There was a small swell on and off during the night. There were times also when it was dead calm. Overall it was a moderately peaceful night, though the anchor alarm went off at 2:44am for no good reason.
Egg Harbor has more bird life then we have seen so far this trip. When we awoke, Karen spotted a bald eagle on the shore devouring his catch. Two other mature birds and a juvenile looked longingly at his breakfast. From time to time, there would be a test of the pecking order, feathers would fly and then they would settle back into the established hierarchy. I think everyone eventually got a taste, but not before the dominant bird had his fill.
Egg scramble with onion, sausage, green peppers and tomatoes. It makes for a hearty breakfast that holds you until dinner.
The wind is up to 10 knots this morning and the temperature is sitting around 55F. So when you poke you head outside the cabin, it feels cold. The skies are grey, an interesting mix of low clouds hugging the tops of the 1785 foot mountain at the south end, to peeks of blue skies to the west. When the sun peeks through the clouds, then dances across the water and the pine trees, it’s beautiful. When the sun retreats, the scenery is beautiful in a grey way. We once overheard a conversation about appreciating the S.E. Alaska weather. Once you develop an eye for the beauty contained in all the various shades of grey, you then can understand the full beauty of this place.
Egg Harbor, big and open to the north, but a good anchorage in south winds
Our plan is to explore the beaches and find the caves to visit. The last time we were here in 2006, we were so tired from our travels we slept the day away and never got out to enjoy what Egg Harbor has to offer.
The dinghy was launched in a 15 knot breeze from the SE. We put on our long underwear and multiple layers of fleece and jackets to shield ourselves from the wind. The large beach at the SE end of the harbor is a great place to walk and explore. The beach is gravel, large and flat. In fact it is almost a quarter of a mile at the head. It looks as if you can also continue back up the shoreline to the northwest. And…unlike the forecast, the sun firmly came out and the skies turned blue.
Karen kept saying “You look so small” because the beach is so large. So I took a picture of her because she too looked small
In the SE corner of the beach, you’ll find a stream coming down from the mountain to the south. It is wide and flat. Looking at the topographic maps, it seems to extend that way for a good distance. We only walked about a hundred yards due to the downed trees in the way, but it was an easy hike.
The freshwater stream makes its way to the ocean over the drying flats
The creek made for great exploring
Bob dressed for pictures. Note the Neos Foot ware.
One of the great additions to our gear this year were Neos overboots. We had tried the Xtratuf boots that you see everywhere in Alaska. But the fit and feel were not to our liking. They were too hard to get your pants tucked in and they had all the discomforts of big rubber boots. Neos slips over your own shoes so they are very comfortable. They open wide with Velcro seams making it easy to get over any number s of layers of pants and foul weather gear. They are completely waterproof and provided good footing on anything were have encountered. They have our highest recommendation.
Karen taking the above picture. She's also sporting her Neos footwear
The other unusual and welcomed feature of this area is the openness of the forests. I suspect because the forest floor is muskeg, soft underfoot, the tree density is much less than many other places. It was any easy walk with lots of open areas with interesting flora and pretty light filtering into the forest to showcase the moss and ferns.
The forest floor is like walking on a very firm mattress
You can actually walk though these forests
The forest undergrowth can be beautiful
Always keeping looking down to find the smallest details of the large variety of plants
They call this newspaper kelp because of the way it lays flat
Karen takes in the rugged spectacle of Egg Harbor
As expected, the dinghy was high and dry after our long walk
After an hour of exploring the beach, creek and forest, we set off in the dinghy to explore the caves on the west shore. Unfortunately the wind was blowing too strong for a safe approach. They will be on the list for next time. We would have remained at anchor for another days except for the fact the winds were forecast to increase, with rain. Neither of those components of the forecast would make getting to the caves or exploring deeper in to the forest an enjoyable adventure.
So rather than being stuck at Coronation Island, we made our course good to Port Malmesbury and a cove called Mud Hole. It’s well protected for all winds and puts us closer to our next scheduled layover in Tebenkof Bay. And if the winds and waves do come up tomorrow, we should be able to continue north by staying close to shore in the lee.
The island that guards the entrance to Egg Harbor were named Bird Island for obvious reasons
As we made our way into Port Malmesbury, Karen spotted a black bear on the shore. We slowed, changed course and made our way over to the beach. He was busy turning over rocks looking for dinner. I don't think he ever bothered to take notice of use. We left him to his foraging after about ten minutes.
Dinner on bear beach
Dinner on Arctic Star
Sunset at Mud Hole, Port Malmesbuty