"Intrepid" is a Kadey Krogen trawler style motor vessel built in 1987 at the Chung Hwa Boat Yards in Taiwan - hull 138 of 206. She is 42 feet in length with a beam of 14.5 feet and weighs 40,000 pounds fully loaded. Carrying 750 gallons of fuel and 240 gallons of water, she is capable of extended cruising. A previous owner cruised her from Annapolis to the Caribbean and Venezuela then through the Panama Canal, the Sea of Cortez and up the Pacific Coast to Alaska over a period of three years (She was then named "Carpe Diem"). We know of no Krogen that has traveled farther on her own bottom than "Intrepid". We purchased her in 1999 and live aboard her four months of the year as we cruise the intricate waters of the British Columbia and Southeast Alaska coasts. She is berthed in Anacortes, WA.

You can follow Intrepid's path at

Check out the story about our grounding in Passagemaker's online magazine at

Take a look at Rolynn's author website at

If you like technical stuff here is the article I wrote about building a watermaker that appeaared in Passagemaker's online magazine:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Juneau to Sitka and Glacier Bay

And now appearing on our stage all week are guest bloggers Barri Dymontt and Bonnie Lauer

Barri & Bonnie's Wonderful Alaska Adventure to and thru Glacier Bay Nat.ional Park - June 10 - 20, 2014

June 10 - 11:  We flew to Juneau and met Steve and Rolynn onboard Intrepid in Auke Bay. The next day we headed north towards Glacier Bay, stopping in Swanson Cove for the night. We saw many whale spouts on the way and were joined by about six dolphins swimming/surfing with us at the bow of the boat. After we anchored, Roly and Barri fished for bait fish in anticipation of halibut fishing the next day. Result - one rockfish.

Moon Over Flynn Cove
Sea Otters
June 12 -13:  Incredible scenery on the way to our next anchorage in Flynn Cove. More dolphin surfing and otters galore. While anchored in the cove we saw several cruise ships and whales pass by in the main channel. At about 11:00pm (dusk in Alaska) we saw the full moon rising, a brilliant orange glow above the evergreens. I will forward pictures to Steve when I figure out how to download them from my new camera! Digitally challenged again!  The next day we arrived in Bartlett Cove, the official entrance to Glacier Bay National Park. Our permit to enter started the next day but Steve got permission to enter a day early. The only way to see Glacier Bay is by boat and you must have a permit to enter and check in and out at the park headquarters in Bartlett Cove. Only 25 pleasure craft and 2 cruise ships are allowed on any given day. Roly and Barri did their fishing outside Bartlett Cove but the current was too strong and they had difficulty getting their lines to the bottom, necessary for halibut fishing(at least that's what they said) We were docked in Bartlett in time to sign in and attend the 5pm orientation that is required for entrance.

Glacier Bay

The bay was first a national monument but then designated a national Park in 1986.  The park and a much larger surrounding area was also designated as a UN World Heritage site in1992.  The bay is 65 miles long but the park is over 5000 square miles (3,280,000 acres) - about the size of Connecticut.  The heritage site, at 24,300,000 acres, is one of the worlds largest protected areas.

Glaciers have come and gone here many times over the millennia.  The most recent expansion was during the "Little Ice Age", about 1300 - 1750.  That expansion forced the Huna Tlinget natives, who lived in the bay, to relocate to their present site at nearby Hoonah.  But, they still consider the bay their ancestral homeland.  When Capt. Vancouver was here in 1794 the ice extended into Icy Straits (hence the name) and was 4000 feet thick in the bay. Today, the glaciers have retreated 60 miles up bay but still cover 27% of the park.  There are 1045 glaciers, fifty of which are named and seven of which are active tidal glaciers.  Two of the glaciers are stable, the rest are retreating.  The face of the ice we see today is about 200 years old.

