Friday, July 6, 2012

Petersburg to Chapin Bay

Whales! More whales! Everywhere we looked in Frederick Sound the water was speckled with humpback whales, spouting, finning, leaping or breaching. They popped up continually along the route, typically in the distance, just beyond the reach of even our longest lens. We tallied 17 separate whale sightings, give or take a few, and only one whale approached us. That lone humpback surfaced suddenly off the port bow traveling parallel to our course - where did he come from?!  The Capt. pulled back the throttles as the whale abruptly turned across the bow and dove, disappearing beneath the surface, leaving very few telltale ripples in his wake. What an adrenaline rush, I didn't need binoculars to watch that whale! 

Chapin Bay is an oft-visited stop in Frederick Sound, a 7-hour run from Petersburg on the route to Baranof Island’s eastern shore. This enclosed bay offers good protection in almost all weather, the best in this section of Frederick Sound. Chapin is a beautiful spot, enclosed by snow-dotted peaks with a wide river estuary at one end. It’s close to good areas to crab, catch halibut and salmon, watch whales, or just sit at anchor and watch eagles, the occasional bear and even more occasional whale inside the bay.

The week’s low clouds, torrential rain and morning fog cloaked most of its scenic beauty, but the protection inside was outstanding. We sat comfortably inside Chapin's barely rippled water while 35-knot winds whipped up 6-foot waves outside in Frederick Sound. We didn't fish much (I'm such a flat-water fisherman!)

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