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Airship | Marble Grotto and Trap Bay

Today our plan was to arrive at Basket Bay a few hours before high tide so we could wait for a good time to enter the Marble Grotto. We’ve known about the Marble Grotto for a few years now but had never gone there. You can only enter when the tide is high enough to join the small river coming from the nearby lake with Basket Bay. The water level needs to be high enough to get you all the way back to the marble cave at the end, but not so high that you can’t get underneath the big limestone arch at the entrance! (Spoiler: We timed it well, and had a magical half an hour or so exploring inside.)

Heading down Chatham Strait to Basket Bay, Dall’s porpoises on the bow with Mijonet
Anchored in about 100ft in the north corner of Basket Bay
The entrance to the grotto, hardly noticeable unless you know what you’re looking for
Heading into the grotto
An hour ago this was all rock and no water
The wall inside
Through the arch and into what feels like a magical, primeval secret
Dan and Eileen emerging from the tunnel
So much green!

The walls are limestone and marble:

When you get to the end, you’re at the entrance to a dark cave. Just go a little further (into the cave, room for one or two dinghies) and let your eyes adjust to the darkness.

Looking from inside the cave back toward Dan and Eileen.
Back out through the tunnel and limestone arch

Being here (and being the only ones here) feels incredible. We turned off the outboards and use a paddle to move around. The only sound is the quiet whisper of the water flowing into the bay from somewhere you can’t see anymore, and the water dripping from the ceiling.

What a cool experience!! We will definitely come back here. We were lucky that Chatham was so settled, because Basket Bay is quite open and exposed and could be a bit choppy even as a temporary anchorage, but it doesn’t take long to see the grotto if you time it right and is for sure worth a visit.

We cruised back up Chatham to Tenakee Inlet.

Chatham Strait, like glass!
Fortunate in Chatham Strait

Since it was so calm, we decided to anchor for the night in Trap Bay instead of going into Tenakee Springs.

Fortunate, anchored in Trap Bay

Trap Bay isn’t all that protected, but in settled weather it’s a fine anchorage, and you can’t beat the view!

Kevin and Mij went to set crab pots, while Dan headed out to set his prawn pot.

For dinner tonight we made fish tacos with the yelloweye rockfish that Dan caught this morning!

Here are some aerials of Trap Bay:

 

The next morning, Mijonet asked if she could go out with Dan to check his prawn pot…she wanted to see the live prawns (if we had any). Turns out we did! Dan and Mij brought back about ten big spot prawns!