Day 29 | Flotilla to Alaska | Pybus Bay to Red Bluff Bay

We awoke to the sun peeking through the clouds and light wind, perfect for the 40 mile run to Red Bluff Bay. This trip—through Frederick Sound, around Pt. Gardner, and across Chatham Strait—can be bumpy and miserable when the wind is blowing. We had no wind, no chop, calm seas. 

Queen Elizabeth cruise ship in Frederick Sound
Otter farting?

Often we see many whales in this area, but not today. A few boats saw a few spouts, but nothing remarkable. At least it wasn’t rough, and the scenery along Baranof Island is ruggedly beautiful.

Chatham Strait, glassy
Chatham Strait approaching Baranof Island

Red Bluff Bay is named for the brick-red bluff that marks the entrance. It’s a conspicuous landmark on a coast usually colored in shades of green and grey. 

Red Bluffs outside Red Bluff Bay

Inside, a giant waterfall is always more dramatic in person than even the best photographs can capture.

Waterfall, Red Bluff Bay

Mountain peaks rise sharply to thousands of feet all around.

Rugged peaks, Red Bluff Bay

Bears are a big attraction at Red Bluff. We once saw a dozen bears on the beach at a single time, including two mating. Although we haven’t had a repeat experience, we often see bears foraging in the meadow at the head of the bay or fishing in the river.

Joni and Neil watching a brown bear on shore
The river mouth at low tide
Looking back at the anchorage from the river…our boats look small!
Very large brown bear mows the grass at Red Bluff Bay
Same brown bear returns to the grass for breakfast the next morning

Today’s total: 40.6nm, 5 hours 20 minutes underway
Flotilla total: 890.4nm, 124 hours 31 minutes underway