Published: August 2nd 2012August 2nd 2012
Deer on Ruth Island in Thomas Bay
Sunday July 22, 2012 Petersburg to Thomas Bay
Nespers were delayed a little by fog somewhere in Alaska so Coalie, our taxi driver took us on a tour of the parks and beaches surrounding Petersburg. Some of the high ground was muskeg (boggy) with little ponds that she said would swallow you if you stepped into them. Scrub pine trees were the only trees that grew in these marshy areas and the airport was built on top of it. We got a fishing license for Denise and were off into a three knot opposing current in Wrangell Narrows which released us into Frederick Sound. We angled across and into a wide Thomas Bay at the end of which were views of Baird Glacier and a hint of sunshine. The water is an opaque glacier blue-green reflecting the colors of the spruce forest.
Tim and Denise are cooking filet mignon, asparagus topped with grated cheese and pine nuts, and other delights for supper tonight with a great Burwood Trio wine. They brought enough red meat, produce, spices, and wine for two weeks of gourmet meals. They say the kitchen is off limits to BJ
Monday July 23, 2012 Thomas Bay to Sandborn Canal
Sun glances off the forest and milky water. How would you make a paint palette of these greens? Yellows, blues, and greens. White reflects all colors in here too.
We detoured up to the head of Baird Glacier and Scenic Bay. The glacier has in recent years thinned and moraines block the view of most of the front. It also curves up a mountain valley out of sight. Scenic Bay is a narrow gorge that leads up to a river pouring out of a glacier valley. The bay shelves steeply at the end so we got close enough to the mouth of the river was to see salmon moving into the river to spawn. Back out in the mouth of Thomas Bay we fished for halibut and caught a couple of slimy sculpins.
Following a long quiet cruise up Frederick Sound we turned again into Sandborn Canal and anchored in our favorite little alcove off the entrance. There are two other yachts in here this time one being Sonata, our friends from Sitka. Since it was high tide
Up the river in Sandborn Canal
I was anxious to explore the head of the bay and up the river in the Bullfrog. The four of us piled in and dragged the kayaks thinking that we would paddle up the river to see what we could see. As it turned out we went for a long ways up its winding course through the marshes of high grass. Depths ranged from six to twelve feet and we saw salmon in the crystal clear stream.
Rack of lamb, string beans, and salad were the haute cuisine for dinner. Lee from Sonata said they caught a halibut off their anchored stern today and we tried but bitty black bugs drove us back inside.
Tuesday July 24, 2012 Sandborn Canal to Tracy Arm Cove
Ah, what a still peaceful little anchorage! The chain came straight up off the same pile it was dumped in yesterday. We fished on what we thought was a halibut hump but it turned out to be a yellow eye rockfish pinnacle. Lee from Sonata came over in his runabout and gave us more advice on halibut. “Use the whole head of that
Tracy Arm Cove
Up a creek in Tracy Arm Cove
rockfish on your hook,” he said. We showed him the herring strips we had cut for stink and he said, “The halibut will laugh at that.” (That must be what the little bubbles coming up near our line were.) With great flourish we filleted the flailing fish and kept the head for bait. Tim used the filets for fish tacos while we fished in Hobart Bay around the backside of Entrance Island.
Cruise ships began converging on the entrance to Tracy Arm Cove and pretty soon I heard it on the VHF; “Norwegian Jewel to the cruiser entering Tracy Arm Bar.”
“This is Little Liza, go ahead.”
“We’ll be crossing the bar in about fifteen minutes and we’re coming in a little hot, so we're slowing down and will start making our turn in a minute.”
“OK, I’ll wait over here by Harbor Island.”
“Thank you, Little Liza. Norwegian Jewel back to 16.” He illuminated his AIS which showed he was pointed right at me at 16 knots. However he made a nice sweeping turn which missed both Little Liza and Harbor Island. We saw a court area on the top deck and we couldn’t tell whether they were ice skating or playing basketball – basketball, we decided.
We had our pick of anchorages in Tracy Arm Cove. Tim and I tried kayaking up the creek (with a paddle) but it shallows right away so we toured close to shore and took pix in the evening sun. Tim cooked salmon with a glazed topping. He couldn’t find corn starch so he crushed up tapioca pudding with a makeshift mortar and pestle. It tasted really good.