2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 10 Appleton Cove to Magoun Islands | NW Explorations


2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 10 Appleton Cove to Magoun Islands

Waking to a crisp bright morning here in Appleton Cove we all waved our neighborly good mornings, finished our coffees with our crews, and untied our neatly aligned raft to start making our way to the Magoun Islands.

With the sheer peaks of Chichagof Island off our starboard sides we made our way west through Peril Strait and prepared for the infamously named, “Peril” strait narrows that separate the Baranof and Chichagof islands.

The narrows are infamous for their long-ago history of being a brutal site of paralytic shellfish poising that wiped out a whole fur trading crew. Now many bays along the narrows are coined with names in memoriam of the great loss. To our surprise, as we exited the winding route, we found we were accompanied by a humpback whale weaving its own route through the extensive coastlines and throttled back to make their acquaintance.

Through one last stretch of a narrow passage, Neva Strait, we stayed together in our single file orientation and took in all the sheer scenery surrounding us.

With another humpback cruising alongside us, we all respectfully throttled back and gave the gentle giant ample room to pass by, and it offered us a moment to reflect on just how lucky we have been on this venture to have spent most of our time amongst such incredible animals.

Close to the Magoun islands, while we were just a stone’s throw away from Sitka, we were all very excited to be spending our last night out at anchor.

Into the islands we were taken aback by how the many small islets made for a breathkaing navigation into our homebase for the evening. The untouched forests and coastlines teeming with life were a prime example of just how imporant and effective marine parks and protected areas are as the Magoun Islands have been an alaska state marine park since 1991!

With crab brought on board from Appleton Cove this morning, kept in live tanks along our trek, it was time to clean them up and walk through some of the best methods to do this as efficiently, and silliliy, as possible! This scene made for a good time and a great team bonding moment.

However, as the rain crept in and the clouds settled we all deciede to tuck in for our evenings and planned for a morning of sharing a cup of coffee on the raft and soaking in all our memories and new freindships made before we offically untie and make our way into Sitka for our last night aboard our vessels.


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