Friday, June 18, 2021

Sitka to Sitka in only 491 Miles

We started the morning of June 5, thinking we were going to head south along the west coast of Baranof Island. After checking the current weather forecast, we changed our mind and decided take the longer but more protected route back out Peril Strait and down Chatham Strait to near its southern end..

2021-06-017xWe anchored the first night in Hanus Bay on Baranof Island’s northern shore and our second night in Denmark Cove in Little Port Walter towards Baranof’s southern end,  Fishing for Chinook salmon was permited in this area and Marcia wanted to give it a go.  We fished the morning bite just north of Little Port Walter but came up empty handed. We later fished the mid-day bite near Mist Cove, but it seemed that only pink salmon were biting.  After releasing a few “pinks”, Marcia called it a day and we anchored in Patterson Bay.  The 2021-06-048xanchoring grounds weren’t great but the scenery was spectacular and the weather settled.

From Patterson Bay, we headed north up Chatham Strait to Gut Bay for a couple of nights to wait for the Pacific Ocean swell coming into Chatham Strait to lay down. Gut Bay is another of the many scenic Baranof Island anchorages.

2021-06-062xAfter a couple of nights in Gut Bay and with calmer conditions we headed across the Chatham Strait and fished south of Tebenkof Bay.  A fishing gear equipment failure cut short our efforts short and we anchored in Gedney Harbor for the night where we repaired the problem. 

With the gear back online, we decided to head back to Fredrick Sound and visit some dog-friendly anchorages.  As we passed Tebenkof Bay, we could see2021-06-063x in the distance (a mile or two away) large numbers (>30) of humpback whales feeding. The feeding included bubble feeding which is always dramatic.

When we got to Fredrick Sound, the weather was lovely. Drake enjoyed his time on the gravel beach a short kayak paddle from our anchored boat playing with his favorite ball and wading in the water, .

After our break from fishing, we headed back down to Gut Bay.  On June 15, the areas open to recreational salmon fishing expanded and we were able to fish areas farther north in Chatham Strait than previously.  Sadly, after a couple of days with only pink salmon on the hook, we called it quits headed back towards Sitka.

With one intermediate stop at Baby Bear we returned to Sitka on June 17. After 12 days of travel, 86.6 engine hours and 491 nautical miles we were back where we had started.

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