Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 29-Gustavus to Blue Mouse Cove

Another early morning today to get into the park on a favorable tide and in time for the 8:00 AM orientation.  The ride over was unremarkable, although it was raining heavily, obscuring visibility.  I entered the park at the same time as the Zandaam, a Holland America cruise liner.  The captain of the Zandaam made a securite call informing other traffic when he’d be entering the park.  Since the NPS requires vessels to take mid channel courses near the entry to the bay, the Retriever and the Zandaam would potentially be on a collision course.

I responded to the Zandaam’s securite call and informed the captain that I’d be entering the park at the same time as he would.  He asked me where I currently was, which was a bit concerning since he hadn’t previously seen me and I was only a few miles away on a collision course.  It always pays to be prudent in avoiding other boats.  Anyway, we made arrangements to both make it into the bay safely.
Entering Glacier Bay
By 7:30 I was tied up to the NPS dock in Bartlett Cove.  I checked in with the ranger who told me to wait for the 8:00 AM orientation, so I wandered up to the lodge and inquired about tours for Grandma and Peter when they arrive.  I’d love to take them all the way up to the glaciers in Retriever, but I think it would be more comfortable on the tour boat and we wouldn’t have to worry about weather.

The orientation was straightforward, but the rules seem a bit excessive.  There’s certainly a lot to remember!  Thankfully they handed out pamphlets with all the info so skippers can refer to it as needed.

After that I made my way over to the fuel dock, filled up with 11.1 gallons at $5.21 per gallon and headed into the park.  I didn’t have any particular places to go today, so I headed up to Geike Inlet and slowly made my way around the bay.  I spotted a black bear on the beach and watched him from about 100 feet away for 10 or 15 minutes, and then continued on.  The back of the bay was beautiful.  High mountain peaks, rivers cutting through snow, snow all the way down to the high tide line.  I anchored for a bit to kayak around, but it ended up being too windy to be enjoyable.  Thankfully the low clouds and heavy rain had lifted around 9:30, and the sun even peaked out a few times.
Geike Inlet
Snow down to the high tide line
A glacier high in the mountains
Anchored at the head of Geike Inlet
After Geike Inlet I headed to Blue Mouse Cove for the night.  Two sailboats were there when I arrived, a beautiful and very large blue-hulled sailboat and the Canadians who I had met in Port Hardy when waiting for weather.  I arrived around 6:15, kayaked around for a while, ate dinner, and went to sleep by 10:00.  I don’t think I’ve seen darkness in weeks; it seems like it’s always light when I go to sleep, and always light when I wake up.
On the way to Blue Mouse Cove
Anchored in Blue Mouse Cove
No real agenda for tomorrow, but I’ll probably head out early and see where the day takes me.

59.2 nm today and 1272.1 total

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