Inside Passage Blog

By Linda Lewis



June 18, 2007 – More Adventures with Boats, Rocks, Bear Cubs, Deer and Ling Cod


This will be our last picture email for awhile as we leave Sitka tomorrow AM. I probably will not be able to get another wifi connection until we arrive in Juneau around July 6 or 7.
This location is a fast-running narrows in Peril Strait called Sergius Narrows that boats must pass through on their way to Sitka. As we were headed towards Sergius to make the transit at slack water, this ferry boat suddenly came around a corner and slipped up behind me. I pulled over to the side and let it pass through the narrows first. It's a tight fit. Look at that red buoy on the left side of the ferry.

Well, maybe not that tight. Plenty of room. But no other boats could fit through there at the same time.

OK, now it's our turn to pass through Sergius Narrows.

On our way to Kalinin Bay David spotted this eagle sitting on a marker so I grabbed the camera and got a pretty nice picture.

One of the challenges of boating is making sense of what you see depicted on a chart and what you see out the window. There is a large rock/reef complex in the narrows portion of the channel into Kalinin Bay that must be avoided. It extends all the way to the shore. We entered at fairly high water and you can just barely see the tip of the rock. It is the light brown patch towards the right side of the picture. That rock/reef complex extends all the way to what looks like gravel on the shore at the left. Obviously we had to keep that rock on our left as we entered.

To further complicate things, there is a large uncharted rock even further to the right (of the above picture) that hides just below the surface of the water on very very low tides. While we were in the anchorage I did some investigating in the dinghy at a very very low tide and got that rock's exact GPS position. I took a screen shot of our electronic charting, showing the boat's track line into and out of the bay. The photo above is from the perspective of looking south. The next photo is a picture of the laptop screen. It's perspective depicts looking north.
The black asterisk with the green around it is the rock seen in the photograph, above. The black asterisk that the blue arrow points to is the uncharted rock. The red line on the left is the path we took to enter; the one on the right is our exit path. This is the kind of information that the cruising guide books try to include in order to alert boaters.

Click Chart to Enlarge

[Errata: Please note that the dates on the screenshot should be corrected to 2007.]

Now back to more fun things. This Orca rose up beside Dave's dinghy while he was outside Kalinin Bay fishing and scared the living daylights out of him. It turns out that the Orca is a large, old male (therefore the flopped over dorsal fin) that everyone in this area recognizes. Dave called me to tell me it was heading into the bay. The Orca came in, made a wide circle, then cruised right back out. The stories say that he has been doing this for years and has earned himself a name, but we never found out what it was.

The best sight in the bay was a mother grizzly and her three cubs. This is also a family the locals know about and have been watching. It is apparently quite unusual for three cubs to survive a winter. So everyone surmises that this mom has done a great job.

David jumped in the dinghy and went over to get these great pictures. One of the cubs was particularly interested in watching Dave.

This little guy really kept his eye on Dave but didn't show an ounce of concern. He was just very curious.

Mama, on the other hand, tried several times to coax the cubs away from the shore and back into the woods.

But the cubs just ignored her so she gave in each time and came back to join them in chewing on more grass. They were a real treat to watch.

We went for a long dinghy ride and beach walk on the outside of Kruzof Island - its open ocean side.

It is wild and beautiful country out here. Michael, this picture is for you; another geology moment.

I was surprised to see these two deer come right down into the ocean and splash around.

Since we arrived in Sitka, David has been out fishing several times. Today he hit the jackpot and came back to the boat for a photo op. 

Here is his catch. A very fine ling cod. It is great eating. (Somewhat similar to halibut.) He said he was disappointed to see that yet another rock fish had snapped onto his bait when all of a sudden he saw this ling cod leap out and swallow the rock fish whole. Including the hook. That means we get ling cod for dinner. (And so did about five other people he shared it with!)

They have huge mouths and very sharp teeth. David couldn't resist posing this picture.

But not to worry. The fisherman is safe and very happy with his catch.

We hope you are enjoying the pictures.

Linda & Dave
M/V Royal Sounder



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