Day 10 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Explorer Basin to Egg Harbor

If there are two highlights on this leg of the trip, Coronation Island is one of them (the other is Endicott Arm/Ford’s Terror). Coronation Island sits just south of Chatham Strait, out in the ocean. It’s a big island—about 30nm around—with a dramatic, bold coastline and bare peaks. Because it’s in the ocean, it’s “off the beaten path” and seldom visited. Thankfully, the weather for our visit cooperated perfectly. We … Read more

Day 9 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Bay of Pillars to Explorer Basin

After weeks of sun, we finally awoke to overcast. With a short run and a good forecast, we weren’t in any rush to leave, and eventually pulled the anchors around 9:00 a.m. Not long after leaving Bay of Pillars, an active humpback surprised Airship as it breached several times about 100 yards from the boat!    Explorer Basin is a large bay at the entrance to even-larger Tebenkof Bay. We … Read more

Day 8 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Kake to Bay of Pillars

We left Kake early hoping to beat the forecast 15 knot southerlies on Chatham Strait. As we motored out of Frederick Sound, the wind picked up and the seas built for a few minutes, then died entirely. Perfect! We anchored partway into Bay of Pillars, relaxed aboard for awhile (a few people went fishing), then explored by dinghy. A narrow, shallow channel leads back to the inner part of the … Read more

Day 7 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Chapin Bay to Kake

The cruise across Frederick Sound to Kake from Chapin Bay is just under 20nm, and conditions were calm and glassy today, with a little morning fog. Boats left the anchorage on their own schedule and headed across between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. We arrived at Portage Harbor in Kake and got space all together on the transient dock.  First orders of business were washing the salt off boats, getting … Read more

Day 6 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Pybus Bay to Chapin Bay

Frederick Sound cooperated nicely and we enjoyed a smooth, quick cruise from Cannery Cove to Chapin Bay. Chapin Bay is a great anchorage, well sheltered, huge-yet-intimate, and 40-60 feet deep with excellent holding. Nearby Eliza Harbor and Herring Bay beg to be explored, so soon after anchoring we hopped in the dinghies and set off. We traced the perimeter of Eliza Harbor hoping to see bears, but eventually settled for … Read more

Day 5 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Gambier Bay to Pybus Bay

We had a short day today so we slept in, pulled crab traps, and eventually motored out of Snug Cove between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. With four people aboard Nereus and several days to go before the next spot to fill the water tanks, Safe Harbour rafted and transferred water before departure. The delay turned out to be serendipitous: as we left Gambier Bay, a small group of orcas blocked … Read more

Day 4 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Ford’s Terror to Gambier Bay

Regular readers know by now that Ford’s Terror can only be accessed at high water slack (actually, our recent dinghy excursion indicated low water slack is probably doable, but we don’t want to try it with a group the first time!). Today, that meant either about 6:00 a.m. or 6:45 p.m. Not wanting to motor through happy hour and dinner, we decided to take the early morning slack. We pulled … Read more

Days 2-3 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Dawes Glacier and Ford’s Terror

We left our anchorage at Tracy Arm Cove at about 9:00 in the morning and headed up Endicott Arm for Dawes Glacier. Our destination for later today is Ford’s Terror, which we’ll pass on the way to Dawes Glacier, but slack/entry at Ford’s Terror won’t be until about 5:00 p.m., which gives us plenty of time to visit another tidewater glacier! Kevin’s brother Craig (visiting from Miami), is joining Airship … Read more

Day 1 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 3 | Juneau to Tracy Arm Cove

Juneau, like most towns in Alaska, launches 4th of July fireworks as the clock rolls from 11:59 p.m. on July 3rd to 12:00 a.m. July 4th. This is because during summer in Alaska darkness is short-lived. In order for the fireworks to occur on July 4th under maximum darkness they must be launched in the wee hours of the morning.  This year, the fireworks show wasn’t a sure thing. Southeast … Read more