2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 8 Leg 1 | NW Explorations

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2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 8 Leg 1

Pybus Bay to Red Bluff Bay

We cruised out of Pybus Bay this morning between many rocky inlets and reefs with surrounding kelp beds. We saw a few sea otters floating on the water around the kelp beds. Sea otters are delightful to watch. Their fluffy, inquisitive faces looked our way before they went back to rolling at the surface and grooming their thick fur.

The crossing of Chatham Strait today was just glorious! The water was calm and blue, and the mountains of Baranof Island cut the horizon like jagged shards of glass in front of us. Baranof is the most rugged of the islands in SE Alaska with peaks almost reaching 5,000ft and large icefields. This time of year, those snow-covered peaks begin to melt and thousands of waterfalls cascade down the steep slopes of the island.

The entrance to Red Bluff Bay is aptly named for the red iron deposits that color the rocky cliffsides. To enter the bay, we took a wide turn around some small islets and then cruised almost two miles to the head of the inlet. I think we’ve all decided that this is our favorite anchorage of the trip! From our raft in the bay, we were surrounded by pristine wilderness. The rocky, snow-spotted peaks towered above us and Hemlock and Spruce boughs draped above the water. A wide meadow formed at the head of the inlet where the river meets the sea.

Our crews set about exploring the area by kayak and dinghy. Janet had a fishing pole hanging over the side of Thea before the engines were even shutoff! We cruised our dinghy fleet out into the bay and marveled at the massive waterfalls and incredible scenery. The sky cleared and the sun came out, exposing all of the fabulous mountains that surround us. The Thea crew hosted Deception for dinner this evening and we enjoyed a wonderful meal of fresh halibut and jambalaya.

The bear watching in the meadow this evening was fantastic! We watched a momma Brown bear and two yearling cubs feast on the sedges through the binoculars. Later, a solitary young brown bear left the meadow and moseyed along the shoreline right past where Arctic Star, Thea, Bonum Vitae and Deception were all anchored. He passed right underneath our shore tie, ambivalent to our presence, less than a 100’ from our boats and continued on the shore stopping to munch on different plants. It was the closest many of us had ever been to a Brown bear.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Reserve your spot on our 2022 Mother Goose AK Flotilla today. 

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