Fueled up, moored up and grubbed up at Safeway and A&P (Alaskan & Proud) supermarkets. Fresh produce arrives in refrigerated containers via barge from Seattle on Sundays, distributed to market, stocked overnight. Boat fully provisioned, every pantry and reefer filled. Extra crew arriving soon.
Monday, Punchbowl Cove, Misty Fiords Wilderness
5 hours 48 miles in Revillagigedo Channel and Behm Canal. Rounded southern tip of the island and made way up eastern side. Deep rocky anchorage required sounding the bottom, far deeper than charted. Eventually dropped anchor in 15 fathoms of smoke-colored water, with 3 1/2 shots chain deployed. Overcast low cloud and mist rendered this spectacular setting imagined rather than seen. 1800 hours the immense Grand Princess cruise-ship attempted to sneak into the cove allowing 3,670 passengers and crew to view Jupiter alone.
Tuesday, Punchbowl Cove
Improving weather allowed crew to admire near vertical black mountain walls surrounding this misty fiords anchorage. Reality exceeds imagination. Launched tender. Attempted to clean windows and decks. 1530 hours seaplane spotted. VHF radio call announced impending delivery of fast-friends and fellow seafarers, Tom and Jane from Maine.
1545 hours handsome de Havilland Beaver lands, taxis, and coasts with feathered propellor to Jupiter’s swim platform. Aircraft secured to vessel. Passengers and seabags unloaded. Sea-plane departs in a storm of sound and spray. Then tranquility.
Wednesday, Walker Cove
4 hours 23 miles northing including assessment of this fiord’s countless vertiginous waterfalls and scenic headwaters. Moored up on heavy U.S. Forest Service buoy using double-down side-swaddle technique. Calm winds, showers. Cabals of eagles, golden and bald, soaring and fishing. Soaked crab-pot overnight in location absent crabs. Watched fat black bears catch and consume salmon at spawning streams. Two sea lions fed fiercely near Jupiter for an hour. Crew contentedly absorbed surrounding geomorphic and wildlife wonders.
Thursday, Fitzgibbon Cove
3 1/2 hours 25 miles northing in Behm Canal. Anchored up in 10 fathoms with a double shot of chain. Low cloud, light wind gave way to moderate chop and rain. Wind inflated to gusty 20-25 knots. Boat swung on good anchor set but this was the wrong lovely anchorage for advection winds cascading down the mountains on the opposite shore of the canal, compressing up the inlet. Battened down aboard for an extended saturated blow. The storm continued all night. Auxiliary crew unfazed by adverse weather conditions.
Friday, Yes Bay
3 1/2 hours 26 miles. Departed Fitzgibbon in gusty winds, SW 15-20 knots, rain and mist, to round northern end of the island. Winds abated along Behm Narrows and remained muted. Route to inner reaches of Yes Bay (anglicization of Tlingit word Yass meaning mussels) offers scenic approach past Yes Bay Fishing Lodge through narrow, rocky passages into broad well-protected lake with ample anchoring opportunities. Anchored up in 9 fathoms. Launched tender to explore many nearby islets and streams bustling with humpy salmon in full terpsichorean spawning. Eagles in abundance. Bear must have been close by, yet unseen. Set out crab pot, yet again in wrong location. Wonderful anchorage perfectly suited to our needs.
Saturday, Yes Bay
The observed and forecast weather was so poor, and Jupiter’s current location so rich, the crew determined to remain another night, which was not regretted as heavy rain and wind persisted. With every portal closed and gasketed the boat-bound crew engaged in more contemplative pursuits such as navigational trivia matches and vociferous arguments over the dishwashing rotation. As is said in Maine, this was a “grade A, gray day, lay day”.
Sunday, Port Stewart
3 hours 19 miles in sloppy conditions heading south along the western shore. Anchored up in 6 fathoms. Entry into this interesting location on the Cleveland Peninsula means carefully picking our way across shallow bars and around numerous hazards that were uncovered and easily observed during the low tide approach. The skies brightened sufficiently to allow doors to be flung wide, and lunch to be taken on the aft deck. Clouds resumed their desultory drizzle within the hour. An indefatigable yet futile watch was maintained for bears. The crab pot remained aboard in a state of disgrace.
4 hours 29 miles in the Behm Canal and Tongass Narrows, south and east back to where we started. Good conditions, encountering scores of small fishing vessels at Tatoosh participating in the annual Silver Salmon Derby. Spotted two humpback whales, two Alaska State Ferries, four behemoth cruise ships, and many small craft enjoying the sunny Labor Day weather. We have come full circle. Happy to stretch eight legs on land.
Shoreline reflections turned upright. Ancient inspiration for totem poles?
Gray Day Black Cod Dip
Poach smoked black cod in coconut milk and let cool. Mix mayonnaise, Boursin cheese, lime juice, creamed horseradish, finely chopped green onions and pepper to a smooth paste. Flake in cod, then stir with a fork to mash and combine. Rest for two hours to meld flavors. Serve with melba toast.
How long is one SHOT of chain?