Misty Fjords National Monument is one of the most scenic places in Southeast Alaska. Waterfalls of all types, from dainty-looking ribbons to furious torrents, plunge into the ocean. Sheer walls rise thousands of feet into the misty skies. In the places sufficiently horizontal for soil to gather, scars from landslides abound, illustrating just how tenuously the soil and vegetation cling to the cliffs.
We’ll visit two of the most dramatic fjords on this trip: first Walker Cove, then Punchbowl Cove. Today we got our first taste of the fjords at Walker Cove.
The weather was substantially worse than misty. Rain fell steadily and often heavily throughout the 55nm cruise to Walker Cove, obscuring the views but not totally hiding the beauty.
The Forest Service maintains a mooring buoy in Walker Cove and it was empty when we arrived, so one boat grabbed it and the rest of us anchored. We’ve now been using the “fjord anchoring technique” throughout BC and Alaska for several years, and it’s worked remarkably well in places that are deep and steep-to. Find about 120 feet of water, drop 150 feet of chain, slowly back towards shore while dropping another 100 feet of chain, and set the anchor. Yes, this is short scope. No, it might not hold if a strong offshore wind develops (although we’ve never had this issue). But that’s okay. The anchor is unlikely to drag uphill towards shore, and if it drags offshore it doesn’t really matter (at least immediately) because there’s nothing to hit.
We spent two rainy days in Walker Cove, but we didn’t let the rain deter us too much. We dinghied up the creek and to the head of the bay, caught 75 giant prawns over the course of our stay, enjoyed the scenery, and even barbecued outside dinner (including some of those prawns!).