Gut Bay

Up at 7 am today because low tide, a minus 1.5 foot low tide, was at 8am and I wanted to take a look. Our calculations predicted it would be no issue, but when you’re a boat length away from shore, you always want to double check.

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A hearty egg scramble breakfast for a cold and wet day

Today was forecast to be rainy. The morning lived up to that prediction. It started raining sometime last night and was making a show this morning. The rain was constant and at times it was blowing 30 degrees to the horizon.

The rain, the low clouds, the cold chill; it was a day to stay in and read, read, write work on photos and relax. About 11 am, Karen spotted a boat approaching, a pleasure boat, the first we had seen in many a day. It approached slowly, looking as if it’s intentions might be to traverse the narrows back to Mickie’s Winter Basin. She was a metal boat, we guess about 60 feet in length and her name was Sonata.

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Waterfalls abound as the rain feeds their tributaries

As she approached , I called her and talked with the captain. He asked if we were waiting for high slack to enter ourselves and I said we were most likely going to spend the day here, in the outer basin. He encouraged us to consider going in, given that in his opinion it was a special place. He was off to set some prawn traps during his wait for high slack.

That was enough encouragement and obvious local knowledge for us to get in gear and make our way to the inner basin. After all, if we did not like it, we could always return to our spot here, which we thought was pretty special.

Sure enough, about an hour later Sonata returned and made good her course through the narrow passage and disappeared. We lifted anchor and spent some time untangling about 50 foot of barnacle encrusted 3/8 twisted line from our anchor. Karen was not pleased.

We took the line on board and dropped it in about 300 feet of water so it would not foul another unwary boater’s anchor.

Through the pass we went, and Sonata was spot on, the inner basin is a very special place. The sides are steep to and reminded us of the Wasatch mountains in Utah. At the southwest end is a grassy low area, split by a fresh water runoff from the mountains, with a drying flat in front. There were a few waterfalls as well. Behind that the valley opens to a beautiful vista. It was both cozy and spectacular.

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Sonanta at anchor in Mickie's Winter Basin, Gut Bay

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This anchorage is ringed by alpine views with waterfalls all around

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At the head of the bay is a large drying flat pierced by a freshwater stream

As I was writing this blog and Karen was deep into reading another book on her Nook, the tender for Sonata approached and invited us over for drinks later in the afternoon. I offered to bring the wine and the time was set for 5pm.

The rain continued, vacillating between steady, light and a downpour. I tasked myself to the galley to make beef Bolognese sauce, and my famous glazed meatloaf.

At 5 o’clock, our departure time to go visit Sonata, the skies started to show breaks as the rain decreased its relentless cascade. Sonata’s owner, Lee, was very gracious to come over and ferry us back Sonata in his covered tender. Lee was also the builder of Sonata. It’s a Bruce Roberts 62 foot design that Lee made his own, customizing it based on learning gleaned from many years of boat ownership. The list of special touches and features you would want are too long to list, but suffice it to say, it is a vessel I could see living aboard and cruising for extended periods.

Lee and his wife Diane have been living aboard for five, I as remember, years. On board were their friends Dave and Sharon from Bellingham, WA, who had joined them in Petersburg and who would be departing in about a week from Warm Springs Bay.

I am always reminded just what a small world this is. Sharon had lived and worked in the Philadelphia area and Diane has relatives right around the corner from  us. We also know a lot of the same people they do in the Bellingham, Seattle and Northwest Cruising areas. We had lots to talk about.

We shared stories, talked about places to visit in Alaska and other destinations,  and generally had a wonderful evening. An unexpected surprise was an invitation to dinner, “Only burgers” said Diane, but I must say they were some great burgers!

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We spend the night in a truly unique and special place