Glacier Bay
June 14 -15: The next day was rainy as we headed out of Bartlett and officially into Glacier Bay National Park through
Fairweather Mountains from Blue Mouse Cove
the waters where most of the whales are feeding near the shoreline. Again we saw lots and lots of otters, I'm sure they have the best time of anyone in Glacier! We anchored inside Geike Inlet in Shag Cove. Shag Cove is a beautiful, classic u-shaped alpine valley that is surrounded by vertical granite walls and numerous waterfalls streaming down them. By the time we anchored the rain had stopped and the sun was shining. We awoke to a beautiful sunny morning and headed to our next anchorage, Blue Mouse Cove on the Gilbert Peninsula. At the mouth of Blue Mouse is the Carrol Glacier and from the back of the cove are views of the Brady Ice Fields, just spectacular.

Ice on Radar

June 16 -17: Another beautiful, sunny morning. Since the weather was good we decided to head to Margerie Glacier, near the northern border of the park. What a sight! And what sounds! The glacier actually grumbles and pops as the ice breaks off and falls into the water. As we came to the glacier we were joined by two excursion boats and a large cruise ship. We just drifted nearby in view of the glacier and watched and listened to it for about an hour.
Cruise Ship at Margorie Glacier
Drinks are Ready!
Also scooped some glacial ice out of the water for that evenings G & T's. We headed back south and anchored by Russell Island with a great view of a hanging glacier. A storm blew in that night and the anchor alarm went off. Steve was awake most of the night watching the anchor and had just gone to bed when Roly  awakened him to say we needed to move the boat. We went across the channel to Reid Inlet at 7:00am. Reid Glacier is in the back of the inlet. We had just finished breakfast when Barri spotted a bear on the shore.
Reid Inlet Bear
Not just any bear, a BIG brown/grizzly bear! He just strolled down the shoreline towards the glacier and eventually disappeared, unbelievable! We then moved farther south and stopped again at Blue Mouse Cove. A mix of lingering rain and sun produced a rainbow for our viewing pleasure that afternoon.

Blue Mouse Cove
North Sandy Cove at Midnight
Crested Puffin
June 18 -19: The next morning was rainy and we waited in Blue Mouse until about 1:00p before heading to N. Sandy Cove. We had our first Puffin sighting on the way. There were several in the water opposite Sebree Island, they are very unique and much smaller than I thought. The sun returned the next morning and we were off to North and South Marble Islands. At N. Marble we saw the Stellar Sea Lions by the hundreds! Many in the water but most lounging on the cliffs. Another amazing sight and sounds! S. Marble is known for the Puffins and there they were, mostly in the water and in large flocks. We continued on to Strawberry Island, seeing numerous otters and dolphins on the way. We anchored in N. Fingers Bay and had a great view of the Fairweather Range on the way. Probably our most important sighting took place on the way into the bay. We passed a boat coming out with a woman waving at us and she had something in her hand. A look thru the binoculars revealed a copy of Roly's book Lie Catchers!!! You will have to ask Roly about the rest of that story! The next important sighting came after we had anchored and from the stern deck Roly spotted a MOOSE!  Like the bear, just strolling along the shore and eventually disappearing into the wilderness....

Bonnie and Barri
June 20: Back to Bartlett Cove where our adventure started. We had lunch in The Lodge and took the shuttle to Gustavus International Airport. All good things come to an end but what a trip! Thank you so much Steve and Rolynn for giving us a once in a lifetime opportunity. It is truly a bucket list item fulfilled. Safe travels and see you back in AG.
Love, B & B

Errata - Blue Mouse Cove is named for, of all things, a theater in New York.  The Fairweather Mountains form the western side of the bay, contain 13 peaks over 10,000' - Mount Fairweather being the highest at just over 15,000'.

