2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1B, Day 10 – Prince Rupert to Foggy Bay | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1B, Day 10 – Prince Rupert to Foggy Bay

Undocked and heading out of Prince Rupert’s Cow Bay Marina, the blue skies grew wispy with clouds and the sun sent sparkles across the calm water. We made our way through Metlakatla, starting our morning off with a slow and sweet crossing. Weaving through islets full of vegetation, our eyes scanning the grassy coastlines for any signs of wildlife.

As we throttled back and explored the low tides of our passage, we spotted dense beds of bull kelp and rocky shores of scouting Eagles, patiently awaiting the perfect moment to dive on their next meal. Entering Chatham Sound from its eastern shores, we crossed over to the western side of the passage continuing on our 51 nautical mile journey to Foggy Bay. After some time of exploring the open channel for marine life and ogling at the exposed peaks of the Coast Mountain Range off of our starboard side, before we knew it we were approaching the historic Green Island Lighthouse.

In 1902 a shipwrecked steamer carrying 2,500 pounds of coal and 25 crew, lost 4 lives aground Green Island, and within the next three years there was a push to construct a visible warning signal. As the soon to be most northerly lighthouse of British Columbia, there was a push to build the lighthouse “before the dirty weather set it” given the island sits right in the middle of Chatham channel, a common route for shipping to and from Skagway, there was an obvious need to make sure vessels were warned of its presence. The lighthouse’s construction was announced in September of 1905, and in just 10 days, the lighthouse was in operation.

Rounding Dundas Island, we entered Revillagigedo Channel, and officially crossed into the state of Alaska! It felt quite powerful to be crossing the southern border into Alaska by vessel, as for quite some time, there was never a firmly established border between Alaska and British Columbia. Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Russian explorers, whalers, and traders travelling across the Bering Sea settled along coastal Alaska, claiming the territory as the eastern frontier. Yet, as the presence of British and American explorers also grew, the Panhandle of Alaska became an especially attractive region with its abundant stocks of salmon and valuable animals for the fur trade. In 1825, the southern border of Alaska was set by the Russian and British governments, but it wasn’t until 1903 that the boundary dispute was officially resolved.

With the fleet cruising into Foggy Bay, we made a smooth entrance at slack tide, located the perfect place for a raft and everyone was tied up or had anchors in the water within a short window of time. Foggy bay feels to be an incredible last anchorage, with black bears spotted within the first hour of being there, and flocks of seabirds joining us in the serenity, it was the perfect remote experience before we make our way into port.

As the night rolled in, the 4 bears we had spotted early today made their rounds along the shorelines and the fleet spent time observing them from afar, basking in how lucky we were to be existing in the space as them. Mother black bears tend to keep a very small radius of travel when they are raising their cubs, and to watch them wander around the water’s edge made us ponder as to if this peaceful cove was their current home grounds.

With the fog setting in we all took to our vessels and enjoyed our evening while also making time to prepare for our travels into Ketchikan. As the family of bears lingered in the bay for some time, every now and then a few crew would check on them, to see that they were still enjoying their grassy dinner and calm tidal flood. With our last cruise beginning with an early morning, we all tucked in for our evenings, all the while the sun was still illuminating the sky. We bid a good night to each other and shared excitement to explore the city of Ketchikan.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Email us to reserve your spot on our 2023 Mother Goose AK Flotilla. charters@nwexplorations.com 

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