The day after our guests, the Crowders, departed on July 18, Marcia and I also left Sitka. We didn’t go far though. Last year we thoroughly enjoyed the leisurely times we spent cruising the Ketchikan region while waiting for our buddy boat for the season, the DavidEllis, to join us. This year, we thought we’d take advantage of the time between the Crowders and our next set of guests, Sharon & Craig Rowley, to poke around Sitka.
On July 19, our first day of travel we covered those 30 miles south and anchored in the very sheltered Scow Bay. In some areas, you are traveling a route through submerged rocks. When you do that, you have to have confidence in the charting done by NOAA and the accuracy of your position as reported by your GPS. In those areas, we traveled along with our chart plotter set to show the results of the depth sounder. You make sure that the bottom reflects what the chart says you ought to be seeing.
One of the purposes of the cruise was for Marcia to do some serious fishing. The next day, July 20, we started slowly back north and covered the relatively short distance to Herring Bay. Marcia tried her hand at fishing for halibut from the stern of Alpenglow. She had one good bite but it got away without being hooked. The fish also got away with Marcia’s octopus bait.
We remained a second day in Herring Bay and tried fishing from the dinghy. Marcia hooked a dog fish that not only thoroughly swallowed the circle hook but also wrapped itself in the line to the point that we had to simply cut it loose. Our efforts with the prawn trap were equally unsuccessful. We cut our losses and dropped the kayaks and went paddling. The entrance to Herring Bay had several sea otters in residence so we paddled out there. The sea otters seem more bashful of our kayaks than our power boat.
On Friday, July 22 we continued north and returned to a lovely anchorage we visited last year, Samsing Cove. The cove is less than five miles from Sitka but we had it to ourselves and never would have known we were near a community except for the Alaska Air jets on approach to Sitka airport. The weather was sunny and warm (by SE Alaska standards).
The next day, July 23, we motored north across Sitka Sound and revisited the Magoun Islands Marine Park. When we were here the week before being cowards about the shallow and narrow entrance to the inner cove, we anchored outside. Having scouted the channel with the dinghy, we felt comfortable entering the very lovely inner cove.
After anchoring, we launched the dinghy and tried fishing in nearby Krestof Sound. A rock fish was the unlucky catch of the day and it served as a component of fish tacos. Our friends the Nagles and their daughter were anchored in the bay just to the east of us and dinghied over for a visit. The weather remained sunny and warm, although a change was forecasted.
We were all prepared to try more fishing on Sunday, July 24, but the weather became windy with occasional showers. We spent a leisurely day swinging at the end of our anchor chain.
The next day was calmer but definitely wetter. The wind had done a wonderful job of setting our anchor and we had to power several seconds with the chain taut in the opposite direction the anchor was set in order to pop it loose. We were back in Eliason Harbor in Sitka shortly after 10 AM.
The total distance covered during the six days was 90.1 miles, bringing our summer cruise to 1757.6 nautical miles.