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More Misty Fjords

Kevin arrived back in Ketchikan after spending the week in Austin for work. He brought his mom back with him, and we’ll be showing her SE Alaska from Ketchikan to Petersburg this week. (I was really ready to get off the dock back out in nature again!)


Our first stop after some sightseeing in Ketchikan (Creek Street, Saxman Totem Village, and dinner at the Bar Harbor Restaurant) was Walker Cove in Misty Fjords. We were here a little over a week ago and really thought she’d like it, so here we are again!


We anchored near where we anchored before, in about 90 feet of water. There’s only one other boat in here. Both of us are anchored, and the mooring ball is free.

We noticed a very light-colored grizzly on shore while Kevin was setting up the crab traps, so all three of us went out in the dinghy to put out the crab traps, but first took a detour to get a closer look at the grizzly. He was digging in the sand on the beach when he noticed us…



We weren’t very close, and the electric motor on the dinghy is super quiet, but we didn’t want to disturb his meal, so we moved on to set the crab traps. After that we took a dinghy ride up the river a little ways.


On the way out, the grizzly was still on the beach and he didn’t seem to mind or notice us much, so we just sat still and watched him do his thing for about a half an hour.  Look how light his fur is! This definitely is not the single male we saw in here a week or so ago…I’ve never seen a bear this light in color.

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I made crab bisque for dinner and we played some games and got to bed fairly early.

This morning, Kevin and Shirley went out to pull the traps (in the rain) and I took a quick shower and made breakfast so it was ready when they got back. They brought back maybe 7 males, but only four were big enough to keep. Four’s plenty for dinner though, so we’re set!

We pulled anchor and left Walker Cove, headed around the rest of Behm Canal for Helm Bay. We wanted to make miles today! It was nice and calm most of the way around, but the forecast in Clarence Strait was for NW wind 20 knots in the afternoon, seas building to 4 feet, so we figured we could get some of that in the west arm of Behm. And sure enough, we did. Waves were 4 feet (or more) and pretty choppy (but straight on our bow), and the wind was gusting to 25 knots. It was a wet ride, for sure. (Glad we could show Shirley a more complete Alaska experience, not just the placid days filled with humpbacks and unicorns.)

I took no photos while we were in the soup, but here’s one from right before:


The conditions weren’t too bad at first, but definitely got progressively worse during the “cruise.” We chose a few duck out points in case we needed them, but ultimately kept going for Helm Bay.

We passed the entrance to the bay and extended out for a ways before turning in…since we knew we’d be surfing some pretty good-sized waves into the cove before we had shelter. It was challenging, but some REALLY good experience. We only had a couple of squirrelly sideways moments when I didn’t turn to starboard fast enough between waves, but all in all I think I did very well surfing Airship into Helm Bay. We’re on the Forest Service dock now, cooking up some crab.

Tomorrow: Meyers Chuck.


  1. sanityhunter sanityhunter

    Your bear pictures are amazing!

    • Laura Domela Laura Domela

      Thank you!!! It was a pretty great-looking bear, wasn’t it? 🙂

  2. Allison Allison

    The bear pictures were spectacular. All of your pictures are spectacular. You really make me want to buy a boat and go to Alaska.

    • Thank you so much, Allison! It really is the coolest thing we’ve ever done (which is why we’re here again two summers in a row, and will likely be back next summer, and the summer after…..). 🙂

  3. Janna Clark Janna Clark

    LOVE the standing bear photo!!!

    • Me too, Janna! They SO look like people in bear suits when they stand up. 🙂

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