Sea Jay Goes North 2011

Sea Jay Goes North  2011
Dawes Glacier Endicott Arm Alaska

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Patterson ,Red Bluff, Petersburg, Wrangle, Ketchikan

Sitka to Kalinin Bay May 21, 2011
We decided to go back to Kalinin Bay and meet up with Lady J, Jackie and Layne, so they could show us how and why they are so successful at catching halibut.  After a wonderful day with them we caught 5 halibut, not very big but certainly worth keeping for some delightful meals.  
The next day we went out one final time at Kalinin and Jim caught a 30 lb king.  Later that day we left for Rodman Bay and spent the night.  There was nothing there but at least 50 commercial crab pots.  
On Friday the 24th we went to Ell Cove and found a beautiful, quiet little cove and stayed there for 2 days.  We also caught 8 Sea Bass and had a delightful bass dinner that evening with Asplunds and Gills. 
Onward to Warm Springs Bay the next day where there was a magnificent waterfall.  We had to be careful leaving Ell Cove due to all of the purse seiners that had just arrived the previous day.  They couldn’t start fishing until midnight and had 15 hours before they had to stop so there were nets everywhere.  It was estimated there were around 60 boats.  After we arrived in Warm Springs, the purse seiners started coming in when they were through for the day. We took a walk up to the hot springs that are right beside the waterfall and then walked a short distance to Baranof Lake.  Great boardwalk path.  We then went out for more fishing and Jim caught 2 good sized halibuts.  
 Tuesday June 28th - Warm Springs to Patterson Bay 
 Patterson Bay June 29
This is a was long and narrow bay with steep high sides with exposure  to the South wind. We anchored in 90 feet of water at the had of he bay and put out 300 feet of chain. The 150 pound Rockna anchor really did its job holding solid in gusts up to 37 kts that night.
This is a very scenic anchorage but must be treated with respect due to the deep and rocky bottom and narrow head of the Bay. Patrick did extremely well pulling in 16 dozen prawns in three sets.We got about 4 dozen nice pawns that night. 
Red Bluff Bay June 30-31
Red Bluff Bay is as it is named with high red rocky bluffs at the entrance.
It has a winding entrance and must be treated with respect to avoid fowl rock infested water.
 We keep saying it over and over but this is an outstanding and beautiful anchorage, with high and dramatic waterfalls, snow capped peaks and green pasture at the head of the bay and plenty of brown Grizzly bears grazing on shore.
 Patrick got a hot tip from Steve Oberto on where to set the prawn pots and we did very well for two days harvesting a robust catch of prawns by the bucket full. We set the prawn pots in a secret spot close to shore on a steep declining bottom in about 240 feet of water.
 Spirit went on to Petersburg today and we decided to stay another night before heading for Petersburg and on to Wrangle for the 4th of July and a tour of the Anan Bay bear and wild Life Observatory Grizzly bear watch. July 4 was wonderful in Wrangle with all the logger stuff and great fireworks.  We have done the Behm Canal and are leaving Ketchikan tomorrow headed for Prince rupert and work our way south to the Broughtons. Changed the oil and water pump impellers on the gen sets and we are ready for another round of anchorage.

The brief videos show a grizzly eating clams on the middy beach with crows following close by to clean up the scraps. Then we tossed a cod carcass on the rocks to watch an eagle in a near by tree. He cautiously worked his way down on the rocks with his buddy and got the fish ...but it took about 30 minutes for this all to happen while Cheryl and I sat in the dingy waiting for this shot. The water falls are every where and wonderful. 

Petersburg July 1
We arrived in Petersburg just in time for the beginning of a festival that started with bagpipes as we walked to the store for supplies.  The town seemed busy and festive.  Also made arrangements to have more salmon and halibut shipped home to ease up some space in the freezer in anticipation of more crab and prawns!!  We took a shuttle to the Beachcomber Restaurant and had a very pleasant dinner with a delightful couple from England, Bob and Jean.  They were touring Alaska via ferry and car and having a great time. 
Wrangell July 2 - 4
Saturday we left Petersburg and headed for Wrangell - 5th day in the rain!  Our original plan was to take the Anan Bay Bear watch tour but discovered we were probably at least a week early to be able to see much. So that plan didn’t work out.  We did, however, have a wonderful dinner at the Stikine Restaurant with the Gills.  All four of us shared a mountainous mud pie for dessert.  Biggest I’ve ever seen.
You never know what you’re going to see next when you’re boating.  Just after we docked, a small dinghy arrived in the marina towing a 62’ Selene that had lost its controls and was dead in the water.   Definitely not an easy thing to do when it’s windy.  Brad and Rosy were the owners and we met them later. That evening a Purse seiner docked next to us, put the boat into reverse while docking, and the 350lb propeller fell off. The next day a diver was able to help the fishermen pull it out for repairs.  
On July 4th we were still in Wrangell for their celebration.  We started the morning off with an excellent egg breakfast that Patrick prepared and then took a taxi into town (it was raining again) to watch several events.  They started off with a logging contest with chainsaws, then axes, then single crosscut saws.  There were dual crosscut saws but we didn’t see that.  We were very wet and cold so started walking toward a nice warm restaurant for a bite to eat and watch the log rolling contest.  The downtown area was very crowded and busy with homemade games for the kids and an outdoor BBQ and Beer Garden.  Everyone was having a great time.  We took a small break and went back to the boats for cocktails on Brad and Rosy’s boat.  That evening we saw an excellent fireworks display even in the rain.  Supposedly the best in Southeast Alaska.
Tuesday, July 5
We left the Gill’s behind at Wrangell to make some repairs to their boat and headed for Santa Anna Inlet.  We just relaxed and decided to do nothing except have some wonderful smoked Sockeye Salmon.  Our destination was to take Behm Canal, making several stops and then head for Ketchikan before making our way south.
Wednesday, July 6
After leaving Santa Anna Inlet, we had the company of several porpoises jumping along beside us.  What a treat to see!  Jim took some great pictures.  That evening we went to Yes Bay.  It’s beautiful and we had great anchorage at the very end of the bay.  The Yes Bay Lodge is one of the top 15 fishing lodges in the country and is open to the public for dinner so of course we had to try it.  Very expensive but good.  The lodge was at full capacity for fishermen and is very exquisite inside.  We spent two nights there and got the biggest jumbo prawns we’ve ever seen, and lots of them.  Also caught 4 medium crabs.  We then left Yes Bay on Friday and went to Fitzgibbon Cove for the night.
Saturday, July 9
It was very cloudy as we went on to Walker Cove.  Once we entered the cove most of the clouds and fog seemed to go away and left us with very beautiful scenery.  We found anchorage at the end of the cove and had the delight of watching a big grizzly eating grass and digging for clams.  We kept an eye on him for at least a couple of hours before he disappeared.  He totally ignored us!  When we got up the next morning the sun was out and then we realized why people told us to go there.  We could see the tops of the snowcapped mountains.  It was fantastic.
Sunday, July 10
This was a short trip down the Canal to Punchbowl Cove.  Just as we were coming in a big sailboat was ahead of us so we kept going down Rudyerd Bay and glad we did.  We found good anchorage in the South arm and it was beautiful.  The mountains in this area are different from any we’ve seen anywhere else.  They are straight up vertical granite, some of them 4300’ with a few of them snowcapped.  Lots of waterfalls but never found a bear.  
Monday, July 11
As we leave Rudyerd Bay, there is a 230’ rock, New Eddystone, in the middle of Behm Canal that is a much-photographed landmark of the area.  The day is bright and sunny as we head to Ketchikan to join the Gills for a couple of days.

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