Cedar Bight to Gut Bay

Karen has taken over the blog, because Bob is cooking up a storm from our cozy anchorage in Gut Bay.

We awoke in Cedar Bight to light rain and clouds…of course. It always seems that way when we want to launch the kayaks. But we haven’t yet christened them on this trip, and time was awastin!  So after a quick breakfast, we got the 12ft Pungos  in the water and the rain stopped for a while. When Bob was making breakfast, I saw that crazy black bear again on the beach.

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Karen loves her new Pungo Kayak

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Cedar Bight makes for a good paddle

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Arctic Star sits at anchor in Cedar Bight…notice the seal head just to the left of our boat

It was super to be back in the kayaks again. There is something magical about the peaceful sound of paddling and the fact that you are so near to the waterline. We decided to paddle to the head of the bay to check out what looked like a freshwater creek and then head for the small inlet we saw via dinghy the day before. As we were just starting to paddle…yes…you guessed it, I saw the black bear again, over on the east shore this time.

Bob set off paddling at a good clip, because we have been too far away for good bear pictures on this trip. The bear was unaware of us at first, but as he approached, the bear raised his head and kind of looked poised for action. What action? I wasn’t sure…but I surely let Bob take the lead in his kayak. I floated behind, ready to backpaddle at a moment’s notice.

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Mr. Bear takes notice of us

The bear apparently didn’t like the sound of Bob’s camera clicking, and he started to amble away.  A few more splashes from the kayak paddles and he disappeared into the woods. That was OK with me.

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Bob poses for a picture

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The stream that feeds he head of the bay…good exploring by foot from here…bring the bear spray

We explored the head of the bay, and what we could of the creek. The entire time, a lone grey seal was following us, kind of tracking us but diving and making a fuss if he got closer than he intended. We thought the bear had a great beach, and as we departed the creek area I heard this bubbling sound and it was like a small fountain was under the water. The water wasn’t more than a few inches deep…and then all around there were smaller bubbles. We have no idea if it was a hot springs or really big geoducks. It was cool, though.

We headed over to the  inlet, crossing a shallow and rocky entrance to see a small inner bay, perhaps part of the bear’s beach patrol area. The seal followed us faithfully. We decided to just drift a while and see what happened with the seal.  It came closer and closer. It did NOT like the sound of Bob’s camera, but it seemed to like my “hey, sealie, sealie” voice, and it got close enough to be within two kayak lengths away. Bob got a pretty good picture of that.

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Our curious friend followed us the whole time were explored the area

Back to the boat after about an hour, and we secured the kayaks before heading off to see Happy Cove, another anchorage in Tebenkof that sounded both small and nice. WRONG. It was pretty unappealing and I just wanted to get out. Bob liked Tebenkof, but had commented how it all looked pretty much “alike”…and with forecasts for rain on Saturday with wind, we decided to head off two days early for the east side of Baranof Island and Gut Bay.

We departed Tebenkof about 1:30. It was a long run across the Strait and we were glad our stabilizers helped offset the beam seas we faced. Behind us, Kuiu Island was enshrouded in fog and clouds, but we could see the mountains of Baranof beckoning. We saw eagles swooping and dive bombing some areas out in the Strait…we didn’t see them catch anything, and can’t imagine how long a flight they’ve have back to their crazy rocks in the Bay’s entrance if they actually caught something. Bob worked on pictures while I drove over to Mist Cove, the supposed site of a lovely waterfall.

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The waterfall at Mist Cove

Sometimes I get a bit frustrated at the lack of info on Alaska…I love to research things to do and places to see, so I search published books as well as boater blogs. Guess I messed up somehow, because although we saw the pretty waterfall from the Strait, as soon as we entered the Cove, the waterfall was completely obscured by the trees, and the Cove was tiny and the head was now taken up by somebody’s float. So we left, me driving again, so Bob could get a few pix from back out in the Strait.

Another two  hours or so and we arrived at the entrance to Gut Bay. This was one that sounded pretty good, a remote and quiet Bay with few anchoring spots and some serious granite mountains on either side. It was absolutely impressive upon entering, and we actually had some blue skies peeking through the clouds to illuminate our way.  After the last two days in Tebenkof, we had seen no other boats at all – not pleasure boats, not fishing boats. I saw no boats either on the crossing of the Strait. Imagine our surprise to find a little fishing boat trawling away inside Gut Bay! He headed off for the head of the bay while we made our way down towards Mickie’s Winter Basin.

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Entrance to Gut Bay…topography promises to be interesting

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The scenery get better around every turn

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The view from our first anchorage in Gut Bay

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The rain makes the waterfall sing

This Basin was the site where a Frenchwoman and her companion wintered over in the ice(!!) in 1995. I can only imagine what that was like. By the time we approached the Basin, the tide was too low to enter over the narrow and shallow bar. So we decided to drop the anchor outside the basin. It was DEEP almost right to shore. Shore was dominated by tall mountains and multiple waterfalls, with trees right down to the shoreline. It was again…impressive. We ended up having to anchor in 70’, which still put us quite close to shore depending on how the wind blew. We were really tired though, and decided to stay put after watching the boat spin about and deciding we’d be safe for the evening. I made tuna fish melts to spell the chef, and we enjoyed the scenery and the bits of blue sky until about 10pm. The forecast for Saturday was Rain and Wind…and we expect to see at least the rain when we awake.

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Bob helps the satellite phone make a connection to send and receive emails

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An easy dinner…tuna melt