What an amazing place, and how could we have missed it during the past ten years of cruising in SE Alaska?! We usually cruise the southerly side of Frederick Sound, hugging Kuprenof Island, for a more direct route into Petersburg. This year we explored the mainland side of the channel, following a handful of whales and poking into new coves and inlets.
Farragut Bay felt huge, wide open to south winds from Frederick Sound and north winds and williwaws whipping down the mountains and through the river valleys. It was sunny and calm during our stay, but “just in case” we were secure tucked in a small cove behind an island.
Our skiff excursion around Farragut and up to the river estuary was thwarted by extensive shoaling and scattered rocks that turned up in unexpected places. We found one other cruising boat inside the bay, and a storage raft for a crabber’s supply of Dungeness pots.
Just look at the boundary where the ice-melt freshwater pours out of the river and meets the salty seawater in the bay. It was pretty dramatic. Ron did a taste test, and confirmed that the river outflow was fresh water and the bay water was salty.
The water was milky, an opaque celadon green, and I’m using that as our excuse for not hooking a halibut or a salmon. Hmmmm, cloudy water didn’t stop the hundreds of surf scoter and white-winged scoter from locating and feeding on baitfish.
The hundreds of scoter were not interested in participating in my photo op.
Sunset was spectacular, and it was tough to think about heading back into town the next day. Sitka to Petersburg via Peril Strait is a 160-mile trip. We cruise at 9 knots, so that distance translates to three comfortable cruising days… or a bit longer. This year it took exactly two weeks, and it was tempting to spend even longer. Two weeks in Paradise! Was it the sunshine that put a smile into each day? or perhaps the frequent whale sightings? or the relaxing stretch of carefree cruising without any weather challenges? It was all of that and more.