Thursday, July 16, 2009

Black bear sightings

May 14, Thurs Ruth Bay/Prince of Wales Is

Wow! Ice on the forward deck this morning… what happened to Spring? On the chart Ruth Bay Cove looked like the perfect well-protected anchorage. We preselected a 26 foot hole as THE anchor spot and plotted an approach, a winding course through a few charted rocks. No way! The soundings noted on the chart appeared correct, but there were a lot of unmarked reefs in between. We did a slow, careful exit with me on the flybridge reading the keel-mounted backup depth sounder and stirred up a little mud but didn’t contact anything solid. Plan B: anchor just outside the cove in the larger space and deeper water of Ruth Bay.

The Ruth Bay highlight was a sighting of three black bear on the beach as we approached the anchorage. We were surprised that this family of mom and two two-year-old cubs was so fat and healthy looking this early after a long, hard winter. One more bear showed later in the day.

May 19, Tues Kasook Inlet/Sukkwan Island

A solitary dead evergreen provided a striking silhouette against the island’s background screen of green. It held a huge eagles nest and two adult bald eagles perched separately on nearby branches, preening and posing for our camera work. Inside the inlet three Sandhill cranes stalked the marshy shore, clambered over drift logs and did a few fly-by tours during the day. Their cry is an unsettling, raucous rattle. The Capt stalked the cranes, camera in hand, while Jerry and Tanya found beachcombed treasures. What terrific photo ops today, and the results looked good in the camera’s preview screen… but now the card isn’t readable. DRAT!

Three black bear entertained us all day Thursday as they rambled along the rocky shoreline. The sow was the fattest, glossiest black bear in memory. Her coat glistened and rippled as she ambled along the rocks, balanced on drift logs, and grazed on pockets of grass just above the high tide line. One cub bounced along in all directions, investigating everything in its path while the other cub stayed close to mama and took every opportunity to plop down and relax. Hooray, the bear photos DID make it onto the computer.

The camera crew at work in Jericho's dinghy, trying to stay downwind and still get close enough for some good shots.

Kasook has been a terrific anchorage with many bays and inlets to explore on dinghy excursions, even when it’s blowing and choppy outside in Cordova Bay. It’s always fun to watch the wildlife, and to watch the wildlife watching us. Kasook must not have many visitors - the animals either seemed curious or ignored us. One weasely varmint (marten? fisher? mink?) popped up in the Capt’s path, stood up on its hind legs and cocked his head from side to side as he peered at the yellow-coated human looming large six feet away. The resident deer and bear seemed unconcerned as we floated by close to shore. Only the Sandhill cranes, migrating north on the flyway to the tundra area, were wary.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I enjoy reading your comments, so please leave a friendly message. Comments are moderated so it may take a while for your note to appear.