Airship | South from Sitka to Redoubt Bay

Finally, a good weather window lined up with our plans to get on the outside of Baranof Island for a few days!

We got up at 5am in Baby Bear to transit Sergius Narrows near the 5:30am slack, which meant (a) we got into Sitka before 9am, and (b) we were tired, so immediately after getting settled in our slip, we took a nap. 🙂

We’d been in touch with friends Dan and Eileen on their Nordic Tug 37 Fortunate, and they too were planning to go down the outside, so we decided to do some of it together!

Here’s what we did last night with some of the Dungeness crab bounty we have…crab and spinach risotto. Super delicious. I cheat and make the risotto in the Instant Pot (apologies, Tom Colicchio, but it works pretty well and is so much easier that all that stirring!)

Crab and spinach risotto

Late evening light in Eliason Harbor, Sitka, taken from the pilothouse of Airship:

We left Sitka Tuesday morning around 7:30am on Tuesday and headed for Redoubt Bay. I took a few photos as we headed south past town.

Conditions in Sitka Sound were calm with just a very slight swell…all the prep I did in the stuffing towels around the things that make blammy sounds in the galley paid off (like taking an umbrella with you so it won’t rain…same idea).

We’re anchored in Redoubt Bay with Fortunate rafted to us, and Dan and Kevin are out fishing for sockeye. Sockeye typically don’t bite on lures, so they’re using a method called “flossing” where you try to get your line in their mouths as they open them and then you set the hook in the cheek. (You’re not allowed to snag them past a certain point in the bay.) Apparently it requires quite a bit of patience, which luckily they both have. Some of the Alaskan residents are here with small gill nets (that works a bit faster) but there are quite a few boats over by the waterfall/fish weir trying their luck with the other method. Eileen is working on a quilt, and I’m going to break out my painting supplies and the small pieces I brought to work on.

View toward the head of the bay from Airship at anchor
Zoomed in a little….
Zoomed in a little more, you can see the boats anchored and folks are casting, and over by shore there are a couple guys with dip nets. Busy place!

Kevin took these of Dan catching one of his many fish:

Kevin caught one big guy, and Dan had 5 or 6 good ones!

We already thawed a little beef tenderloin to top with the last of our fresh crab and asparagus for dinner tonight, so we vacuum sealed the sockeye for future meals!

After the guys returned from fishing, Kevin took the drone up for some aerials.

Airship and Fortunate rafted in Redoubt Bay
Redoubt Bay facing the entrance to Redoubt Lake
Redoubt Bay looking out toward Sitka Sound
The head of Redoubt Bay looking toward Redoubt Lake
The head of Redoubt Bay looking into Redoubt Lake (Airship and Fortunate on the right)
The head of Redoubt Bay looking into Redoubt Lake (Airship and Fortunate on the right)
Straight down over the head of the bay and the entrance to Redoubt Lake
Over the fish weir looking from Redoubt Lake into the head of the bay (Airship and Fortunate at the top left)
Redoubt Lake looking east
Redoubt Lake looking west
Redoubt Bay facing Sitka Sound (the cliff on the right is super tall!)

So fun to see from up high what surrounds us!

And then while we were sitting out on our back deck having a little happy hour and chatting with Dan and Eileen, a sow and two (older) cubs came scrambling along the rocky shoreline about 50 feet from our boats!!

Sow with two cubs in Redoubt Bay
Sow with two cubs in Redoubt Bay
Mama bear looks soft and fuzzy
Cub 1
Cub 2
Cub 2, looking right at us
Mama stops to snack on the grass

Tomorrow we’ll head outside and around to Scow Bay. Very happy about the weather and that we’re getting to do this leg outside…finally!