We left the Inside Passage behind for our third Gulf of Alaska crossing on June 9, 2017 and had an easy passage except that first I, and then Seth, came down with some sort of flu. I think we may have caught it from a few people who were sick at Baranof Warm Springs. It didn’t manifest itself until the second day – the first day was very pleasant sailing with a moderate south swell and light south wind. We were sailing a close reach because the apparent wind was so much further forward (due to Celeste‘s speed) than the true wind. On the second day, the sailing was still good, with the wind up and down in strength but steady in direction from the south. By the afternoon, though, I had started to develop a headache and fever that persisted almost until we raised the islands off Prince William Sound. It was made rather worse on Day 3 by the wind dying but the swell increasing – a nauseating combination. Seth came down with the bad headache/fever as well on that day. Fortunately the sailing/motoring was easy, so we didn’t have to work too hard while we were ill. We both recovered on Day 4 and by evening we came into Prince William Sound and anchored a few hours later in a lovely, deserted spot on Knight Island.
We had a lot of fun exploring our anchorage by dinghy the next morning and then took off for another anchorage further down the Sound. The following day we made a long day-sail (motoring for about half of it when the wind died) to the Kenai Fjords National Park, a place we had really enjoyed (though only briefly visited) last year.
The mountains there are very Alpine (see photos!) and it always strikes me as a little bit surreal to be anchored in Celeste in a spot that feels like it ought to be a high elevation meadow somewhere in France or Switzerland. Then again, black bears don’t stroll around meadows in Europe… nor do salmon jump in the streams over there….
We had a great cruise through Kenai Fjords. We picked our way through bits of ice (on which seals rested) to nose up to the terminal face of one of the tidewater glaciers.
We had some lovely sailing (especially once we discovered that our diesel tank only carries 30 gallons) and some good rows in our dinghy.
The wildlife was abundant – whales, Dall’s porpoises, sea otters, seals, and a bear – and the fishing was fun, although not terribly productive (only one black cod, which we caught from Celeste – sadly no pictures).
And we had fun catching up with a friend we’d made last summer on Unalaska, who’d sailed up from his home in the Falkland Islands.
All too soon it was time to head for the town of Kodiak, in order to get more diesel (we were running pretty low) and do some work – Seth’s consulting and my writing – somewhere with internet. The overnight passage from the Kenai Peninsula over to Kodiak was uneventful – a nice northerly wind for most of the way, dying to a calm in Marmot Strait, which was just close enough for us to motor into town. We got to Kodiak on June 20, exactly 10 years to the day since we arrived in the Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia after completing our first ocean crossing.