ALASKA 2016 Leg 7: Rose Inlet | NW Explorations


ALASKA 2016 Leg 7: Rose Inlet

A high-pressure gale blew hard from the Northeast all night on the 23rd, and all through the 24th and 25th, a warm dry wind howling out of a clear sunny sky, peaking above 40 knots and keeping us at anchor as we waited for a window to dash east across the decidedly untamed waters of Hecate Strait. Despite the wind, the seaplane scheduled to take Nancy and mark from Koa Lanai back to the real world managed to make it in, and we said our goodbyes as they departed. Thanks for cruising with us Nancy and Mary!

All of our anchors held securely and we rode out the gale in style. Our time at anchor was by no means a waste and we passed the time exploring the extensive tidal inlets by foot and by tender, beachcombing, reading, and cooking. The beachcombing proved particularly interesting, yielding a number of interesting items originating from Japan. After the terrible earthquake and tsunami, huge amounts of debris washed up on the west coast of Haida Gwaii, including entire piers, fishing boats, and more. An especially lucky find were two traditional Japanese blown-glass fishing floats!

Spawning salmon crowded the mouth of the stream that fed into the head of Rose Inlet. Eagles, Ravens, and Gulls watched from the trees as black bears wandered out of the forests and across the grassy tidelands, hoping to score an easy meal.

At night, the wind coursed southwards, carrying away atmospheric humidity with it, leaving the night sky crystal clear, the great band of the milky way showing plainly, the occasional shooting star streaking overhead. Below us, bioluminescent plankton put on an equally impressive show, the windblown crests of the low chop exploding into a thousand sparkling droplets.

On Thursday evening, Keith and Dan aboard Koa Lanai hosted the fleet for a delicious meal of shrimp gumbo, butter beans, and cornbread, which along with the contribution of a delicious coleslaw from the crew of Patos and a wonderful puff pastry appetizer from Virginia aboard Anamcara made for a truly enjoyable night on the edge of the world.

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