Kassa Inlet and Hunter Bay | Prince of Wales Island

From Hydaburg we headed south in protected inside waters. After the coldest and wettest summer we can remember in SE Alaska, today’s sunshine was welcome! It looks like the sunshine is going to stick around for the foreseeable future…an Alaskan heatwave! Our first stop was Kassa Inlet. Its long shoreline with several bays looked like great exploring. We arrived in the evening and saved the dinghying for the following day. … Read more

Kuiu Island

Kake to Halleck Harbor We left Kake mid-day, since Halleck Harbor (in Saginaw Bay) was just 15 miles or so around the corner and we had to wait for the fuel dock…or, the fuel truck. Kake used to have a small fuel dock, but last winter the dock blew away during a storm that brought 80-knot winds for several days, then 70-knot winds from the opposite direction. For now, they’re … Read more

Windham Bay, Endicott Arm, Sandborn Canal, and Kake

After our incredible day at Pack Creek, we headed back down Seymour Canal, joined by a couple of humpbacks. Then, as we were cruising across Stephens Passage toward Windham Bay, we were greeted by about 30 Dall’s porpoises who played in Airship’s bow wake for about a half an hour. We never tire of these guys—they’re so playful!! We anchored in the southern nook just inside the entrance of Windham … Read more

Pack Creek Bears | Admiralty Island

The Pack Creek bear viewing area on Admiralty Island is permit-only between June 1 and September 10, and is located up near the top of Seymour Canal. The island is home to an estimated 1,500 brown bears — more than all the Lower 48 states combined. From Juneau via float plane, it’s probably only half an hour, but by (Slow)boat from Juneau, it’s about 74 nautical miles and takes two … Read more

Safe Harbour | Sitka to Juneau

After a few days of chores and goodbyes in Sitka, I headed for Juneau. I would have loved to continue cruising with the group, but commitments intervened and I needed to make it Juneau in time for a flight back to Seattle. I departed Sitka at 6:00 a.m. to make slack at Sergius Narrows. The earliest departure in weeks! After cruising in company for the last month, the quietness of … Read more

Day 25 | Flotilla to Alaska | Portage Bay to Pybus Bay

The cruise up Frederick Sound from Portage Bay to Pybus Bay is about 33 nautical miles. The wind was mostly calm (10 knots or so) with just the slightest chop. The sun was even out for a bit! We were hoping for some humpbacks today. Frederick Sound, especially around the Brothers Islands, is usually rich with whales. Today did not disappoint. We saw about a dozen of them, spread out … Read more

The Case for Alaska

“Can I call you right back? A couple orcas just surfaced right in front of the boat and I don’t want to hit them,” I frantically told the U.S. Customs officer as I eased the throttle back. “No problem, that’ll happen,” the officer responded. Welcome to Alaska. We were motoring north in Tongass Narrows, on our way into Ketchikan after a three-week transit through British Columbia. Anchored in Foggy Bay … Read more

Ford’s Terror

Ford’s Terror  might just be the most beautiful place on the planet. Cliffs—absolutely humongous granite walls, really—rise from water’s edge to snowcapped bowls and peaks 5000 feet above. Countless waterfalls, some trickles, others torrents, plunge from these peaks. Bears forage ashore. Dolphins frolic around anchored boats. The scale of Ford’s Terror is difficult to comprehend and impossible to convey. It’s like Yosemite, but with water in the valleys, no crowds, … Read more

Airship | More Misty Fjords

Kevin arrived back in Ketchikan after spending the week in Austin for work. He brought his mom back with him, and we’ll be showing her SE Alaska from Ketchikan to Petersburg this week. (I was really ready to get off the dock back out in nature again!) Our first stop after some sightseeing in Ketchikan (Creek Street, Saxman Totem Village, and dinner at the Bar Harbor Restaurant) was Walker Cove … Read more