The Nordic Quest is now moored and well secured against winter storms as well as being winterized against whatever Juneau winter weather throws at her. There is not much I can do but recall memories of peaceful anchorages in small remote harbors, brazen dawns and sunsets, calm crossings, and, of course, the holler from the back deck–“fish on!” But I can pull out the laptop with my iNavX charts, bring up Google Earth on my desk top computer and start to explore where I might venture next summer. I can’t believe that after 30 years of cruising around SE Alaska there still are places I have not explored.
Today I was reading the 2012 blog for the Dirona, a Nordhavn 52, that on her way north to Glacier Bay enjoyed spending several days on the west coast of Chichagof Island. Its owners got into places not many cruisers see because of their remoteness and accessibility — Klag Bay and its abandoned gold mines, Kimshan Bay, Elbow Passage. Surveyor Passage, Porcupine Cove with its beautiful waterfall. I have tended to stay away from points north and south of Sitka on the outside because of chart inaccuracies and poor GPS plotting. A couple of years ago, we were moored at the Sitka dock and heard a May Day call from a guy who hit a rock coming up the outside of Baranof. The Coast Guard got him out and saved the boat but it was quite an ordeal for awhile.
But some places just beg to be explored. Lituya Bay is like that. It has kind of a magnetism to be explored. It’s the same with the outside bays and passages of Chichagof, Kruzof, Baranof and Prince of Wales. They take a lot more planning, logistics, information and first hand reports one must glean from another person who has been there. So maybe this is the year to explore one of these remote areas of SE Alaska. Heck, I’ve got months to plan.