Monday, July 31, 2017

Sea Lions! And Salmon! And Bears! Oh My!

Well, today was more than pleasant. We left Red Bluff Bay about 9:30 this morning in the light fog and mist. The night was wonderful and supremely quiet - just the noise of the waterfalls and an occasional gull cry.

There was a gentle swell from the south, about 4-5' and the fog was lifting as we exited the bay and into Chatham Strait. Through the course of the afternoon, the fog disappeared, and the sun actually came through. Believe it or not, it was sunny today!!

Due to the nice weather, we went a little further today - partially to charge our batteries - and ended up pulling into Port Armstrong.

I (Joe) visited this hatchery last year just before I started my current job and had good memories of it. In the sun, it did not disappoint. There are salmon jumping everywhere, which of course excited the kids to no end, and there are brown bears everywhere.

After a wonderful dinner of fresh coho, we took the kids out in the skiff to the two beaches where bears congregate. On one beach we watched a juvenile male get chased away by a big boar. We could hear their yelling in the trees as they fought. On another beach, a sow and little cub walked out - way too darn cute!

And yes, there is also a large group of sea lions sharing the bay with us. We heard them barking at each other just a few minutes ago.

All in all, a fantastic day. We look forward to new adventures tomorrow, and hopefully some more fresh salmon!

-The Kyrie Crew

Current Position:
Lat. 56 degrees, 17.734' N,
Long. 134 degrees, 39.788' W.

Red Bluff Bay

Well, Baranof was nice - I think we are all one solid prune after at least 3 soaks each. It was however very, very, wet (and not the warm type). Last night, it rained approximately 3 1/2 inches. It was a thunderous downpour on the boat roof, and there was certainly a significant storm outside the bay, as there was a nasty swell getting to us at the dock 1 1/2 miles back!

We slept well nonetheless, got up late, had eggs benedict, caught a couple rockfish off the dock, and then headed out about 3:30 because the weather seemed settled enough to move on (and we were getting a bit bored).

So, we pulled out and motored down to Red Bluff Bay. WOW! I had no idea this was here and it is magnificent. It is about a 3-mile long fjord about 15 miles south of Baranof. The mountains completely encircle it with peaks from 3100-4500 feet and cascading waterfalls throughout. One area you motor through is about 100 yards wide with 500' cliffs on both sides.

We are anchored up at the far head of the bay, the water is the color of coffee and the meadow next to us is called "bear meadow". We hope to see some in the morning as they frequent the area.

In the meantime, we are swinging on the anchor in a glassy anchorage drinking some wine. Here's to vacation!!

Current Location:
Lat 56 50.37'N
Lon 134 47.06'W

-The Kyrie Crew

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Beeline to Baranof

Well we did it, we made it to Baranof Warm Springs. Total time in transit was 18.5 hours from downtown Juneau.

The decision was late coming to just press through the night for an early arrival due to a strong southerly system predicted to blow in on Saturday early afternoon.

Well it looks like that prediction was correct, the last 4 hours of our transit was in building seas, about 4' by the time we made it to Baranof. It looks like the right call was made!

We ended up leaving Juneau at 2:30pm, and were docked in Baranof at 9:00 the following morning. Our track was 102 nautical miles, heading south through Stephens Passage, West through Fredrick Sound, and North through Chatham Strait.

Now we'll just layover here until the system lets up a bit - which might be a couple days. Oh well, I could think of a lot worse places to get stuck than a hot spring!

Current position 57 degrees, 05.330' N; 134 degrees, 49.978' W.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is it vacation time yet?

     I've come to a conclusion. It truly does not matter what type of vacation we are taking, whether it's just Joe and me, or the entire family, how long the vacation will be, or even if we take our whole house with us on said vacation, preparing to go on vacation is stressful and hard work!
     Did I mention we're going on vacation? We are, on Friday, as a matter of fact, and yes, this will be a vacation on Kyrie. We are taking our boat out on what will hopefully be an ABC circumnavigation. What exactly is that? Well, ABC is Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof Islands. If we are able to take the route we want to, we will go all the way around these three islands. However, as Joe is wont to say, "Those plans are written on the beach at low tide." 
     We hope the weather will permit us to leave Juneau, head south down Stephens Passage, around the southern tip of Admiralty, and across Chatham Strait to Baranof Warm Springs for a couple of days. Then, we hope to continue south down Chatham, exit and round the tip of Baranof Island, stopping at a few places along the way, before visiting Goddard Hot Springs and then continuing on to Sitka. We can pick up any food we need there and do any laundry we might need to do before continuing on up the outer coast of Baranof and then Chichagof, meeting up with Joe's parents at White Sulphur Hot Springs. (By the way, have you picked up on the theme of this trip yet? Three--count them! Three hot springs we plan on visiting!) After White Sulphur, we want harbor hop up the coast and enter Cross Sound, stop at Elfin Cove, and then either Excursion Inlet or Hoonah before heading back up Chatham Strait, round Point Retreat, and start making our way back to our good old slip in Douglas.
     Joe requested two weeks off from work, so we have two weeks to make this grand adventure. Hopefully we can take our time and thoroughly enjoy ourselves--unlike our last two-week trip. While that was actually fun, I would like to not be in such a time-crunch this time. If you're new to this blog and confused, check here and there to read about us bringing Kyrie up from Washington last year.
     What I've realized through getting ready is that there is still a ton of work to get ready for vacation, even when we're bringing our whole house along! The fridge and pantry needed to be restocked, laundry had to be done, including all bedding, a bunch of stuff needed to get off of Kyrie because it just didn't need to be on her, in addition to making sure everyone who needs to know knows we will be in and out of cell range for the next two weeks and finalizing everything for all the kids' school supplies and activities. I think everything is ordered and should be here when we get back, and sign-ups are done!
     On a side note, if they are reading this, I wanted to give a shout out to Jake and Merridy on Beachcomber. Please forgive me if I misspelled names! We met them last night upon coming out of the Thai restaurant in Auke Bay. Levi and Rachael noticed their dog (best way to meet other people!) and asked if they could pet her. My ears perked up when they said she was learning to be a boat dog. For the first time, we have now met other people who cruise on a catamaran. I know there are others like us out there somewhere, but it was nice to have proof-positive they exist.
     I am so ready to unplug from shore power, as well as from the usual day-to-day activities, and get out for a while. After all, isn't that what we bought and moved on to a boat to do?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Funter Bay with the sailing club

     I'm a couple of trips behind now, so let's see what I can share. Last weekend, the sailing club took a trip to Funter Bay, which is about 11-12 nautical miles south of Pt. Retreat, which is the northern tip of Admiralty Island, and on the west side.