We were looking forward to some sheltered sailing – smaller waves, less wind, hopefully an area with many quiet anchorages. Prince William Sound seemed to have promise according to everything we had read. After an easy coastwise hop across the bottom of the Kenai Peninsula, we turned left and entered the fabled sound arriving at the end of July in time to enjoy some summer.
We could see right away that our research materials had not lied to us, the mountains and islands were as beautiful in real life as the pictures in the books. The water was calm, and the chart showed multiple anchorages within a few miles. Otters frolicked around Irene like impossibly cute Disney characters.
Early in our exploration, we stopped at the native village Chenega, relocated after the 1964 earthquake and tsunami wiped out the original town.
It began to rain. It rained pretty much every day for our entire exploration of the Sound. The awesome beauty of mountains meeting the sea was replaced by the subtler beauty of rain and mist.
At one secluded anchorage during some especially heavy rain, we heard outboards idling nearby. Peeking out the ports we realized that we were part of some sort of tourist activity – a couple of inflatables packed with red coated passengers circled us, then jetted off to further attractions.
It seemed like there was always a small glacier in sight at each cove we stopped in.
We enjoyed going ashore to pick berries and hike the soft mossy ground of the muskeg.
We made our way north to see if we could get up to the snout of one of the saltwater glaciers in the sound. We motored past floating ice far up a fiord.
Just as Ginger rowed out to collect some ice for a future happy hour, Surprise Glacier calved with a crash. We spent a few anxious moments wait for the waves to arrive, not knowing quite what to expect. No problem, no breaking waves, just gentle undulations.
We motored off with dinghy in tow,
that evening’s happy hour to be enjoyed with ancient ice, shrimp and pastry full of tasty hand picked berries. Prince William Sound was being very kind to us!
Feeling the need for some fresh veggies, we made our way to Cordova.
After a few days in town, we headed back out to sea. The sun came out. The sun we had not seen since the first day we arrived…….