Day 2 | Alaska Flotilla Leg 2 | Klag Bay to Kimshan Cove

After a lazy morning, we left Klag Bay around 9:00 a.m. The aids to navigation on this section of coast could use some love but we found our way:

Our first stop was Radioville. Several years ago we’d heard about this spot from Bill Pierre at the bar in Pelican. He explained that a guy named Joe used to live on an island offshore from Klag Bay. Joe was a radio operator, and he relayed messages from the outside world to the mines on Chichagof Island. Joe reportedly drank a lot—so much that the beach outside his cabin was covered mostly in glass. That turned out to be a bit of an exagerattion, but we still enjoyed our visit. Here’s a description of Radioville from Stephen Hilson’s “Alaska & British Columbia” chart book:

“Joe Bauer, retired signal corps sergeant, operated a radio station for mines in the Chichagof area. Bauer received radio messages from the “outside world” and then rowed them to the Chichagof area. He apparently drank a lot and it’s been said he could find his way back to the island by following the empty beer bottles in left in the water on his trip to the mines. The beach in front of his cabin was said to consist of 50% gravel and 50% ground up glass (from his empties!) He eventually moved to Pioneer’s Home.”

Two years ago, Joe’s cabin was still standing. This time, it was nearly gone. The roof was off the building and the walls had caved in. A “no trespassing” sign now stands on shore and an active construction site is nearby.

Even with the changes, it was a pleasant stop. The weather was perfect, with light winds, sunny skies, and warm temperatures. And the scenery—a maze of small islands, rocks, and reefs on the ocean’s edge—is beautiful and very remote feeling.

As we prepared to leave, a lone humpback surfaced nearby. We watched it for 15 minutes as it meandered past the boats.

Kevin took the drone up to see if he could photograph the whale from the air:

The anchorage at Radioville is only fair, so we continued on to Kimshan Cove for the night. Like Klag Bay, Kimshan Cove is the site of an old mine. A few cabins remain, one with the following note inside:

Looks like a bear had some skunk cabbage for lunch!
Inside one of the cabin ruins (taken from the window)

After exploring the mine ruins, we dinghied to nearby Black Bay. There’s not much written about anchoring in Black Bay and we can’t figure out why. It’s a gorgeous spot, with steep, dramatic mountains rising from the shoreline.

On the meadow at the head of Black Bay, we spotted four brown bears:

The weather tomorrow looks good on the ocean, then it deteriorates for the following several days, so we’ll push on to somewhere in Lisianski Strait tomorrow.

Jester, sunset in Kimshan Cove

Today’s total: 11.7nm, 1 hour 47 minutes underway
Flotilla total: 59.8nm, 8 hours 38 minutes underway