Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A View of the Volcano as we Turn South -- 7/20/2015

A boater friend tells us about Delta Western having a better price on fuel than the marina in Sitka, so we cast off our lines at 7A to drive the five miles to Halibut Point.  

With all the sights we have seen in Sitka, I didn’t think there was anything new, but a real thrill is the rain stopped during the night, the sun is now shining and we can see volcano Mount Edgecumbe for the first time.  The vertical streaks are where the molten lava ran and no vegetation can grow. 

As the clouds roll in, I take several photos with varying bits of sunshine on the volcano.

Mt. Edgecumbe

Vampy Gill Netter
I zoom in for a closer look at the equipment used in fishing.

Cabin with a View of Mt. Edgecumbe

We watch to see where Seven Seas  is going and determine she is coming toward us and heading toward the fuel dock where we plan to go.  So wise Herb says to himself, “Seven Seas, I am wise to stand off as you come through the narrow channel, thereby minimizing the wake."  Then we can follow in.

Seven Seas Cruise Ship

So we circle and circle, now getting another look at Sitka with the clouds hovering over her.  

Sitka one more time....

Seven Seas docks to let passengers board St. Michael for a sea otter tour.  A similar small boat, St. Tatiana, takes a group for another excursion.

Western Profit

After fueling, we go north through Olga Strait, which separates Halleck Island from Krestof Island.  Mt. Edgecumbe is on Kruzof Is.  Winds are ten knots with wind waves one foot or less. 

Of all the different types of commercial fishing vessels, I think the one that interests me most is a purse seiner.   The skiff is offloaded, takes one end of the net to circle around to the other side of the boat, and as it is drawn up tight like a purse string, it captures the fish.  Tlingit Lady is pictured below.

Hearing the eagles again, I look out to catch this one just landing on his limb, with one talon still in the air.

Well, on second thought, the tenders that take the fish load from the fishing vessels may be my favorite.  Some day I hope to see this operation in action. Here Provider from Kodiak AK travels to a location to service her fishing boats.

As Western Mariner from Seattle comes into view ahead, Herb calls on 16 to ask about passing and she suggests “Port to Port.”  She is towing the barge, Chatham Provider from Juneau AK.

Her amazing cargo includes motor vehicles, heavy equipment and boats.

We go briefly in Krestof Sound and do a dog leg into Whitestone Narrows.

Pacific Sounder, Tender


Chenega HSC , 200 ft. high speed craft,  calls Securite' for Whitestone Narrows. 

Uh, oh!  We are at the entrance to the Narrows, but heed the warning and adjust our course to be out of her way.  We will be able to watch traffic coming out of Whitestone.  She is doing 20 knots, reduces to 18 for a time, then as she exits the Narrows, she increases to a speed that gives us an interesting wake, but we take it strategically.

We hear the 80 foot passenger boat Swell call for Whitestone but we are already in Neva Strait, so she is behind us.  She calls a fishing boat on the outside for conditions there and learns seas are four feet.  Apparently she wants to go to Salisibury sound which leads to the Pacific Ocean, but some of her guests do not want to ride the high seas.

We get three foot swells as we approach the entrance to the Narrows.

Waves crash against the rocky shore and we see two humpback blows, then a hump, but my camera does not get it it all.  

A close look at the photo below shows two red markers on the right and a green to guide boats in the dredged channel of Sergius Narrows.  We are six minutes early for slack, but is a non-issue transiting, with only tide rips.

El Tiburon

Once clear of the narrows, we see ten small fishing boats heading home after the day’s catch -- or hurrying to get the Narrows just after slack.

After Sergius Narrows we go into the large body of water, Peril Strait, around the north end of Baranof Is, leaving Chichagof Island on our port side.  Vessel traffic is light, winds are calm and the water is almost glass.  Good cruising on into our destination!

Looks like excellent crabbing here, as there are many trap buoys scattered here and there at the entrance to Appleton Cove. Herb weaves Willie's Tug through them, as we are overtaken by Spellbound, who along with a fishing vessel, anchors here to be our neighbors for the night.

We drop the hook at 6:26P in a peaceful setting.

Our Front Door

Our Back Door

Willie of Willie's Tug,
   and of Walldog, Willie and Jake
   Monday, July 21, 2015

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