Sunday, June 28, 2009

59º N

Glacier Bay was everything we expected and more.

We lifted the anchor early Saturday morning in Barlett Cove. It wasn't long before the Island Princess cruise ship hailed us on the radio to pass starboard to starboard. Jim immediately recognized the voice of John Larson from E dock at Shilshole. Small, small world. (At the end of the day we were able to meet briefly with John in Elfin Cove before he flew out.)

As soon as Cape St. James entered North Passage we were surrounded by humpback's. It was the show of a life time-that lasted for hours!

Heading south for the first time since we left Seattle took us to our next stop Elfin Cove. Elfin Cove is located on the Northwest corner of Chichagof Island and is only accessible by boat or float plane.

The community is estimated to have less than 50 residents which is due to the decline of commercial trolling. Elfin Cove has become a popular retreat for vacationers wishing to "return to nature." The entire residencies are tied together by boardwalks.

We are tied to the public dock in Elfin Cove and we can actually see the Fairweather Mountains and Brady Glacier from the dock. Spectacular!!!!

Each day I think there can't be anything more beautiful and everyday I am delightfully surprised!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore!


In 1794 explorer Captain Vancouver sailed into Icy Strait. He found Glacier Bay covered with ice and barely noticeable. That ice was more than 4,000 feet thick. 1879 John Muir found that the ice had retreated 48 miles up the bay and by 1916 the Grand Pacific Glacier had retreated 65 miles from Glacier Bay's mouth. The rapid retreat is only found here in Southeast Alaska and scientists are studying the area to try and determine the cause.

Glacier Bay National Park includes 16 tidewater glaciers, 12 that actively calve icebergs into the bay. The glaciers seen today are remnants of a general ice advance "the Little Ice Age" that began about 4,000 years ago. We saw a total of 8 glaciers and hundreds of icebergs on our way to Grand Pacific Glacier today.

(Photos will be posted when Internet access becomes available.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Where in the world???

Double click on the image to enlarge it for better viewing.


Hoonah means “the place where the north wind doesn’t blow.” It’s the principal village for the Huna, a Tlingit tribe who occupied the area for centuries, and the largest Tlingit village in southeast Alaska.

The glacier Bay Huna people were driven from their homes by glacial advances between 1400 AD and 1750 AD. They eventually moved to an ice-free natural harbor on the northeast corner of Chichagof Island. The population of the village today is 850. We arrived on 6-8-09 and at approximately 4:30 two yearly cubs scampered across the breakwater right behind Cape St. James. Amazing!!!!
For more information on Hoonah follow the link.

Questions Asked:
Where are you headed next? Our plans are to go into Glacier Bay for a week then sail the outside of Chichagof and Baranof Islands, this is where we will finally blow up the dinghy and begin to fish and crab-and eat much better.

What exactly happened to the engine? A bolt from the gear box jammed in the engine's flywheel.

Are all the photos of the same bear? Yes, they are all of the same bear, he was on shore for hours, however we have seen many others, they just won’t pose for us long enough to get good photos.

Are the whale shots all of the same whale? No, we have seen so many whales we have lost count. They too are difficult to photograph as we are either sailing or they are on the move. Many times they just appear unexpectedly and of course our cameras are tucked away.

Another Look at Tenakee

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tenakee Springs

Be sure to press the arrow under the photo.

Wonderful town filled with interesting people and the bears roam freely.

Advice- if you see a bear you simply enter any house, no one locks their doors.

Oh by the way there are no cars!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Photo Story

You'll need to press the arrow to begin the Photostory.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Next Stop Tenakee Springs


Life in Tenakee Springs today is not much different that a century ago. In the remote Chichagof Island community only 45 miles southwest of Juneau, there is still the one and only general store founded in 1899. There is no community water, sewer or refuse service and homes are not fully plumbed. Residents haul water from local streams and most people depend heavily on subsistence foods; water fowl, venison, salmon and halibut. The 108º sulfur hot springs are still the center of the community. Fashioned after the Japanese bath system men and women bath separately at posted times. First a complete scrub done after which you may soak in the springs.

As we visit each of these towns along our way our goal is to find a town to stay for winter-this is NOT the town for me, while the hot springs are nice, I am not hauling water all winter long!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Unexpected Challenges

Ell Cove tucked away on Baranof Island is a paradise escape surrounded by steep mountains and snow at sea level making this tiny little cove the perfect hideout. That is until we discovered we had an engine problem. I'll skip the 3 days of "what if's" and get to the solution- pilot and mechanic Bill Salt of Salty Marine flew in this morning and was able to to find the problem which was no small feat. he needed to fly back to Sitka for parts, I tagged along for the breathtaking flight. By 3:00 Cape St. James was back to her old self and the crew relieved.

Big Thank You's to; Mark at Auxiliary Marine in Seattle, Bill in Sitka and of course captain Jim who kept the crew from panic with back up plans at the ready.

Weather report--HOT!!!

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