Cruising Southeast Alaska - 2009

By Linda Lewis

 

9. The Buddies Continue – Red Bluff Bay Shrimping – Baranof Warm Springs – Sitka

 

Red Bluff Bay is a very unusual geological formation on the east side of Baranof Island.



Our resident geologist, Mike, called it a melange. (I hope I got that right.)

David and I were both fascinated with his explanations. Trying to follow all the terminology was a bit of a challenge.

As we made our way through the outer entrance, we stopped talking and just gazed. Mike took the best photo of this passage.

Photo by Michael Thacker

Red Bluff Bay is several miles deep with this nice anchorage at its head.



You pass this great waterfall on the way to the anchorage.

We had this view from the stern of our boat while we were at anchor.



This is some of my best photo work. I owe it to Mike, however, as he is the one who spotted this gorgeous view and got excited about this sharp-peaked beauty cloaked in snow.

I did get to cruise around in the skiff now and then when the guys were resting. Mike shot this photo of me coming back from a slow perimeter cruise. No bears this trip, but lots of bird life.

Photo by Michael Thacker

This was the usual scene in the skiff. The guys are just returning from a very successful shrimping expedition. We ALWAYS get shrimp when we set our pots at Red Bluff Bay.

And here is the nice haul.

Well, we think its nice. I’m not so sure Mike is very thrilled about holding this one up for display.

But Dave gets right into his work and is ripping heads off.

This was a rare afternoon of sun, so Dave’s “red pants of courage” (as he calls them) are hanging from a handy antenna to dry.

The refrigerator was too stuffed so we had to find an inventive way to chill the wine we would be having with our shrimp that evening. Into the fish net it went, propped carefully. It was ready to serve after only a half hour in the sea.

When we left the anchorage, David made a trip to the shrimp pots once again while Mike and I weighed the anchor and drove out to meet him. Here is salty Mike handling the wheel like a pro.

Baranof Warm Springs is another must-stop for most cruisers. This is what the entrance looks like. The dock is at the right.

The outflow from the waterfall means you are either being pushed onto or off the dock, so it is a bit of challenge to dock here. Not bad, but it helps to know to expect that current. And to watch for the rock outcropping on the shoreside.

Creative minds turn to all kinds of gourmet meals while on the sea. Here is one of David’s favorites. Mike thought it looked interesting so he had some too. What is it? Toasted English muffins with blueberry preserves and bananas. Dave says: "If there had been some green chili on it it would have been perfect."

Where would we be without our texting time? Mike’s iPhone and AT&T service worked just as well as my Verizon service with an LG Voyager.

We had to be quick about connecting when we were out in the open water at certain locations (Kake, Baranof Warm Springs). Once inside the bays, the signal is usually gone. I use mine to update my Float Plan with our family as we go along.

I often find eagles sitting on navigation markers.

The Royal Sounder is approaching Sergius Narrows in Peril Strait at slack water. It looks pretty open, but you need to stay between the markers. Going west, the two reds are kept to port, the green on the shore is kept to starboard.

Yes, we got through Sergius Narrows a the right time. Smooth waters for the Sounder and for the Devil.

We saw this rescued eagle at the Raptor Center in Sitka.

Sitka was also the end of our time with our guest Michael. We toasted each other at the best restaurant in Sitka: Ludvig’s Bistro.

We’re leaving Sitka tomorrow for points unknown. We haven’t decided where we're going yet. Any wifi connection that is robust enough to do these kinds of photo emails will probably be a long time in coming. Maybe not until Ketchikan. We'll see.

 

 


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