We woke early to a wet, blustery morning in Kake. There was a negative 4 ft tide predicted for around 10am this morning, at which time the dock would be sitting on the sea floor. So we had planned for an early departure. With tidal swings of over 20 ft up here in Alaska, life is dictated by the tides for all who live on or in the water- and that includes us cruisers!
Today’s trip had us crossing Chatham Strait and heading to Baranof Island and the anchorage of Red Bluff Bay. Chatham Strait is a wide, deep channel that opens into the Pacific. With lots of fetch and strong current the waters can be quite rough out here. Today the wind had kicked up some 6-8ft waves for us to bounce our way through. Some of our crews loved the excitement and others could have done without the choppy ride. All of them handled it well and came away with a memorable experience.
The great thing about our early start was that we were settled in Red Bluff Bay by around 11am. This well protected anchorage extends about two miles into the island. Steep, forested mountainsides protect the bay from the winds out in Chatham and it was lovely and calm inside. Each boat picked out their own spot to anchor this evening, with most of the group choosing the area near the head of the bay by the tidal flats and grassy meadow.
A dinghy exploration this afternoon took us a ways up the river at the end of the bay, until the water became to shallow for us to continue. The river banks were covered in purple geraniums and yellow buttercups. We continued on to the large waterfall that was crashing into the bay, and approached until we were soaked with the cold spray blowing off the falls. Our next stop was a little rocky beach where we skipped stones, looked for quartz and where Andy taught us to gold pan.
This evening a thick fog descended into the bay along with a light misting rain. Each crew cozied up onboard with their books, games and movies. It was a calm restful night onboard. Though, the swimmers all agreed that this water was the coldest yet and no one lingered long.
P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Reserve your spot on our 2022 Mother Goose AK Flotilla today.