Alaska Misty Fiords National Monument
Punchbowl Cove (Misty Fiords National Monument)Saturday, June 27, 2015S.V. CAMBRIA
All good things must come to end. I don’t actually believe that, but we did need to move on from Walker Cove eventually so we dropped the mooring Friday morning and rode the tide down
to Punchbowl Cove in Behm Canal . Rudyerd Bay
I’m not sure what’s more breathtaking – the approach to Punchbowl Cove or the actual bay itself – but I know we’ve never seen anything quite like it, at least not in an anchorage: A sheer wall of dark granite, stained by waterfalls, that towers more than 3,000 feet above.
Once again, we found ourselves alone and were able to tie up to the solitary mooring. It was a hot afternoon, so we launched the kayaks and floated around, seeking shade underneath the overhanging trees and dipping our feet into the cold water while taking in the view. As beautiful as it is, Punchbowl Cove isn’t a place that we were able to lose ourselves in for hours like Walker Cove. It’s not as warm and inviting, and I found myself ready to move on less than 24 hours after arriving.
But we stayed.
Saturday morning I heard someone calling hello outside. It was a crew member from an 80-odd-foot motor yacht that was anchored across the bay – a small cruise ship for 14 or so guests. He came bearing gifts (a bottle of
red and some nut bread) by way of apology for
taking over the anchorage. They were launching
their kayaks and skiffs and were afraid they were going to disturb us – an
unnecessary but appreciated gesture. Can
you believe it? Washington
They didn’t disturb us. Not even close. But they reminded us how fortunate we are: We don’t have to sail to a schedule. We can sit back, relax and truly enjoy our surroundings. We can take the time to see where the sun rises in the morning and how that changes as the days pass. Or how the rain and mist can completely change an anchorage while bringing out the deep smell of wet earth. We’re lucky. They’re rushed. So, no. They didn’t disturb us. Not at all.
Our last days in Misty Fiords couldn’t live up to the first.
We left Punchbowl Cove Sunday morning and continued up
for a look around before leaving the inlet.
The floatplanes were out in full force and it’s no exaggeration to say
that it felt like sailing on an airstrip.
At any given time there were five or six small planes buzzing around –
two or three in the air and an equal amount on the water either taking off or floating
nearby. It was crazy but worth the
aggravation. Both David and I agree –
Punchbowl is an awesome sight, but Rudyerd Bay
is the real attraction. Rudyerd Bay
The barometer started falling on Thursday and, despite the sunny sky, a change in the weather was on its way. When we entered
, the wind was blowing from the south for the first time in more than
a week and we had to bash our way down to Behm Canal , just off the canal, for the night. Shoal Water Bay
On the way, we passed New Eddystone Rock, Misty Fiord’s most recognizable sight: a 230-foot pillar that sits alone in the middle of
. From what we’ve read, it’s
the core of an ancient lava conduit that that was left behind (they’re
resistant to erosion) when the glaciers dug the canal 12,000 years ago. Behm Canal named it after a rock off Vancouver where there’s a lighthouse because it reminded him
of the famous landmark. We’re not sure
if he was right or not but will give him the benefit of the doubt. Plymouth, England
Our time in Misty Fiords, sadly, was over.
Note: This blog entry was written
Tuesday, 02 June 2015.