a seal tossing a salmon about before he ate ‘im. It was raining and pretty gray, but I managed to get a few long lens shots:




We were the third boat to show up at Taku Harbor (two other Nordic Tugs were already there, a 37 and an older 32) and we opted for the north dock rather than anchoring out near all the crab pots. The north dock has land access and some hiking trails that we wanted to take advantage of.


Facing into the harbor:


Facing back toward shore:


(There’s also a floating dock in the south of the harbor with no land access, but I think it’s got a courtesy dinghy on it if you wanted to go to shore and didn’t have your own. Either that, or someone left without their dinghy.)

By 6pm there were five more boats in here, but it still didn't feel crowded, and everyone is very friendly. Kevin went out and dropped our crab traps out in the sea of commercial crab traps with little expectation.

We went on a nice hike among the old cannery buildings and deserted cabins:


Totally good horror movie set:


There’s a forest service cabin and a nice waterfront fire pit if you head to the right after you get to shore, and a ways past that, the trail opens into a clearing in the woods with a giant rope swing. Fun!!


Picnic table and fire pit in front of the cabin:


Rope swing!



New trees growing on old trees:


Another fish boat in the harbor putting out a TON of traps. Now there’s really no hope for more crab for us. We went out on a dinghy excursion around the shore looking for bears (there are both brown bears and black bears here, but we haven’t seen any yet.)

We decided to check our traps before coming in from our dinghy ride because it’d been two hours already and why not? We had 6 large male Dungeness and one female (she went back in). Six large keepers! We left the traps down (since, if we’re cooking and freezing a bunch of crab, why not go big?)

Think there are enough crab pots out here?? (All of those on the back of that boat went down here after I took this photo.)


Our haul after 2 hours in Taku Harbor:


One of the boats put down a couple crab pots right by the dock in maybe 5 feet of water. After a short time, most of the boaters were gathered over there watching Dungeness after Dungeness make its way into the pot. Crazy! (And probably in a few weeks there will be no crab at all in this bay by the looks of how many crab pots there are here now at the very start of the commercial season.) We lucked out!


We were still really psyched about how good last nights crab enchiladas were, so I made them again! This time I added a little bit of light cream cheese along with some light sour cream and milk, and they were EVEN BETTER. 

Today’s track (55.5 nautical miles, 7 hours 14 minutes):

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Tomorrow: Juneau!