Category Archives: 2016 Boat Trips

Kalinin Bay to Sitka

We got up really early Friday morning and were headed to Sitka by 5:45am!  The water was really calm and the ride was beautiful.  When we got to Neva Strait they had some range markers set up for larger boats to get through the narrow part.  I’m almost lined up and we made it through just fine.

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Most of the route after you get through Salisbury Sound is really protected and the water was amazingly calm.

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Here is a picturesque fishing boat that passed us on the way.

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The trip went really quickly and before we knew it we were seeing signs of habitation. This is the breakwater we entered to get to our Sitka home in Old Thomsen Harbor.  You can see the bridge in the background.

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After getting tied up and tidying up the boat a bit both inside and out we met Billy’s sister Ann for lunch downtown and then took a tour of the newly remodeled library where she works.  This is a quilt that was hanging in one of the meeting rooms.

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After taking a rest in the afternoon we went up to Ann and Roger’s house for dinner. Roger grilled the best hamburgers ever and Ann made a killer potato salad.  It was a great meal and I got some laundry done too.  Here we are with Ann at her house.

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On our way back to the boat we made a quick stop at McDonalds for ice cream and then it was time for bed.  It was a great way to end the day.  I think we’ll probably stay in Sitka for a week or so to rest up and figure out where we’re going next.  Even though we’re not cruising for the moment, I’ll keep you posted on our Sitka land adventures.

Kalinin Bay to Sea Lion Cove

We woke up on Thursday morning in Kalinin Bay to another beautiful day.  We decided that rather than head to Sitka we would stay another night so that we could try to hike the trail to Sea Lion Cove again.  Since we saw bears the day before we gathered up every bear deterrent device imaginable.  We had a shotgun, bear spray, an air horn, a whistle and empty Diet Dr Pepper cans with little stones in them to make noise.  Billy was carrying everything except the bear spray and he was quite a sight.

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We got to the trail head and started the hike and everything was looking good.  The trail was still really muddy and mucky but we were expecting that.

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We didn’t see any bears in the area where we had seen them the day before but we saw lots of these which made us extra vigilant.  They continued the whole length of the trail!

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When we got up into the woods we were greeted with lots of steps.

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These led up and up and up to a very pleasant meadow where we took a little rest.

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After going through some more woods we came upon a lake with a beach.  The little beach along the lake was covered with bear tracks.

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At this point we had hiked almost an hour and a half.  We kept going for a while longer down the hill toward the beach at Sea Lion Cove but we ran out of time and I ran out of gas so we turned around and headed back to the boat.  It was pretty disappointing not to make it all the way but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  The hike back seemed a lot quicker and when we got back out of the woods we could see Madeline in the distance.

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We got back to the boat without incident and took long, hot showers and collapsed on the couch for the evening.  Before we went to bed these two matching tugs came into the bay and anchored for the night.  I thought they looked cute together. The one on the right is a 37 like ours and the one on the left is a little smaller, probably a 32.

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We’re off to Sitka early tomorrow morning so now we’re just looking forward to a good night’s sleep.

Baby Bear Bay to Kalinin Bay thru Sergius Narrows

We timed our departure from Baby Bear Bay so that we would reach Sergius Narrows at slack tide, which was around noon.  There are all sorts of horror stories about what happens to boats that don’t wait for slack tide to go through so we were heeding all the warnings and waiting.  When it was time to get started, a big boat, Ocean Mist, was going the same way so we followed her through and it was a breeze.  That’s what happens when you follow the advice of those who have gone before.

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After going through the narrows, we came out into Salisbury Sound and got into some ocean swells, something that I haven’t done in a very long time.  They weren’t very big and the weather was really calm but it made eating my soup a little tricky.  It was kind of dark and rainy as we headed to Kalinin Bay but by the time we arrived, it had stopped raining and was very calm.

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There is a trail from the head of the bay that goes across the island to Sea Lion Cove on the Pacific Ocean where there is a beautiful beach.  The sun had come out shortly after we anchored so we decided to see if we could go find the trail.  We took the dinghy over to the beach and found the trail head without too much trouble.  It was a really muddy, mucky walk but we had been told it was going to be worth it when we got to the beach on the other side.  Unfortunately, not too far up the trail, we ran into a brown bear sow with two cubs.  The mama bear was fishing in the shallow basin and taking the fish to the babies.  It was really fun to watch her chase the fish around in the shallow water and catch them.  Here are a few pictures.

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At this point, since we weren’t familiar with the area or the trail we decided we’d better turn around and save the trail for another day.  Darn!

As we were walking back to the trail head there was an eagle in the water eating a fish pretty far away from where the bear was fishing.  The mama bear saw it and chased the eagle away and took its fish.  There were fish everywhere so I’m not sure why she needed to take this one away from the eagle.  Who knows?

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Billy was disappointed that we had to turn around but was happy that we got to go for a walk.

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Once again, when we got back to the dinghy it was high and dry!  This time we were thinking ahead and had brought a couple of bumpers from the boat that we put under the dinghy and used to roll it back into the water.  It worked pretty slick.

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After we got back to the boat we took it easy and enjoyed the rest of the sunny evening. Billy got this picture of the sun on the trees at the head of the bay.

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We’re looking forward to another calm, restful night.

Appleton Cove to Baby Bear Bay

We couldn’t get out of Appleton Cove soon enough after our noisy night with the water slapping the hull.  It sounds kind of silly but it can keep you up all night!  Billy moved up to the couch in the salon to get away from the worst of the noise.  Oh well, we won’t be going back there any time soon.