Elfin Cove Neighbors
Saturday, June 21 & 22 - Elfin Cove:  Elfin Cove is about three hours from Bartlett and sits just south and east of Cape Spencer on the very edge of the Gulf of Alaska.  (That's where our insurance ends.)  It is a small community of about 20 or so permanent residents plus a number of part timers.  There are four fishing lodges, a post office, general store, gift shop, and cafe. The inner cove is guarded by an island and all the buildings are connected by boardwalks.  Most of the buildings are constructed on pilings or perched on the side of the rocks.  Many of the boardwalks are actually part of the Alaska State Highway system.  Some DOT guys are here doing "road maintenance".  During the war there were naval gun emplacements on nearby George Island.  The ruins are still there.  (The weather is too bad to take pictures but you can check out the Cove from our 2011 Alaska trip.)

When we arrived the dock was full of trollers waiting for an opening the next day.  There were also two large yachts, one of which we rafted to.  It had just crossed the Gulf of Alaska from Cordova in Prince William Sound - a 28 hr trip.  Later, a fishing boat needed to move so we all shuffled around to let him out.  In the process we ended up rafted to a small trolling boat on the opposite side of the dock.  Later still we made another major shuffle of four boats to get him to the outside so that he could leave at 04:00 the next morning.  Better now than then.

Troller in Action
Our plan was to head down Lisianaski Inlet to Pelican, another boardwalk town, then out to the western side of Chichagof Island to take the "smooth water route" to Sitka.  But it is a warren of rocks, reefs, and kelp beds - only suitable for settled weather which we are not forecast to have.  (Today it is blowing 40 with 12 ft seas on the outside.  So, after regrouping here we will backtrack around the north end of Chichagof then south to Hoonah, Tenakee Springs and Peril Strait.  Peril runs between Chichagof and Baranof Islands and is the safe, but longer, route to Sitka.  We expect to be in Sitka on the 28th if all goes as planned.

We went to the cafe for dinner and Shirley, the owner, remembered Rolynn as an author from our last trip.  She volunteered to organize a community book talk on Sunday so she called a number of her friends.  A nice thing to do.  The talk went well and Rolynn met a number of Europeans off a small cruise ship as well as a few of the locals.  One woman described herself as a "newbie" having only lived here for twenty years.

Monday, June 23 - The wind has not diminished sufficiently so we will remain here today.  Tomorrow looks better.

Tuesday, June 24 - Today we made the relatively easy trip back around the north end of Chichagof to Hoonah, an indian village, which as become a more popular stop for cruisers and cruise ships which anchor in the bay.  After we settled in we saw our friends the Roberts pull in aboard Adventures.  Later they came over for a drink and we walked up to a little cafe.

Tenakee Springs
Wednesday, June 25 - We moved another 6 hours down the coast to Tenakee Springs, a town of about 100 permanent residents. The word Tenakee is from the Tlingit word “tinaghu”, meaning “Coppery Shield Bay.” This refers to three copper shields, highly prized by the Tlingits, that were lost in a storm.  Early prospectors and fishermen came to the site to wait out the winters and enjoy the natural hot springs.

Thursday, June 26 - Another six hours south found us in Appleton Cove near the east end of Peril Straits.  The main portion of the cove was so crowded with commercial crab pots that we couldn't get in but we did manage to squeeze in to a smaller corner.  As we were watching a movie that night we were startled by a knocking on the hull.  It was Larry Claiborne and his cousin Dennis, another high school neighbor and friend.

Fairweather at 30 Knots
Friday, June 27 - Today we made the seven hour trip to Sitka via Peril and Neva Straits.  Peril is not as ominous as its name implies but it does contain Sergius Narrows which has to be transited at near slack tide.  On the far side of Sergius lies Neva Straits which is named for the Russian ship that explored (and sank) in this area around 1805.  On the AIS we saw the fast ferry Fairweather coming our way through Neva.  She was doing 30 kts.  We got out of her way.  Our trip was otherwise uneventful and we pulled into Sitka Harbor around 16:00.

