Margie, an accomplished single-handed sailor, photographer, and a niece, boards Jupiter in Ketchikan. The float plan for her cruise describes a 180nm widdershins circumnavigation of the island of Revillagigedo – pronounced Revillagigedo.
Along the Behm
The Behm Canal, named by George Vancouver in 1787 for Major Magnus von Behm, a Latvian in Russian Kamchatka service, is a deep natural channel circumscribing the southern, eastern and northern shores of the island. Explorers, ancient and modern, have ventured into a wilderness of steep fjords, fecund forests and sublime anchorages.
Along the west coast of Revillagigedo, the Tongass Narrows belongs to Ketchikan which occupies, thickly or thinly, its entire shoreline.
During the seven days of Jupiter’s voyage no one sets foot ashore. Life aboard looks out and lives in.
Sailing into Misty Fjords feels as if Jupiter is traveling upwards, but sea-level being what it is, the escarpments are doing all of the ascending.
Securing a boat within great rock halls is a dilemma to be solved if a mariner wishes to remain overnight. Depths within these channels are such that Jupiter can nose in close to vertical walls and waterfalls with two hundred feet of water yet beneath the keel.
Anchorage must be found where a stream discharges from a valley, depositing her sediments to generate an alluvium. In much of southeastern Alaska charting is old and often so inaccurate that you wonder if the marine surveyor was employing imagination or artistic license.
Approaching a desired locale to anchor, we routinely sonar the seabed: “Too deep, too deep, too deep, too deep, TOO SHALLOW – Back down!”
This effort reminds salad eaters aboard of ripening avocados.
Eventually holding might be had in twenty fathoms and we pay out Jupiter’s heavy chain in a 2.5: 1 ratio of rode to depth at high water.
Cameras and binoculars in constant use to observe vistas of the Misty Fjords National Monument. An additional photographer aboard results in a wealth of images. Credit for many goes to Margie Woods. To view any individual photo click on image.