Thursday, June 30, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 44 | Tracy Arm Cove to Dawes Glacier to Ford's Terror

Tracy Arm still had lots of ice in it—too much to attempt to reach Sawyer Glacier. So we headed up Endicott Arm to Dawes Glacier, then into Ford's Terror. Slack at Ford's Terror wasn't until about 7:30 in the evening, so we had plenty of time to enjoy Dawes Glacier.
A particularly blue piece of ice in Tracy Arm Cove
Yesterday's rain gave way to gray skies and low clouds this morning. As we headed up Endicott Arm, the clouds lifted and we got a few sun breaks.

Heading into Endicott Arm
There was way less traffic in Endicott Arm than there had been a few weeks ago. We passed a couple boats coming out, but had the whole place to ourselves when we were at the glacier. And we could get close...1/4 nautical mile. As close as I wanted to get.

A nice living room view!
Seals resting on ice
We saw a ton of calving. Big chunks were sliding off the north side of the glacier, right where it meets the rock.
Calving from the ice cave.
Glad to be 1/4 mile away!
I stayed on the boat and everyone else explored the glacier by dinghy. I took the opportunity to fly the drone. This was flight #99 for me, and I broke the 11 hour flying mark. When I bought the drone, I was sure it would end up crashed into the ocean quickly. Thankfully, I still have it, and I'm still having fun!
Dinghy from the drone
Don't worry, the dinghy was much further from the glacier than it appears in this picture.

We spent a few hours in front of Dawes, then slowly made our way back to Ford's Terror. We arrived an hour early and scoped it out in the dinghy. The flood was still running about 5 knots, so we played in the rapids and waited around. About 15 minutes after high water in Juneau we headed through with a couple knots of current behind us. No problems.

Friends (Laura and Kevin) on Airship were the only other boat in Ford's Terror. I dropped 220 feet of chain in 130 feet of water and expected to drag into shallower water before the anchor set. Nope, the Rocna dug right in and wouldn't come loose...pretty impressive for less than 2:1 scope (normal up here is 3:1).

We're sticking around Ford's Terror tomorrow.

56.7 nm today
1238.61 nm total

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