Alaska Adventure Journal



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June 2008 - Alaska Inside Passage Exploration

Northern Portion ABC Islands

Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof Islands 

June 18, 2008 ~ Wednesday

We knew the sunshine couldn’t last for long as we awakened to cloudy skies this morning.
Started making our way to Ford Arm. Our first stop of the day was to explore cannery ruins. Along the way we set out some shrimp pots to see if our luck had changed.
Our stop at the cannery revealed that there wasn’t much structure left, but the surrounding forest was magnificent. The trees were huge and the under story was very open. You could see quite a distance and the moss and fern growing on the forest floor was lush and green.

Ford Arm Cannery Ruins

Jeff and Shanna took advantage of shore time to burn the paper trash that had accumulated over the past few days while John explored the woods. While preparing to leave Ford Arm we spotted a female brown bear with a cub next to a stream. We all jumped back in the dinghy so we could get a closer look. We were able to get very close to them and they didn’t seem to be too concerned with our presence. After taking multiple photos we headed back to the boat to go check the shrimp pots we‘d put out earlier. On the way back out to check the shrimp pots John found a rock pinnacle covered with fish. A drop of a line proved it was covered with black bass. After all had caught and released a few fish we continued on to check the shrimp pots. All pots came up empty so our luck is still poor in regards to shrimp. It’s not for a lack of trying on John’s part as he tries at every opportunity.
The decision was made to take the more difficult course through Piehle Passage to our next anchorage. This route may very well be the most treacherous passage of the trip to date. Again it would take a team effort to navigate through the multiple rock hazards under deteriorating conditions. The discussion in the Douglass’ book came with a disclaimer which basically said enter at your own risk! They welcomed suggestions and comments from those who successfully navigated this passage.

Prior to entering the passage John made waypoints for every turn on the GPS maplotter matching the turns in the Douglas book. As we entered the passage, Shanna donned her rain suit and went to stand as sentry on the bow. A light cold drizzle was falling and the visibility became poor because of the rain and fog. We started the one mile route very slowly to ensure we made no mistakes. After approximately 45 minutes with several conferences in route we emerged into the Gulf of Alaska as a humpback whale exhaled a blast of it’s breath 10 feet into the air, almost as saying great job and good bye!

We traveled across the famed Gulf of Alaska for approximately 17 miles until we passed into the more protected waters of Salisbury Sound. Along the way we stopped and searched for potential fishing spots for the next days adventure, halibut fishing. John marked a spot which showed promise and we continued to our planned anchorage in Kalinin bay. Charter fishing boats out of Sitka sometimes use this as a base in order to put them closer to prime fishing grounds according to our cruising book.
We didn’t know what to expect, but once we rounded the corner, we figured out we weren’t alone. It appears we would share this bay with a small flotilla of six boats, ranging from 25 to 60 feet in length. We found our spot in the bay, dropped anchor to settle in for dinner which was fish tacos. The no see-ums were the worst we’ve ever seen so no one was able to spend any time outside. John taped the window screen to the boat to make sure bugs didn’t leak in. We settled in for a restful night‘s sleep with the hopes we will all get the rest so we can haul in a load of halibut.

Anchored in Kalinin Bay.
N57 19 00.9 W135 47 13.6
Trip Odometer?
Miles traveled today ?

Shanna on rock watch in the Piehle Pasage.



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