Thursday, August 11, 2016

Alaska 2016 | Day 84 | Kalinin Bay to Cosmos Cove

We’ve been buddy boating with Airship for the last couple of weeks. It’s been a blast, but today we go our separate ways. They’re heading to Sitka to drop off Tiffani and Deke and we’re heading to the east side of Baranof Island via Peril Strait.

The only navigation challenge in Peril Strait is Sergius Narrows, where currents run to 8 knots. We transited with a 5-knot flood. Besides a few hundred yards of turbulence requiring hand steering (the autopilot cant anticipate whirlpools, I can), it was easily negotiated.

Peril Strait was pretty boring. The scenery was fine, though not spectacular, and we didn’t see much wildlife.

Our boredom was relieved in Chatham Strait. I spotted splashes in the distance and looked more closely through the binoculars. A small group of orcas, perhaps five or six, were breaching like crazy. I steered us closer and shut off the engine. For the next half hour we watched breach after breach after breach, with some tail slapping thrown in. Super cool!
Breaching orca
More breaching...
And more...
Not done yet
Not bored yet
We have to leave eventually...
Orca rainbow 
After leaving the orcas we headed south in Chatham Strait. We saw a bunch of humpbacks, but none were particularly close or putting on a show.
Heading down Chatham Strait after the orca party
We anchored for the night in Cosmos Cove. It’s big and scenic. The bottom is rocky and the anchor didn’t set immediately, but once it set it held perfectly. Cosmos isn't as dramatic is Takatz or Red Bluff, but it's an easy anchorage close to Hidden Falls Hatchery. I like Ell Cove better, but not a lot better.

Evening in Cosmos Cove

56.53 nm today
2275.08 nm total

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