Saturday, June 18, 2022

Petersburg to Sitka

We headed north from Petersburg on the morning of June 7 shortly before the turn to ebb tide. The building ebb current gave us a boost until we were partway across Fredrick Sound heading towards Point Gardiner. W2022-Cruise-073xhen reached Point Gardiner and started north up Chatham Strait we picked up the flood current and the boost until we entered Ell Cove. The cove was vacant when we arrived but shortly after our anchor was down, we were joined by the classic yacht Westward for the night.

The next morning we got an early start to catch as much of the dying flood current up Chatham Strait and into Peril Strait. Our original goal was an anchorage just short of Sergius Narrows, but soon we realized our early start allowed us to transit Sergius Narrows at slack current and continue on to Sitka the same day. When we reached Sitka in the afternoon, the wind was blowing in the upper teens inside the breakwater.  Rather than risk an awkward docking in challenging conditions, we continued past Sitka and anchored south of town in Leesofskaia Bay, a very protected location.

2022-Cruise-077xAfter a calm night, we returned to Sitka and were secured in a slip shortly after 9 AM.  This thrilled Drake as being in town allowed for frequents walks and visits to a dog park a short distance from the harbor.

After three nights in town, we headed out of town southward along the western shore of Baranof Island and anchored in Scow Bay on Beauchamp Island. The next day we continued south along the coast into Whale Bay where Marcia did some salmon fishing. We anchored the night in Kritoi Basin.

The next morning the forecast was for a low swell and light winds but for the swell and wind to increase the following day. Rather the deal with that, after Marcia fished the morning bite, retraced our route north in good conditions anchoring in Herring Bay on Elovi Island. Along the way, we passed Shearwater, a “classic” Diesel Duck owned by David Cohn.  We agreed to meet back in Sitka in a few days after they returned to town.

2022-Cruise-075xFollowing a calm night, we made an early departure on a falling tide through the shallow entrance to Herring Bay. We arrived back in Sitka shortly after 9 am so that Drake would have a full day of walks and ball play.

When we arrived in Sitka we discovered fellow Queen City Yacht Club member, Ann & Craig Wilbour were here on their Ocean Alexander 45 Shot-8. We spent an evening with them catching up on each others travels.

2022-Cruise-082xThe next night, after David Cohn on Shearwater returned, he invited us to a halibut dinner on board with his crew mate Mary Kay and friends Wade & Betty. Lots of stories were told.

We’ve grown to appreciate the trail system in Sitka that is easily accessible from the harbor yet takes you into some lovely terrain surrounding Sitka.  We’re use to walking in the various towns in SEAK but Sitka is certainly at or near the top of the towns we visit in “walkability:.

From here we expect to head back to Chatham Strait and eventually work our way north. Glacier Bay NP and Juneau are expected destinations but were not sure when.

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