2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 10 – Appleton Cove to Magoun Islands | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 10 – Appleton Cove to Magoun Islands

Today was another calm, slightly overcast yet dry day making for comfortable cruising without windshield wipers… again! We traveled through Peril Strait, west of Chatham Strait, between Chichagof and Baranof Islands. As planned, with careful timing of the tides we encountered very little current, and our passage was pleasant. While still in Chatham Strait, we were joined by a playful pair of Dall’s porpoises who raced over to our boats, moving at 8 knots, to play in our wakes. They darted and zigzagged back and forth across the bow, surfacing only momentarily to exhale and inhale as the water flowed over their head and around their body creating a distinctive pattern of white spray known as a “rooster tail.”

As I leaned over the bow to photograph them, they would often turn on their side to look up at me. I stopped shooting and paused to just experience the moment. After about six minutes, they peeled off as quickly as they had arrived and fell back to play in the wake of the following boat. They seemed to be different sizes, and the smaller of the two had more grey and white whereas the larger one was contrasting black and white. This hinted that it may be a mother and her offspring.

We passed small cave openings along the rocky shore, a pair of eagles perched atop rock outcroppings and rock pillars draped in thick mats of lime green moss and donned with stunted blue-green spruce trees that resembled bonsais.

We cruised from Salsbury Sound through the narrow Neva Strait to Krestof Sound which has a collection of the smaller Magoun Islands. We carefully threaded our way through the narrow passages with scattered rock piles and into a bay surrounded by shorelines composed of rounded grey boulders and pockets of shell sand beaches all backed by spruce and hemlock forests. Songbirds could be heard trilling in the silence. The small cove was cozy and protected with plenty of kayaking possibilities. Its location being so close to Sitka Sound gave it a wilder coastal appearance. Each boat chose their own activity: some kayaked, some set traps with their dingy and others simply enjoyed the quiet beauty and solitude.

Tomorrow will take us to our final destination in Sitka Harbor. Many boats are wishing it could be longer, especially since this anchorage is so beautiful and private. The weather has been unbelievable with sunny warm days and calm clear nights. We have all felt blessed with the variety of wildlife and the spectacular scenery.

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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