We arose to a beautiful day, with sunny skies and calm winds. The fleet was off at 9am for a long “tour” of various anchorages before ending up at Granite Bay. We (OceanFlyer and Telita) decided to take a slightly different and shorter route, but we still indulged in some good “snooping”.
First we went to the right, to check out Gem anchorage (great if the weather allows the amazing view) and Jade Harbor. I was really hopeful that Jade would be a great anchorage to check out on our way back to Cordova in July, but it was choked with kelp and didn’t look that interesting to us.
Then we headed over to Growler Bay, only dodging a piece or two of glacier ice that floated into our path. The Jim’s Rest anchorage was glorious in the sun, with lovely open meadows to walk on backed by treed mountains. We were tempted to stop, but kept on going to the head of Growler, which was also nice, particularly the view of the valley.
From there, we went through Elder Passage, which was easier than it looks on the charts, and not too shallow as the tide was rising. Elder Bay itself was only so-so after Growler, so we headed out and turned directly for Granite Bay. Deception and Patos detoured to Long Bay before following us.
Dream Catcher, the 5th boat in the flotilla, was several days behind us, having taken a look at Glacier Bay before heading out in to the Gulf of Alaska for the passage to Prince William Sound. They raised Brian on the radio today, informing him that they were now in the Sound, but had been holed up for several days in Yakutat due to bad weather. We were thankful we avoided all of that.
As we approached Granite Bay, we saw whales fluking, a mom and a calf. We watched for a while before proceeding into the Bay. Granite Bay is glorious, with bold cliffs and some cute grassy areas here and there. We anchored in 60’ of water, and invited Patos to raft alongside us. Telita anchored closer to the mouth of the bay, while Deception braved the narrows and rocks to enter the Granite Bay lagoon. (Of course, given our schedule the following morning, they had to depart the lagoon about 10:30pm rather than spend the night, or they’d be stuck due to low tide.)
We went on a dinghy excursion in to the lagoon while the girls from Patos borrowed our kayaks. Rich and Rowan from Deception were trying to climb some of the steep terrain, and we gladly left that to them, comfortable in our dinghy. The water in the lagoon was so clear, it was blue-ish almost like the Carribean in the shallow areas. On our way back to OceanFlyer, we could clearly see all the rocks and boulders Deception had snuck through to get into the lagoon.
The crew of Patos joined us for drinks and appetizers, and then Bob and I enjoyed a dinner of pork tacos. After dinner, we could see that the whales were still outside Granite Bay by the flukes and blows way in the distance, so we ran up in the dinghy to see what we could see. We watched a bit, but soon turned around and headed off to bed, happy to be snug in Granite Bay.