Alaska Flotilla: Leg 6, Day 15 – Forward Harbor to Octopus Island | NW Explorations


Alaska Flotilla: Leg 6, Day 15 – Forward Harbor to Octopus Island

Today was all about timing the rapids.  We had three different narrows that needed to be timed correctly in order to avoid the tidal rapids that form there at certain times.  The most serious of the three being the Okisollo upper rapids.  The picture in the cruising guide shows why boaters should be wary of this spot.  At maximum tides, a standing wave over two feet forms across the narrow channel.  Going through at slack tide, as we did today, the area is flat calm.

The first two rapids that we navigated, we had the current behind us.  This made it fairly easy to cruise right on through, though the many eddies and whirlpools tried to pull us off course.  Having the current behind us also got the boats up to speeds that we don’t normally reach just cruising.  It added some fun and excitement to the morning speeding down these tidal rivers!

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for cruising.  We had blue skies and sunshine and just a light breeze all day.  The scenery was spectacular as well.  This landscape has so many layers; small rocks and islands dot the foreground, followed by steep, forested hills and in the background jagged peaks with patches of snow still remaining.  As we cruised, Victoria spotted a black bear on the beach!  As we drew closer we realized that it was a mother with two cubs.  It was wonderful to watch as the mother foraged for food on the beach and the cubs played on the logs behind her.

Once in the Octopus Islands we rafted all five boats together.  The Octopus Islands Marine Park is a great place to explore by dinghy or kayak.  The many small islets and inlets offer wonderful places to poke around.  The afternoon was just too perfect to not jump into the clear cold water at our anchorage!  We had an afternoon swim call, and over half of the group jumped in!  Some even from the top of Victoria’s fly bridge.

It was a lovely evening for sitting out in the sun and swapping stories with one another.  Each crew fixed dinner on their own tonight.  For our after-dinner entertainment, Annette hosted a movie night aboard Bonum Vitae.  Complete with snacks, desserts and comfy seating!  The feature film this evening was “Captain Phillip.”

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