This afternoon we were briefly north of 57 but when we turned into Portage Bay for the night we ended up anchored far enough south to put us back south of 57. We had a long day today.
Yesterday we got a 6:00 AM start out of Ketchikan. When we left the dock I thought we were going to go up Clarence Strait to Sumner Strait, back south in Sumner Strait to Cape Decision and finally north up Chatham Strait. I didn’t particularly like that plan because Cape Decision is exposed to the Pacific Ocean but I couldn’t see any other easy way of getting expeditiously to Glacier Bay. Somewhere along the route between Ketchikan and Meyers Chuck it occurred to me that we could go the other way in Sumner Strait and get to Wrangell Narrows. Up until that point I had been trying to get to Wrangell Narrows by going through Wrangell. Apparently I was mistaken.
The problem with getting to Wrangell Narrows through Wrangell was that I couldn’t find an acceptable anchorage at the right distance from the Narrows in order to get to through the Narrows at the right stage of the current. Wrangell Narrows floods from both ends so the preferred transit is to time your arrival so that you can ride the flood to roughly the midpoint and then get ebbed out.
By the time we got up toward the north end of Clarence Strait the wind had got up and we were getting beat up a bit so we ducked into Coffman Cove for the night. Coffman Cove is a tiny community but they have a great dock, a little general store, a post office and a library. When I went looking for wifi at the library I had a hard time actually finding the library because it is skilfully disguised as a pizza parlour. After a wif weather check we entertained some fellow travellers with homemade wine and got to bed early.
We got another early start this morning and racked up over 80 miles today. Tonight we’re deep at the south end of a little bay on the north side of Kupreanof Island. We were just about at the bay when we finally saw some damnwhales. I was scanning the horizon when I saw a humpback breaching about half a mile ahead of us. He kept feeding on and off the shore and finally passed us about a hundred yards away. So we’re no longer skunked in the whale department, although we obviously hope this wasn’t our only sighting.
The weather forecast for the next couple of days sucks big time so we’ll likely stay here until it smartens up. As it turns out we have a feeble cell signal here deep in the bay so I’ should be able to check the weather regularly.