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There are days when the water looks like a sheet of glass.When you describe boating in Alaska to someone who has never been here, they think of wild water and towering waves. Television shows like The Deadliest Catch reinforce this vision of terrible conditions.
While the outside waters may occasionally match the stories, with seas often well over ten feet, inside waters are different. Here bad conditions are anything over four feet, with two to four foot seas rather typical. Three to four foot seas are not all that dangerous to a vessel with any substantial size. Not dangerous, but rather annoying to drive through.
When listening to the marine forecast each day, the magic words every mariner loves to hear are “two feet or less”. The forecasters never predict anything less than this, the “or less” part can include flat.
There are those magic days, when you motor over a sheet of glass reflecting the mountians and trees that soar overhead.
Magoun North Cove does not appear to be named on the charts, it is just our name for the cove you will find at 57° 10.3632’N by 135° 34.3232’W on the north end of the Magoun islands. The cove offers excellent shelter except from due north and good anchoring in 6-8 fathoms with enough swing room for small to medium sized cruisers. Anything much larger than our 42′ Nordic might want to consider another anchorage. Larger vessels can use the outer cove just to the north of the narrow inner cove in the basin among the rocks for a temporary anchorage.
The cove offers good access to the central lagoon of the Magoun Islands State Marine Park. A short paddle though a narrow pass allows you to explore a large lagoon perfect for kayaks or skiffs. A quarter mile across this protected water is home to rich marine life as well as eagles, loons, and otters. Side coves offer opportunities to explore and plenty of scenery. Look down as you enter the pass, the channel is lined with enormous sea anemones taking advantage of the swift tidal currents.
There is a similar cove on the south side of Magoun Island, but it appears more exposed and has a much narrower entrance. I can offer no guidance on it. While not named the north cove is known, as we were pulling out one of the small cruise ships was pulling into the outer part of the cove to allow passengers to kayak the Magoun lagoon.