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
maybe not that tight. Plenty of room. But no
other boats could fit through there at the same
now it's our turn to pass through Sergius Narrows.
our way to Kalinin Bay David spotted this eagle
sitting on a marker so I grabbed the camera and
got a pretty nice picture.
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.
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
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.
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
jumped in the dinghy and went over
to get these great pictures. One of the cubs
was particularly interested in watching Dave.
little guy really kept his eye on Dave but didn't
show an ounce of concern. He was just very curious.
on the other hand, tried several times to coax
the cubs away from the shore and back into the
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.
went for a long dinghy ride and beach walk on
the outside of Kruzof Island - its open ocean
is wild and beautiful country out here. Michael,
this picture is for you; another geology
was surprised to see these two deer come right
down into the ocean and splash around.
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.
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!)
have huge mouths and very sharp teeth. David
couldn't resist posing this picture.
not to worry. The fisherman is safe and very
happy with his catch.
hope you are enjoying the pictures.
M/V Royal Sounder