Thomas Bay

The first and only iceberg of the trip:
Frederick Sound just north of Petersburg

June 6, 2015

Cold Pizza for breakfast, and it tasted good! We had a short trip planned for the day to Thomas Bay, the first glacial inlet north of Petersburg. The more famous glaciers are further north towards Juneau... Tracey Arm and others.  At this point we were calculating our available time pretty closely, and felt we couldn't risk going any further north. Hanging glaciers (glaciers that reach the water's edge) are more dramatic, but calve continually and present navigational risks, especially to single-screw vessels, and I was chary about risking damage to Ripple's propeller.  Hanging irony is a risk, too, you know.

Baird Glacier at the north end of Thomas Bay
Thomas Bay is a lovely place, though, and one particular corner of it is named Scenery Cove, and for good reason. Tight, intimate, and really spectacular, the Douglas guide is diffident about its value as an overnight anchorage. It has swinging room for but one vessel at anchor. We were that vessel on this day.

Scenery Cove

Anchoring was a bit tricky -- there is a shelf  that rises into the stream delta, 75 feet deep.  We circled a couple of times and found the spot we wanted.  The anchorage is probably 1000 feet wide there, and we wanted 300 feet of rode out (4:1 scope seemed more than adequate for the conditions). Any less would have made me nervous.  Any more would have made me nervous.  There is considerable outflow from the stream that empties into the cove, and it kept the boat oriented nose into the cove without swinging.  A subsequent chat with John Weber in Petersburg indicated that inflow winds can definitely swing you around, though, so it is not an anchorage without risk.

The outflow from the head of Scenery Cove kept Ripple and Stuart's Little 
oriented arrow-like towards the mouth of the cove.
Apparently this is not always to be counted upon. 
This night was perfect, though, and no anchorage more beautiful on the entire trip. It was enchanting, and if there was risk, we were blissfully unmindful of it.  I didn't want the day to end.


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