Sean & Margaret Kayaking in Punchbowl Cove
Margot and Margaret enjoying the placid waters
The steep sides of Rudyerd Bay
The back side of Punchbowl Cove
A brief glimpse into Walker Cove
Sean & Margaret made spring rolls
Celebrating Margaret's Birthday early!
July 25, 2010
We left City Floats in Ketchikan at 1020 and headed down Tongass Narrows under sunny skies into Revillagigedo Channel and the entrance to the Behm Canal, the passage of water that stretches some 130 miles around Revillagigedo Island. Right at the entrance to the Behm Canal a large group of purse seiners was fishing, so we got some good photos. Three years ago when we went through the Behm Canal it was foggy and raining, giving the name "Misty Fiords National Monument" true meaning. Today, however, we had clear skies and were able to get good photos of New Eddystone Rock, which is an ancient volcanic plug jutting up in the middle of the channel just outside Rudyerd Bay and Punchbowl Cove. When we arrived in Punchbowl Cove, it was deserted and the USFS buoy was vacant, so we tied up to it rather than anchor, although we have anchored here in the past. Both cartography systems (C-Map and Navionics) have the buoy in a significantly different location than the GPS indicated. The black cliffs of Punchbowl Cove are as spectacular as those in Princess Louisa Inlet. During the rest of the day we watched float planes landing further out in the bay with loads of sightseers from the cruise ships. The shrimp pots and crab pots were set and the kayaks were launched for paddles around Punchbowl Cove. The sunny weather allowed us to have dinner of crab cakes and flank steak with garlic roasted potatoes out on the aft boat deck when the tenders and kayaks were launched and out of the way.
July 26, 2010
Waking up to more sunshine and mild temperatures, we checked the crab pots and found 2 legal crabs, but no shrimp in the shrimp pots, just these curious creatures that look like a cross between a crab and a prawn, we called them "crimps" but later found they were "pinchbugs" or galatheid crabs. We decided to spend another day in Punchbowl Cove in the sunshine. All day long we watched one float plane after another land and spend 10 minutes taking photos before heading back to Ketchikan. Dinner was an extensive taco bar on the flybridge as we watched the sun set over the steep cliffs.
July 27, 2010
We headed out at 0930 after making a crab omelet and went further up Rudyerd Bay to look at the sheer cliffs and the "Rookery" before heading back out into the Behm Canal. We could have been in one of the Norwegian Fjords, the scenery is so similar. The weather continued to be sunny and warm as we set the shrimp pots in Saks Cove before anchoring in Fitzgibbon Cove several miles further up the canal. Fitzgibbon Cove turned out to have quite a bit of wind channeling in, but the bottom was mud and held well. At this end of the Behm Canal, the topography is far less spectacular than in Rudyerd Bay, the heart of "Misty Fiords". However, the water color is a strange green from all the glacial runoff into the canal. Even with the wind the temperature remained in the 70's until after 8PM. Margaret and Sean prepared chicken enchiladas with green sauce for dinner.
July 28, 2010
Waking up to another sunny morning we continued our journey around the Behm Canal. First we pulled the crab pots which contained 4 more legal crabs, and then went back to Saks Cove to retrieve the shrimp pots. There were just a few shrimp and a lot of "pinchbugs", but enough for part of our dinner. After Saks Cove we passed through Behm Narrows and motored past Bell Island Hot Springs, which has deteriorated even further in the three years since our last visit. Just a short distance away was Yes Bay, our destination for the evening. We anchored in the innermost cove and set the crab and shrimp pots in the next cove out. It was another warm and sunny day, so the kayaks and tender got a workout before a dinner prepared by everyone. Margot made appetizers, Patrick cooked crab cakes and Sean and Margaret made spring rolls with the shrimp and crab. We ate dinner out on the "sun deck" and then celebrated Margaret's August 9 birthday early with a surprise birthday cake baked by Miriam. We were also going to have a crab risotto, but decided we were too full of crab cakes and spring rolls.
July 29, 2010
For the first time in several days there were clouds in the sky when we got up. After a hearty breakfast of biscuits and sausage gravy we pulled the anchor and headed for the crab and shrimp pots. The crab pots were empty, but we got a nice haul of coon striped shrimp before we headed for Naha Bay. We tried to tie up at the small public float, but we were really too big and there was a lot of current coming out of Roosevelt Lagoon, so we headed back out to Helm Bay on the Cleveland Peninsula, skirting the restricted area in the middle of the channel. We pulled into the public float area behind Fors Island and although there was empty space, the other occupants (apparently a commercial salmon fishing guide operation) quickly moved their small boats to fill the space and then called us on the radio with a story that the dock was high and dry at low tide, even though they had a Bayliner 38 and another large fishing boat tied up to the same dock. They also sent one of the small boats over to the USFS buoy to prevent us from considering that option(note: the buoy is in front of the USFS cabin, and when you have a cabin reservation you also have the buoy reserved, so we thought they were just protecting their rights). We decided we would not have wanted to tie up with such a negative reception (the first we had seen in SE Alaska). We continued to the head of Helm Bay and anchored in 90 feet of water in the middle of a field of crab pots. By now, the skies had finally clouded over and the wind had picked up, but it was still pleasantly warm.
Sean and Patrick cooked the crab and basil risotto that had been deferred from the night before and we relaxed watching a movie and looking for wildlife on the beach.
We are now finishing up Day 92 of our trip and show 3240 nautical miles on the ship's log.