Day 27-28 | Flotilla to Alaska | Petersburg to Pybus Bay

After several days in Petersburg, we were ready to be anchored again. Originally we’d planned to go to Portage Bay, then Pybus Bay the following day. But since Pybus Bay is so much larger and prettier than Portage, we decided to head directly to Cannery Cove in Pybus Bay and spend two nights.

The ~50nm cruise up from Petersburg was beautiful: mostly cloudy, occasional heavy rain squalls, glaciers and mountains all around, and a few whales. 

Humpback, southwest of Brothers Islands
Humpback takes a dive near Airship
Humpback takes a dive near Airship
Approaching Pybus Bay

It’s hard to describe in words or capture in photos the scale of this coast, but the charts below are one attempt. Most Pacific Northwest cruisers are familiar with the San Juan Islands. Each of the screenshots below shows the same scale to give you a sense of how big just Pybus Bay is. A dinghy trip around Pybus Bay is like going from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor and back.

Cannery Cove is our favorite anchorage in Pybus Bay. It’s large, reasonably shallow, and incredibly beautiful. Every year someone on the trip compares the view to something they’ve seen in Switzerland. We can’t disagree.

The head of Cannery Cove in Pybus Bay
Airship and Safe Harbour rafted in Cannery Cove
Polymela anchored at Cannery Cove
Mud flats at the head of Cannery Cove
Cloud reflection

Pybus Bay indents Admiralty Island, home to about 1600 brown bears—one of the largest populations anywhere. In fact, scientists estimate there are more brown bears on Admiralty Island than in the entire lower 48. There are so many brown bears that there are no black bears—they simply can’t compete. We spent a lot of time in the dinghies looking for bears and were nicely rewarded.

Skittish bear on shore in Cannery Cove
Brown bear sow munching on grass
Brown bear sow and two cubs

Another sow with two cubs
Bears aren’t the only wildlife…

The first night in Cannery Cove we had a low key group happy hour. The second night was “kicked up ramen” night…delicious and colorful!

Ramen night on Airship

Cannery Cove proved remarkably productive for crabbing. Several boats put crab traps down and pulled out dozens of keepers. Hearing complaints about having too much crab to cook and clean is a good problem to have!

Cannery Cove crab haul

Next stop: Red Bluff Bay!

Today’s total: 53.2nm, 7 hours 23 minutes underway
Flotilla total: 849.8nm, 119 hours 11 minutes underway