Are you ready for some grizzly pictures?
We were in Gut Bay on the east side of Baranof
Island, a spot I have been wanting to visit
for several years. It really is as beautiful
as they say. Especially with all of the snow.
Red Bluff Bay is very close by and
most people bypass Gut Bay for Red Bluff
Bay. We always did. I'm so glad we stopped
this time. It was just gorgeous. And we had
some wonderful grizzly sightings.
went for a hike up the stream and found this
wonderful spot that we quickly labeled "Bear
Meadow." It was a perfect spot for bears.
is Dave in his hiking duds. We didn't see any
bears on our first hike, but saw
plenty of spoor so we decided we should
come back later.
Meadow had a nice roaring stream...
........ This is what Dave saw
when he came back to hunt for the hat
he lost while, ah-hem, adjusting his clothing.
hump on the back positively identifies
the bear as a grizzly.
itching to see a grizzly up close, but I wanted
it to be 'safe' up close. So, later, Dave and
I went in the dinghy together hoping for some
more good pictures - this time from the dinghy.
At first we thought our timing was poor as
no bears seemed to be around. However, just
as were about to reverse, out stepped this
it sees us.
few sniffs, then ...
it decided to investigate us a little more
closely so it began to stroll out on the downed
log towards us.
hurry. Just curious.
... this was getting a little close for my
comfort. We were just about ready to reverse
engines and back off a bit when ..
the bear's interest in us disappeared ... as
did the bear.
a great encounter. I liked the safety factor
of being in the dinghy with its 40
hp capacity to beat a hasty retreat if needed. I
definitely got my grizzly fix.
For the non-boaters, you can stop reading now -- but
I can't resist adding the following screenshot
of our electronic charting for the boaters
reading this email. Gut Bay is a
dramatic example of the inaccurate charting
one can find in Southeast Alaska. Gut Bay was
surveyed in 1897 and the cartographers didn't
get it right. The red line is our track line;
that is the path the GPS said we took.
According to that, we dragged our boat
across a peninsula and then we anchored on
land. The black line shows our plotted
course route and the route we actually
steered using our eyes because we could see
the chart was off. And not by just a little.
The error distance is
0.247 nm (about five football fields) too far
northwest at the anchorage
I'm sure glad we both are very consistent
about looking out the window. It sure
Chart to Enlarge
M/V Royal Sounder