Mark and Linda arrived in Ketchikan about two hours before Scott and I were docked so they made their way from the airport to the Arctic Bar in the middle of town. Docking in Thomas Basin Marina was a lot easier than when Alec and I docked here the first time since the wind wasn’t blowing 40 knots in a drenching rain and the slip wasn’t located in the fast moving current of the nearby creek. Safely docked, Scott and I walked to the Arctic Bar to meet up with Mark and Linda. Cathleen arrived later in the afternoon. Mark and Linda had matching shirts made for the trip for all of us, a very nice touch!
They also brought us some personalized glasses.
Meanwhile, Scott visited with some people on nearby fishing boats, finding out about their craft and came back with some freshly smoked salmon. It was delicious. On the way to dinner, we stopped by their boat and thanked them with a couple of beers.
We all walked around town to see the sites and rode the tram to the Cape Fox Lodge for a snack. Then we all had a nice dinner at the New York Cafe.
The next morning, Scott flew back to Utah and the rest of us began our trip to Misty Fjords. Seemingly as always, the waters near Ketchikan are rough, but nothing that a little dramamine didn’t handle. Once we turned into Behm Canal, the water calmed all the way to our first night’s anchorage. Upon leaving, the first site we saw was New Eddystone Rock, a 230 feet pillar of volcanic rock, sticking up in the middle of the channel.
We circled around it and then headed to Punchbowl Cove where we tied up to the one mooring buoy there. Had the buoy been taken by another boat, we would have left as there were no anchorages shallow enough or with good holding. But fortunately it was available and Mark snagged it on the first try! That was surprising because Linda spotted a bear on shore that caused a momentary distraction. After securing the boat, we quickly deployed the dinghy and quietly motored over near the bear for a closer look. He didn’t seem to mind at all and continued munching on the sedge grass.
Punchbowl Cove is one of several fjords and is the most popular for tour boats and float planes that are continually coming through. We could see the boats in the distance and occasionally a float plane would land in the cove for about 15 minutes to give its passengers an on-the-water view. They never came close to us at the head of the cove.
We hated to leave, but we pressed onward to Walker Cove, the next fjord north. It also has only one mooring buoy available, but there is an ample anchorage in case the buoy is taken. As we approached Walker Cove, we saw that it was every bit as beautiful as Punch Bowl Cove. The mooring buoy was taken, so we proceeded to plan B and anchored. There were many waterfalls in Walker Cove and we explored several from the dinghy..
The next day was Independence Day and there were no fireworks to be seen. We thought about shooting off some expired flares but didn’t think the Coast Guard would appreciate it in the highly unlikely event someone would see them and report it. We proceeded to our next anchorage in Fitzgibbon Cove. We were the only boat there.
On the way we noticed the water changing from normal to an opaque green which I found out later was the glacial flour. Glacial flour is finer than glacial till sediment and much smaller than sand. You can see the clear line where the water with the glacial flour meets the clear water. Shortly after this picture was taken, all of the water around us was filled with the glacial flour.
Mark and I thought Fitzgibbon Cove looked like a good place to crab so we dropped one trap to test it out while we tried the fishing. After about 45 minutes of fish not biting, we pulled the trap to see if there were any crabs. It was full of keepers! We put it back in the water and went to get a bucket and the other trap. For the next couple of hours we collected a bounty of crabs! Then we cleaned, cooked, and removed the meat from the shells, ready for crab cakes. That was our fireworks for the day!
Continuing our circumnavigation around Revillagigedo Island, we stopped at Yes Bay. There is a fishing lodge about halfway into the bay-Yes Bay Lodge- that we wanted to check out.
After we anchored at the head of the bay, again the only boat there, Mark and I took the dinghy back to the lodge to see what they were all about.
The manager and others were all very welcoming. We had a beer and talked with several of the staff and they said we could come back for a halibut dinner later that evening. We all thought that was a great idea and we were not disappointed. The halibut was fantastic and the service was great! It seemed like we got more service and attention than the paying fishing guests. Mark bought a T-shirt and we headed back to the mother ship for the night.
We spent two nights at Yes Bay, spending the second day catching more crabs and kayaking. It was very relaxing. About midday, a small power boat came back into the bay and approached our boat. It was the manager of Yes Bay Lodge coming to invite us to the salmon dinner that night. Unfortunately we had to decline as we were planning to have delicious fresh crab cakes for dinner on the boat. But it was nice of the manager to personally invite us back.
We saw two brown bears in the Yes Bay anchorage, bringing the total bear count to 9 this week! We also caught somewhere around two dozen crabs. At $30 each in a restaurant, that was quite a haul!
The time came for us to weigh anchor and head back to Ketchikan. We were assigned a slip in the Bar Harbor North Marina, further away from downtown than the other marinas we have been to, but very close to the airport. Cruising into town we passed a cruise ship and were obviously back to civilization.
The four of us walked to town and enjoyed a final dinner together. Mark and Linda left for home the next day. We had a fantastic time together and were sad to see them go.
We watched their flight take off from our boat and waved to them. We hope they saw us.