It was sunny and calm when we awoke in Whale Bay. Braving the bugs, we went out exploring in the dinghy. We enjoyed a lovely waterfall, and checked out the moraine, the area near the creek, and went behind the “island” at the head of Humpback Cove.
Weighing anchor, we drove over to Orca Cove, an alternate anchorage in Whale Bay, to see what it was like. There were several kayakers there, one who was fishing for dinner from his kayak. Orca is nice, better protected from winds but lacking the glorious vistas of Humpback Cove.
Our destination was Knight Island, probably Copper Bay. The ride over was dead calm, and we just had to dodge a few icebergs. We searched for whales, but no joy. The only other boat we saw was the kayak delivery ship “Blue Medicine.” On our trip, skies were crystal clear, and we could see Montague Island’s mountains covered in snow over 25 miles away. It was also clear enough to see to the College Glaciers about 60 miles away. Stunning!
We turned up Long Passage, which is a very pretty and narrow passage that feels more like British Columbia, with green hills on both sides. We surprised a porpoise that was snoozing, but didn’t get any bow wave riders.
We first took a look at North Copper Bay, but it was really open and you had to be very close to the shore to find suitable waters to anchor with enough swinging room.
Next we worked our way into the anchorage outside Copper Bay. There is on shallow spot to get over and we saw no less than 12ft at a zero tide. We anchored in the 73 foot hole shown on the charts and loved it. We had great views in all quadrants while still feeling “cozy” in our spot.
Since the tide was still low, we did not take OceanFlyer into Copper Bay itself, but we did scout it out in the dinghy.
It is comprised of two very large bowls with high mountains in all quadrants. There are three streams, and it would be possible to anchor in front on one of them, having the flow from the stream keep you off the shore.
There is also a nice waterfall that we were able to bring the dinghy right up to, almost touching its little rock pile at the water’s edge. The water is crystal clear. The granite here is much lighter than in the south, which makes the water appear even clearer. There were grottos along with the waterfalls.
We scoped out the entrance channel described in the PWS guidebook. Pretty much as described. Doable with care, but needs higher tides.
All of a sudden, as I was making meatloaf for dinner, a big Bayliner named Bella Vita from Whittier came through our anchorage, passed us, and made a bee-line for Copper Bay. Instead of leaving the large islet to his starboard as per the guidebook, he left it to his port and hugged the shoreline into the anchorage. It was high tide.
For a while we could see him motoring around. We were thinking he might be tending the pots we saw inside the bay or setting new ones. We also saw a deer swimming out to one of the nearby islands.
Around 8 pm the wind came up and continued gusting to 20 until midnight when it stopped and the rain started.
When I got up to pee around 2am, I noticed that Bella Vita had moved out of Copper Bay and joined usin the anchorage. He had tucked himself along the south shore. The next morning at 9:30 he weighed anchor and disappeared back into Copper Bay. Is he tending his pots? Were the anchorages inside Copper Bay not tenable in the winds? We will never know.