Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 33 | Tracy Arm Cove to Ford's Terror

Ford's Terror is my favorite anchorage on the coast. It's magnificently beautiful, for starters. Think Yosemite, minus the people. Waterfalls surround you, with snowcapped peaks and snow-filled bowls all around. Bears forage ashore. It's close to Dawes Glacier. And it's difficult to get to.

Getting into Ford's Terror requires dodging several uncharted shoals and then transiting a poorly understood and uncharted reversing tidal rapid. Here's a video that Jay, a C-Dory friend, shot coming out of Ford's Terror at the wrong time (skip to towards the end, and have the volume up).

Because Ford's Terror is difficult to access, it's seldom visited. It's not uncommon to have the anchorage to yourself for several days at a time.

We arrived a bit early and the water was still visibly flooding through the rapids. We idled around for 30 or 40 minutes, then, when the water looked still, everyone followed me through. Easy, and basically no current.

Heading into the rapid, Anna on the bow watching for rocks.

Through the rapids. Pretty good scenery.
Stunning in every direction
We motored to the west arm to anchor for the night. The anchorage is deep and steep-to. I dropped my anchor about 400 feet from shore in 140 feet of water, then backed towards shore. When it set, I was about 150 feet from shore in 90 feet of water.

Home for two nights
The weather has been perfect. Bright blue skies, warm temperatures, no rain. The only downside to the nice weather is the exposure to black flies...they can draw blood!

Once everyone was anchored, Anna and set off to explore the inlet by dinghy. We cruised the entire perimeter, marveling at the scale of Ford's Terror. The scenery totally dwarfs everything inside.
How to describe this place?
Pictures and words don't do it justice.
We went to the rapids while they were ebbing at about five knots. The flow of water was pretty smooth and the dinghy didn't have any trouble. The tide was dropping, and it was amazing how big the uncharted shoals just outside the entrance are.
Rapids at about 5 knots. No problem in the dinghy.
One of the shoals exposed
And another shoal, on the opposite side.
This is such a great spot, we'll spend two nights.

25.79 nm today
1039.17 nm total

1 comment :

  1. We took a 34' Tolly in there once. Went in at slack with NO problems. Didn't gauge it quite right on the exit and shot out like a rocket. Beautiful scenery back inside but once was enough.