Santa Anna Inlet to Berg Bay to Madan Bay

I awoke at 4am to visit the head. The sun rose one minute before me, so it was light enough that if you wanted to get underway, you could with no visibility problems.

I, however, went back to bed after taking a picture of the mirror-like surface of Santa Anna Inlet.

We enjoyed a leisurely morning which consisted of devouring the second set of Cinnamon Buns from Meyers Chuck, a little reading, planning, picture taking, and watching the passing showers come and go.

The holding was good last night and the anchor came up mostly clean with a little mud for a keepsake. Just as the anchor came onboard, I looked out to the head of the inlet and saw a blow from a humpback whale in the crossing channel. As we motored out, we kept our gazed focused on the area watching for more whale signs. After a few minutes we saw no more signs of the whale. Our hope was that once we entered the channel we might see him or her again.

To our surprise, just as we reached the last quarter mile of the inlet, we saw a circle of bubbles forming 150 yards to starboard near the shore. Just then, up came the whale through the middle of the bubble circle, mouth wide open to capture as large a meal as possible. The whale continued this behavior for about twenty minutes allowing us to witness a total of four bubble feedings. For only our second day en route, we had already checked off a major goal of this trip: to see bubble feeding!

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The circle of bubbles forms

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The burst though the middle of the bubble net, mouth full of fish. The nest few images finish the sequence.

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“Farewell”, thanks for the show!

The scale of Alaska continues to amaze. We’re traveling in the smaller “back channels” and they are as large as some the widest channels down south in British Columbia. You’ll spot a landmark and guess how far it may be. What you think is a mile and a half turns out to be six miles according to the radar. I can’t hazard a guess as to how far the most distant mountains are that we can see.

There is not much traffic. We passed a small pocket cruiser, with maybe 120 guests, making its way south. But that was about all we saw of any signs of humanity. I think I saw one or two hills that look as if they had been logged in the last 10 years, but not much else. We vacillate between being lonely and peaceful.

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The “Pocket” Cruise Ship

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The Seagull Cruise Ship

We left the showers behind although a broken layer of clouds at about 3000 feet continued to linger. An occasionally glimmer of sunshine on a distant mountain give us hope, but that quickly fades. The temperature is 57F and the winds light. Not so bad for Alaska.

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The “Shark Log” we passed

Berg Bay was the first stop of the day. We were either going to anchor there or continue on to Madan Bay. Berg Bay is attractive. You could spend some time exploring the shore line and the Forest Service Cabin. The scenery is interesting with large mountains extending above the tree line; someone described them as alpine looking. Although it had nothing wrong with it, we decided to continue on to Madan Bay. There is not much information on this anchorage, and no soundings on the charts. Nevertheless, Karen found one report that cruisers were “enthusiastic” about the location, so off we went.

On the approach, the bay appears to be too open for anchoring, but at the head you curve back around to the small nook in the Northwest corner and drop anchor in about 50ft of water, close to shore.

It took all this time to make a large amount of chili. This serves as our quick, stick it in the microwave and it’s a meal staple. Perfect when you don’t want to cook or want a hot pick me up on a cold day. As I was in the galley, I made a marinade and placed it and a pork tenderloin in a ziplock bag to cure in the refrigerator. Finally for dinner, I made Penne Chicken with Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes. In our effort to eat lighter, this meal was chosen to be lighter than my special pasta concoction using gorgonzola. But have no fear ,that crowd pleaser will return later in the trip.

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Penne Chicken with Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

The clouds persisted most of the afternoon but as sunset approached, they thinned a little in the West and gave us a blast of color. Blue with hot pink clouds were our send off to a fine day of cruising in Alaska.

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 Sunset in Madan Bay