- Capt. Eric
To Klemtu or not to Klemtu. Khutze Inlet
From Shearwater we had planned on continuing to split our climb up North into manageable chunks of about 30 to 40 miles each day, depending on options.
That made Klemtu the perfect stopping point on paper. There are docks and a small anchorage. Looking at it closer the charts indicate the anchorage to be fouled with old cables and industrial debris, and on arrival we were greeted by huge red signs warning us about Covid and not being welcomed ashore.
Klemtu or not? We had left early enough that we had plenty of daylight left, so we decided to continue our leg, with the next logical stop being Khutze Inlet. Luckily we are far enough up North and West enough that the sun sets really late, with enough visibility to sail safely until at least 21:00 if not later.
Khutze inlet is reputed for its falls, often frequented by bears, and for its huge bay protected all around by tall mountains.
The anchorage itself isn't very large with only a small flat bottomed section at the mouth of the river squeezed in between canyon depths and shoals that appear at low tide.
There were only 2 other boats when we arrived, so finding safe room wasn't difficult, even if you have to be fairly accurate to land the anchor in the right spot. Not too deep, not to shallow, not too far from land, not so close that you'll run aground.
By a stroke of luck both boats decided to leave the next day, leaving us all alone in this magnificent place.
We put the tender in the water, to Princess' delight, and set off to explore the bay to find an appropriate landing spot. We take bear precautions, going onto rocks that should not be interesting to them, make a lot of noise, and keep a sharp eye for them. Di takes her responsibilities of bear watch very seriously, with her pepper spray, binoculars and whistle.
Going up the main branch of the river at high tide from the safety and distance provided by the tender we encountered a bear. Clearly there would be no stepping ashore in that part of the bay!
The bear didn't mind us whatsoever, and continued doing whatever it is that happy bears do. Foraging in the grass it seemed to our untrained eyes.
Enjoying the place, its remoteness and solitude we decided to stretch our stay a couple of nights. We want to keep making our way North, but try to find a balance that lets us enjoy enough of the scenery and the passage.
With our boats, often referred to as passage makers, we mustn't forget that the passage is as much the point of a cruise as is the destination.