Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 76 | South Sandy Cove to Reid Inlet

A little breezy today, but the fog and rain from yesterday was gone. We got a late start and headed for Margerie Glacier, at the head of Tarr Inlet.
Departing South Sandy Cove
Random Glacier Bay view
The trip up was long but beautiful. The sky wasn’t totally clear, but the clouds were high enough that the views were still good.
Check out this tunnel! 
Getting to Margerie Glacier was easy since there wasn’t much ice in the water. On the way in I checked out an “anchorage” that I’d heard about. It’s on the south shore, so close to Margerie Glacier that it’s plainly visible. The views were stunning—the calving face of the glacier was just a few miles away—but it didn’t seem safe. The bottom was deep, steep to, and poorly charted. Drifting ice could hit the boat. I so wanted to stay the night, but heading out to Reid Inlet was the safer option.
Following Airship 
We watched Margerie for about 45 minutes and saw a bit of calving. Compared to Dawes Glacier, which I visited four times this summer, Margerie is much larger but in many ways less dramatic. The setting is magnificent to be sure, but it’s not as intimate as the fjord that holds Dawes.
Margerie Glacier 
Margerie Glacier. Can you find Airship?
The trip back out to Reid Inlet was easy, but anchoring in Reid Inlet was kind of wild. Reid Glacier is at the head of Reid Inlet. It’s no longer a tidewater glacier, so there’s no calving ice and it’s a safe anchorage. But the outflow winds sometimes blow strongly from the glacial valley. Today was one of the windy days, steady 20 knots, gusting to 30. I got the anchor set and Airship rafted alongside. We quickly realized this plan wouldn’t work. The anchor held, but the conditions were just too rough. So I pulled the anchor up and we moved outside Reid Inlet. I re-anchored in the lee of the Reid Inlet bar in much calmer conditions.

55.81 nm today
2055.62 nm total

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