Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Punch Bowl Cove, Misty Fjord National Monument

There's a shallow bar to cross to get out of the anchorage at Winstanley, so we got an early start at ebbing mid-tide. As usual, it was cloudy but mild, no rain, no wind, no sun, and flat water. 

We towed the dinghy for the first time, and the bridle worked well.

We don't know the geological reason New Eddystone Rock exists. In 600' feet of water, suddenly there's a "beach" containing a rocky promontory 200' tall with trees. Glacier carved or erosion? Beautiful! 

The plan was to drop a lunch hook at Punchbowl Cove 13 miles away because the anchorage is reported to be rocky and difficult to set, in up to 75' of water at high tide. We have only 225' of chain rode on this new-to-us boat, and aren't comfortable anchoring with less than 3:1 scope even in settled weather, so thought we'd come in to see this iconic Misty Fjords National Monumet view and move on to a better overnight anchorage.

The 3000' tall cliffs were encased in clouds. "Flight-seeing" seaplanes flew low so Ketchikan cruise ship patrons could catch the view. But our boat was the only one on the water, and the single mooring ball was empty, so we caught it and decided to stay. About 40 seaplanes came through, but fewer than a dozen landed for 15 minutes each, and none came within 2 miles of us. 

When we bought "Phoenix", her dinghy was too small to carry crab pots, fishing gear, or 4 people. So Bob picked out a new dinghy at the Seattle Boat Show in January. Hoping Cathryn would feel comfortable exploring on her own (to satisfy some of her insatiable "what's around the next corner?" quest), he made sure it had an electric start, as well as electric button to raise and lower the motor. So Cathryn explored Punchbowl Cove alone for 90 minutes, felt comfortable and pronounced it a blast! 

We took the dinghy to shore and hiked a steep, muddy, slippery trail, talking loudly and clapping our hands as this is bear country, to a gorgeous waterfall.

And finally, while enjoying a glass of wine in the cockpit, the clouds lifted and the 3000' cliffs that towered above were fully visible.

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