We expected the days in this huge area to be the highlight of our trip. We weren't disappointed.
It started with a beautiful sunny day, following seas and winds. The jackpot of the slow cruiser.
Everywhere we looked around us we could see whales blowing and surfacing. When they were close to us, I'd stop the engine, switch the sounder off and enjoy the spectacle. A few came to us as we were drifting to investigate what kind of whale we were, and after a quick look just left us alone.
As we approached we could see more and more of Sumdum glacier: It's a "hanging" glacier, so it doesn't make it down to the water. Somewhere deep in the arm, towards the south we should get to the face of a tidewater glacier, one whose face ends up in the water.
On arrival in the bay we hesitated whether to go South towards Endicott Arm or North towards Tracy Arm. We chose the very scientific method of tossing a coin and decided to go South first.
Should we take full advantage of this magnificent day and push all the way to the glacier? Go for the only (moderately) safe anchorage in Endicott Arm rather than in Holkham Bay with its safe anchorage but further away from the glacier?
Being early enough we decided to push in Endicott Arm a bit and see if the anchorage at Rock Point could work for us.
In this area of Alaska and during most of our trip so far, bays are extremely deep and shoal very fast, often where a river flows into a bay. There the depth might suddenly jump up at alarming speeds, and even worse might become dry at low tide. Spots where you find sufficient water to anchor, not too deep or too steep are rare. Of course they must also be free of drifting ice and out of the main currents if possible. We're not picky are we?
As we neared our potential anchorage we saw a local fisherman closer to shore than where I wanted to go, and leaving ourselves plenty of distance to our "neighbor" chose a spot in about 100 feet of water on a fairly steep shoreline.
I was confident it'd do in the predicted weather, but less so if the wind or waves decided to surprise us.
We took Princess ashore in a beautiful meadow. She was in paradise, and we let her enjoy it whilst we were trying to take in the majesty of the site.
On our way back to Enfin we stopped by the fishing boat to say Hi.
As with almost everyone we met on this trip we found very nice and welcoming people. They wouldn't let us leave without offering some freshly caught salmon, with indications on how to cook it.
We settled in for the night, and with the sun setting so late at the moment got to enjoy the view from the salon and the cockpit for a good long time before retiring to our berths.
I did wake up a few times during the night, as I normally do anyway, to check that no icebergs were headed our way and that the anchor was holding tight.
At midnight I found the rain to be a snow and rain slurry mix. Welcome to Alaska in July!
Tomorrow we're off to try and see Dawes glacier all the way at the end of Endicott Arm.