18 Jun King Cove, American Bay, Sosbee Bay, and Castle Bay
The Alaska Peninsula stretches 500 miles from the mainland to the Aleutian Islands. Scattered along it are several small communities. We don’t have time to stop at all of them, but wanted to see one. King Cove was closest to our route, so that’s where we stopped. The harbormaster was friendly and the harbor facilities are good. On shore, there’s not much–a boatyard to support fish boats, a grocery store, a single restaurant, and a chandlery. Definitely not a tourist destination.
In addition to fishing boats, there were small model boats (but no yachts):
We’re not sure what’s happening below. Perhaps they’re deepening the boat so it can carry more fish?
The reason to visit the Alaska Peninsula is the scenery, which is magnificent. We’ve been fortunate to have some decent weather. Breathtaking views are everywhere. Some of the mountains below are more than 8000 feet high.
Between King Cove and American Bay we saw the first pleasure boat, this small, fast catamaran:
Our first anchorage after leaving King Cove was American Bay, a short fjord which indents the Alaska Peninsula and reaches nearly to the Bering Sea. The weather was windy and rainy but it barely dulled the scenery:
Entering American Bay, we saw our first bears:
The view from the flybridge was beautiful in every direction:
After seeing the bears and marveling at the scenery on the way in, we decided to layer up and take a wet, cold ride in the dinghy.
After an hour in the dinghy, returning to warm, dry Starr was awfully nice!
American Bay, surrounded by peaks reaching 4200 feet and covered in glaciers, seemed to create its own weather. As soon as we motored out, the skies brightened. Snow covered mountains on the Alaska Peninsula provided another day of impressive views:
We’ve started seeing a lot of humpback whales. They haven’t been particularly playful–they barely even show us their flukes!–but at times we’ve seen a dozen spouts at a time.
Approaching Sosbee Bay we passed tiny Spitz Island, which is more than 1000 feet tall and looks like it would be right at home in the tropics:
We anchored for a night in Sosbee Bay, on Mitrofania Island. On Google Earth the scenery looked a little flat, but up close it was more impressive:
With the sunny weather, we enjoyed morning coffee on deck, taking in the scenery. Only the breaths of whales nearby whales punctuated the quiet.
Leaving Sosbee Bay revealed more incredibly mountain scenery. Sorry if this is getting repetitive!
Approaching eponymous Castle Bay, with a Bristol Bay fish boat zooming past:
Sharry and Celeste were lucky enough to be at the helm as we entered Castle Bay:
As we moved further towards the anchorage, the scenery just got better and better. Here we are at the north arm, nearly to the end, where we anchored:
Words can’t describe the beauty, so we’ll just show you some more pictures:
We took a long dinghy ride. The air was warm and smelled fresh and earthy like we were hiking at Mt. Rainier, a real change from what we’re used to. We stopped briefly at a patch of snow to make snow balls:
Everywhere we went on the dinghy was beautiful. Waterfalls, snowfields, jagged peaks, brilliant blues and greens…
This morning (Father’s Day) was particularly gorgeous. The sun rose and slowly illuminated the 4000-foot peaks surrounding us in a warm glow:
These two jagged peaks standing above Castle Bay amazed us:
Alas, we have to keep moving…Alaska is huge and we have a lot of ground to cover. Thank you Tony Fleming for recommending Castle Bay!