Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 30-Blue Mouse Cove to Reid Inlet

I woke up at 5:45 and pulled the anchor at 5:50.  Heavy rain and low clouds dominated as I left Blue Mouse Cove.
Beautiful, even in the mist
Today’s first stop was Reid Inlet to check out Reid Glacier.  Reid Glacier is almost a tidewater glacier (meaning it reaches the water), but not quite.  At first this seems like a negative, but it actually makes it more interesting since you can get much closer.  I anchored the boat near the head of the inlet, very near the glacier, and set out in the kayak for some exploration.
On the way to Reid Glacier
 I headed to shore first and spent about 45 minutes walked to the glacier.  Several small streams and several much larger streams drained from beneath the glacier, making the approach somewhat difficult.  But the landscape was spectacular.  It’s like hiking on Mt. Rainier, but you’re at sea level.  Every sense indicates that you should be on an alpine lake, but you’re not.  I suppose latitude and altitude have similar effects.
Footprints in glacial silt.  This colors the runoff, and in turn the water in the bay.  Visibility is only about 6 inches in the water.
Walking towards the glacier
Can't get across this stream
After wandering around for awhile I headed back to the kayak and paddled the three miles around the cove.  The shoreline was beautiful, despite the gray, rainy weather.  A big group of kayakers were camped out near the entrance to the cove, and they seemed to be having a good time despite the tough camping weather.  I was hoping to see some bears during my kayak ride, but no luck.
Beautifully calm
And another...
Nice temporary anchorage
After getting back to the boat I headed out for the 4 or 5 mile jaunt to Lamplugh Glacier.  It was surprisingly difficult to navigate through the ice a few miles away from the glacier’s face, but things cleared up when I got closer and I could have easily gotten to the glacier face.  I got a little less than a quarter mile away, shut the engine down, and watched and listened as huge chunks calved into the water.  A tour boat and Qismat, the sailboat I had first seen in Port Hardy (with transmission problems) and seen again last night was much further away, as was one of the day tour boats.  They left soon after I arrived, and I had the whole place to myself.  Totally spectacular.
Lamplugh Glacier
Some perspective
Given that it was already nearing evening, I decided to head the few miles back to Reid Inlet for the night.  It’s a spectacular anchorage.  Qismat was anchored there when I arrived and I headed up to the head on the opposite side as I had earlier to check it out.  I anchored and kayaked in, walked around for 20 minutes or so, and then pulled the anchor and headed back to the overnight anchoring spot.  Before installed the windlass I probably wouldn’t have made these explorations because anchoring multiple times a day in 50+ feet of water gets tiresome, but the windlass makes anchoring totally painless.  And the swivel I picked up in Juneau has the windlass performing perfectly again.

Qismat’s owners were heading to the head of the inlet in their dinghy and we talked for a bit and I gave them some suggestions for where to go on shore.  I got the anchor set for the night and spent a few hours reading, during which Pat and Tom from Qismat came over to see if I wanted to join them for dinner.  I gladly accepted and enjoyed some delicious baked goods…something I’m not used to since I don’t have an oven onboard.  Pat and Tom are retired petroleum engineers now living in Nanaimo, BC and have sailed in BC for many years, but this is their first trip to Alaska.  Nice people.

As I was paddling back to my boat after dinner I detoured into shore to talk with a group of four kayakers who had arrived and set up camp not far from where I anchored.  They had beautiful, home built wooden kayaks and had paddled all over the PNW in them…the west coast of Vancouver Island, Desolation Sound and the Broughton’s, and many more places closer to home.  It turned out that they are from Kirkand, just across the lake from where I grew up.  They had taken the ferry up from Bellingham to Gustavus with their kayaks, and were spending a week paddling around Glacier Bay.  They seemed to be having a great, albeit wet, week of paddling.

It was getting close to 11 PM, and although still plenty light out, it was time for bed.  Heading up Tarr Inlet tomorrow to hopefully see Margerie Glacier.
View from the anchorage at 11 PM
26.9 nm today and 1299 total

No comments :

Post a Comment