Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 34-Bartlett Cove to North Sandy Cove

The tour boat left this morning at 7:30, so Peter and I were up by 6:30 to get some breakfast, go to the hotel and pick up Grandma, and get back down to the dock.  Thankfully the weather was nicer than yesterday mornings.  Cloudy, but calm winds and no rain. 

After so many days of being responsible for every aspect of operating the boat, it was kind of nice to just sit back and enjoy the ride.  The Baranof Wind is an Australian designed power catamaran built near Seattle in 1984.  She cruises at 23 knots and makes the 120 nautical mile trip to Margerie Glacier and back fast and comfortable.

The trip up bay was interesting.  We stopped to pick up a couple of kayakers at a designated pick up/drop off spot.  The captain nudged the boat right up to the beach, deployed a ladder from the bow, and loaded up the kayakers and their gear.  The kayakers had originally planned to be out for several more days, but had seen a brown bear a little too close for their comfort and decided to bail out early.
We didn't have an American flag, so we picked one up from another boat in the bay
Not too much later, the park ranger on board announced a brown bear with three cubs on the beach nearby.  The captain brought the boat close to shore and we all watched for 15 minutes or so.  We even saw another mother with two cubs as well!  It was fun to see all the bears, but it would have been fun to be aboard Retriever so we could have gotten even closer and stayed longer.  That said, it certainly helps to have trained eyes looking for wildlife, and I’m sure I’ve passed by many interesting animals while paying more attention on operating the boat.
Mom on the beach
From the bear sighting we headed up Tarr Inlet and to Margerie Glacier.  The ice from a few days ago seems to have all melted and Tarr Inlet was remarkably ice free.  We got fairly close to the glacier and were the only ones in the area.  The captain shut down the engines and we watched and listened to the glacier calve for about half an hour.  At the end of our time there, the ranger on board broke out her violin and played the Star Spangled Banner in front of an American Flag, all with Margerie Glacier in the background.  A fitting way to celebrate July 4th.
Me, Grandma, and Peter in front of Margerie Glacier 
Park ranger Emily plays the Star Spangled Banner
From Margerie Glacier we headed to Lamplugh Glacier and then past Reid Inlet.  Not too much to see on the way out, but we did drop of a couple from the Czech Republic for a five day kayaking adventure and saw a few humpbacks and orcas near Bartlett Cove.  We got back to the dock around 4:00 pm.
Looking up Johns Hopkins Inlet
Bridge of the Baranof Wind
Lamplugh Glacier
After two nights at anchor, I still was showing 12.3v on the house battery bank, meaning I should be good for three nights at anchor without running the engine.  Good info to know, but I doubt I will go that long at a single anchorage this trip.

Peter and I decided to head into North Sandy Cove for the night, so we had an early dinner with Grandma and headed out.  I ran the boat on plane for the first time (for any extended period) on our way into North Sandy Cove, and I was getting roughly the same speeds for given RPMs that I normally do.  I ran the boat up to WOT after an hour of cruising at 4400 RPM and the engine turned to 5150 RPM.  I think the higher speed running scoured some growth off the hull.  I think the dropping a few inches of prop pitch will put the engine right where it should be and I may not hassle with changing the engine height until I’m back in Anacortes.

The trip up bay was beautiful.  Mostly cloudy, but we had good views of the mountains surrounding the bay and it wasn’t raining.  Peter took the kayak for a spin after we dropped the anchor, but he couldn’t find any bears.  After a bit of reading we passed out early.
Peter in the kayak
23.0 nm today and 1,396.2 total

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