Chichagof Island

But, there was no room in the inn so we had to tie up to the breakwater. Soon after we tied up we were notified that we could move into a slip on the main dock and 30 minutes later were in our new home.  Sitka Harbor is the largest marina system in Alaska with over 1300 slips most of which are occupied by commercial vessels.  It is very busy just now because the troller and seine seasons are about to open so the vessels are all provisioning and attending to last minute repairs.  The docks are crawling with welders, refrigeration techs, riggers, hydraulic repairmen and so forth.  Speaking of repairs we have an outboard that won't start and a freezer that won't stay cold at anchor so we have to attend to those issues.  The problem is that the repair people are on the commercial vessels so it will be hard to find someone (good) to help us.  I also have to change oil and filters in the main engine and generator.  It's been about 200 hours since we left Anacortes, the rough equivalent of about 12,000 auto miles, so it's time.

(From Wikipedia)  Sitka's location was originally settled by the Tlingit people over 10,000 years ago. The Russians settled Old Sitka in 1799 under the name Redoubt Saint Michael.  The governor of Russian America, Alexander Baranov, arrived under the auspices of the Russian-American Company, a colonial trading company chartered by Tsar Paul I in 1802Tlingit warriors destroyed the original establishment, killing 24 Russians and 200 Aleuts, enslaving the rest, with only a few managing to escape.  Baranov returned to Sitka in 1804 with 150 Russians and 700 Aleuts with the Russian warship Neva. The ship bombarded the Tlingit fort but was not able to cause significant damage. The Russians then launched an attack on the fort and were repelled by Tlingit fighters and marksmen. However, the Tlingit gunpowder reserves had been lost before the Russian assault and the Tlingit were forced to leave the fort...  Following their victory at the Battle of Sitka, the Russians established New Archangel as a permanent settlement named after Arkhangelsk, the largest city in the region where Baranov was born. The Tlingit re-established a fort on the Chatham Strait side of Peril Strait to enforce a trade embargo with the Russian establishment. In 1808, with Baranov still governor, Sitka was designated the capital of Russian America.  The Cathedral of St. Michael was built in Sitka in 1848 and became the seat of the Russian Orthodox Bishop of Kamchatka, the Kurile and Aleutian Islands, and Alaska. The original church burnt to the ground in 1966, but was restored to its original appearance, with the deliberate exception of its clockface, which is black in photographs taken prior to 1966, but white in subsequent photos.  "As out of the way as it appears now, the settlement was once known as the "Paris of the Pacific;" for the first half of the nineteenth century, it was the most important port on the West Coast."

Saint Michael's Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Sitka
June 28 - July 4:  I conducted some freezer tests that can only be done at the dock and found a voltage drop in the electrical path leading to the 12 volt freezer compressor.  I wired around the offending portion of the path and the compressor began to behave properly.  We let it get good and cold then shut off the shore power all night (like at anchor).  In the morning it was colder than when we went to bed! 

On Monday, we were able to hook up with "Swifty's Outboard Repair".  After a couple of missed phone messages Swifty came down to the boat and he had us going in short order.  It's amazing what a spark plug wire, a cup of coffee and a $100 bill will accomplish!  Later we began to walk into town when a nice man in a pickup asked if we wanted a lift - sure.  In town Rolynn checked at the post office for her book shipment (no), we got haircuts and had dinner on the way back.  We stopped at Ludwig's to make reservations for tomorrow evening.  Ludwig's is a small (maybe 12-14 seats) restaurant and is considered to be the best, if not cheapest, eatery in SE Alaska.  We ate there in 2011 and it is excellent.  You will have a full report tomorrow.

Contender is back in the harbor and Kathy flies in on Thursday.  Thursday, the third, is also the fourth of July fireworks display.  We will stick around for that then probably head out on Friday.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have had some fine adventures. Loved the guest blog by Barri and Bonnie! Hope you had some fireworks on the 4th in Sitka. By now you are headed south. Hope you have calm seas and sunny skies.