On the way to Baby Bear Bay we almost ran into a pod of whales bubble feeding.  They came up right in front of the boat and scared us both.  We got a few pictures as they swam off.

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When we got into Baby Bear Bay it couldn’t have been more beautiful and most importantly, calm.

We decided to go for a walk on the beach and as we left for shore I got a picture of Madeline waiting in the sun.

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Billy really enjoys walking on the beach and he found himself a nice rock perch for a little rest.

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I found a few sea urchins on the walk and posed them for a picture.

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On the way back I got the camera out looking for artistic scenes.  National Geographic here I come! Here is a shell I found fully intact.

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Another urchin ‘au natural’.

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And a part of a crab leg missing the rest of the crab.

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Of course, when we got back to the dinghy, we were high and dry once again.  You’d think we’d learn after doing this almost every day.

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We got the boat to the water without too much stress using some driftwood as rollers and were on our way back to Madeline.

When we got back to the boat we found our kingfisher friend once again.  They certainly seem to like these parts.

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In the morning Billy saw this deer taking a nap on the beach in front of the boat.

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Here is another look at Baby Bear Bay before we left.  It was a lovely, calm place to anchor.  We will be back.

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Appleton Cove

We arrived in Appleton Cove on Monday afternoon (8/1) and things looked pretty good.  Even though we took a twisty-turny route into the cove which was behind a reef, there was a wind that came over the low mountains at the head of the cove and caused a little chop in the water that slapped against the hull of the boat making an obnoxious, continuous racket all night long.  As I was preparing this post I realized that I don’t have any pictures of this place so we’re just going to forget we were ever here and move on.

Moses Point Cove to Appleton Cove

We spent a leisurely morning in Moses Point Cove.  We went back to the Lake Eva trail and walked about half of it.  This time I had a camera so I’m going to bore you with my pictures.  First, here is Madeline in the cove as we were leaving.

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As we rounded the point into the next cove, there was a pile of rocks that the seals seemed to like.

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When we started the hike, we went to the lagoon for a look and found our favorite kingfisher!

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There were lots of big trees covered with moss near the lagoon.

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As we walked further into the woods, we saw something bright orange in the distance.  It turned out to be tree fungus with the sunlight shining on it.  It looked much better in person than in the picture.

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I continued to be amazed at how pretty these woods were.  I guess it’s been a while since I’ve been hiking in the woods.

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We saw tons of these squirrel holes around the bottoms of the trees.  They were covered in the little pieces of pine cone the squirrels were eating.

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When we popped out of the woods and back to the beach, someone was watching us.

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This is the way you want to find  you dinghy when you return from a hike!  It was a breeze compared to yesterday to get back to the boat.

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After eating some lunch we’re going to pull anchor and head to Appleton Cove.  It’s a quick ride, only 11 miles, so it will be an easy day.  Since I have such a great signal right now, I’m going to go ahead and post this before we even leave for Appleton Cove.  We’ll get there in the next post.


Tenakee to Moses Point Cove

We left Tenakee on Sunday morning around 10:00am on our way to Moses Point Cove.  The weather was supposed to be very good and it was! We arrived at the cove a little before 3 and were all anchored up shortly after.


Since we were nice and early we decided to go look for the trail to Eva Lake. We had heard that it was a really nice hike.  We got the inflatable raft  down and took off for the next cove over and the trail.  We found the trailhead really easily, beached the raft and started our hike.


The forest was really pretty and the trail was amazing.  There were all sorts of little waysides with rocks and stumps positioned for seating.


There was some bear scat along the trail and we were prepared with a very heavy shotgun. Billy also practiced his whistling skills along the way.  We didn’t see any wildlife beyond squirrels and birds – thankfully.


When we got to the lake it was really beautiful. We rested for a bit taking in all the beautiful scenery before heading back to the boat.


The scenery was amazing.


When we were almost back we saw this bird in a tree.  I think it’s a kingfisher, can you find it?


When we got back to the raft it was low tide and we were high and dry! It was quite an operation to get the raft back down to the water.


It doesn’t look that big but it has a hard bottom which makes it really heavy.  We unloaded all our gear and Billy took the motor off to move it.  We made it back to the water after a lot of muscle work and were back on Madeline in no time.  It was a great hike and I think we might go back again tomorrow.

We were amazed that we could get a cell signal in this cove and no telling when we’ll be connected again but we’ll keep making updates and post them when possible.  Later…




Juneau to Tenakee Springs

We left Juneau not so bright and early Friday morning (10:15am) headed toward Sitka with our first stop planned for Tenakee Springs. The weather was supposed to be perfect but it didn’t quite work out that way.  The first hour or so was good as were the last three but the middle four were pretty lumpy.

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We made it into Tenakee about 6pm and were more than ready to tie up for the night.

P1100322 Saturday morning we got up and went to the bakery for breakfast.

After breakfast we went for a walk and saw tons of huckleberries.

We turned around and headed back to town at Rocky Creek where someone had rigged up a water tap from the creek along with a cup so you could get a drink. Pretty clever!

 Now we’re at the library where they have a wifi connection. We’re catching up on emails, downloading some podcasts and working on this post. Billy is getting hungry so I think we’d better head back to the boat for lunch and get this posted later.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress as the internet allows. Ciao!