Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 62-Pybus Bay to Baidarka Anchorage (Rocky Pass)

Well, the morning weather forecast didn’t sound so good for Chatham Strait.  Today it’s fine, but tomorrow it’s a bit dicey.  And we need to get back across.  Not a safety issue, but certainly a comfort one.  If I were alone I wouldn’t hesitate to head across, but it’s more complicated with other people.

I made the decision to head for Rocky Pass instead of Red Bluff Bay.  A tough call, as I’d really wanted to see the bears.

The rain seemed to be pouring at approximately the same rate as it had all day yesterday.  Combined with some fog, visibility was limited to just a half mile leaving Pybus Bay.  Passing Cannery Cove a couple of megayachts were pulling anchor and heading out.  One of them, named Evviva and belonging to Orin Edson, the founder of Bayliner, even had a helicopter.
Evviva, a bit bigger than us
Thankfully the water was smooth crossing Frederick Sound.  We saw a mega cruise ship adorned with Mickey Mouse insignia and quickly surmised it was a Disney cruise, the first one I’ve seen up here this summer.  I can’t imagine going to Alaska on one of those behemouths…I think you’d miss out on about 2/3rds of what I enjoy about being here.  Sure, you’d see the scenery, but not the wildlife or the people.  And you don’t get the satisfaction of planning, troubleshooting, etc.  Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
Disney in Alaska
As we approached Kake the weather began to clear up.  Not sunny, mind you, but the rain stopped and the sun did break out a bit.  With the help of a bit of current we were making good time and didn’t bother to stop in Kake.
Rocky Pass
I had heard a lot about Rocky Pass.  The guidebook makes it sound like the most difficult place ever.  What I found was much different.

The channel is well marked throughout, and the Navionics cartography on both my iPad and Raymarine system were spot on.  The Summit is narrow, but at high tide I had 12+ feet of water under me the whole time.

Plenty of other boats were heading through when we did (high water slack).  A group of about four American Tugs of varying sizes and three sailboats.  Nobody seemed to be having any trouble.

The clearing near Kake wasn’t just a tease, either.  The weather continued to improve, and we even got some sunshine.  Just past The Summit we dropped the hook and settled in for the night.  We took turns kayaking around and even sat outside on the boat.  What a nice change!
Fun places to explore by kayak, and blue sky!
By the time night fell a nearly full moon was rising.  Gorgeous.  Peter went for a full moon kayak ride.

Full moon kayaking
It’s fun to have other people on the boat to share with them the beauty of SE Alaska and the joys of cruising around.  It’s also frustrating when bad weather clobbers someone’s trip.  I’ve been lucky so far in that regard, but this one is proving a big more difficult.  Oh well, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

44.8 nm today and 2,251.4 total

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