Saturday, August 11, 2012

Day 68-Berg Bay to Meyers Chuck

I was up at 6:00 and underway a few minutes later to make the 10 nautical miles to Anan around 8:00 when it opened up.  The fog was thick, much worse than yesterday morning, but it didn’t matter.  Modern electronics and slow speeds make fog pretty easy.
Fog, just on the water though 
And the fog lifts!
The ride down to Anan was uneventful and I got a nice boost from the ebbing tide.  I dropped the hook just after 8:00 in 35 feet of water.  When I backed down on the anchor to set it I was in just 10 feet of water.  At low tide that meant I’d only have 4 feet under the boat.  Shallow draft sure is nice sometimes!

I kayaked into shore and checked in with the ranger.  Two other boaters were there, Mike and Deana, who are sailing around the world.  We walked up to the bear viewing area together and saw one black bear run across the trail not more than 30 feet in front of us, but it wasn’t concerned with our presence.  Tons of eagles too, like 40 at a time hanging out in a shallow part of the river.
Just a few of the many bald eagles 
The bear viewing was really cool.  I saw two mother black bears with cubs, two mother brown bears with cubs (two cubs for one, three for the other), and a ton of single black bears.  The salmon were running in huge numbers, offering up easy meals for the bears.  They’d grab a fish, take a few bites from the best parts, and then grab another.  The eagles and ravens would take care of the discarded fish.
Lots of "wasted" fish 
Momma brown bear with two cubs
Catching fish for the kids
Baby black bear

Mother and cub black bear
Another of the same mom and cub
Brown bear mom with three cubs 
Catching fish seems easy for these bears
It's a lot of fun to watch 
Just don't eat me!
This one retreated into the woods with its catch
I was amazed at how agile the bears were.  They wandered up and down slippery logs, steep hillsides, and bare rocks.  None slipped, tripped, or stumbled.  And they had a pretty high rate of success in their fishing endeavors.

After a couple of hours and thousands of bear pictures, I headed back down with Mike and Deana.  They too are heading for Meyers Chuck, so I’ll probably see them later.

Most of the trip to Meyers Chuck was wonderful.  Nice and calm, cloudy but good visibility.  Unfortunately, the weather radio sounded ominous.  Winds increasing to 25 knots for the next two days with correspondingly lumpy seas, apparently.

As I approached Clarence Strait conditions did get rougher.  They weren’t bad, but I bumped up the speed to 12 knots to lessen the rolling.  The entrance to Meyer’s Chuck is narrow and rock strewn and it was a bit hairy with 3 footers stacked up in the current.  But the boat did great and I made it in without any trouble.

A nice gentleman grabbed my lines when I got to the dock and we chatted for a bit.  He and his wife are traveling on their 44-foot Navigator (Chillax) with their friends who are ahead of them on the dock on a 30-foot Tolly (Sweet Pea).

Meyers Chuck is kind of a neat little village.  No services for passing boaters besides a free dock, but the people are friendly and it can be fun to be on a dock.  In the evening there was a party/potluck dinner on the dock with all the cruising boaters and a group of kayakers.  Fun times had by all.

The weather doesn’t sound good tomorrow, so we all may be waiting until Thursday. 

43.5 nm today and 2,387.3 total

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