Petersburg Travel Blog

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Back in Petersburg already

So, thought I would cover a little else that has gone on this season. Just various things, some when my crew was around, other events or observations since her departure…

First off, does bear spray work? Well, have not used it on a bear but have had it go off in my own face, accidently, when leaning over to fill a water jug. And can attest to the fact that it burned and blinded me and when I saw the orange cloud around me I knew I was in trouble. So if that is what the bears will experience, would think that yes… that should work. Worse than your small can of mace from your local gunshop for sure…

The Dall porpoises have been out and on the bow often this year. Like dolphins in front of sailing boats, these guys are quick, look like small orcas as they are black and white, and are fascinating to watch. I love when they play on the bow and always consider this good luck.

Usually, I am very good about keeping the dinghy secured when using it but early in the trip when the water was a nice 44 degrees, I didn’t secure the dinghy when on a small islet or reef and yes, the dinghy blew off shore and I had to swim after it. I can’t tell you how cold the water was after being in it for a good twenty minutes and really don’t think Jennifer knew how close to hypothermia I was but I survived. She just stood there and watched as I tried to get warmth back into my body. But it was definitely a lesson learned. Never again will I allow the dinghy to blow or drift offshore without someone in it.

Yes, this year my second swim incident was when I had crew on bow and instructed crew to warn me if the water entering a bay was too shallow. It was and crew failed to warn me and so we ran aground and I had to dive under the boat to inspect for damages. None structural so later will look closer when I have the boat lifted. I think all will be well. But again another cold twenty or so minutes in the water to look. Do have a snorkel mask so was able to see fairly clearly. But again, froze in the process. Do not think bad things can’t happen if you have to spend time in these waters. That is why they say people die fairly quickly. The panic from the cold and the locking up of the muscles and they drown. We have lost another handful of people again this year in a variety of situations. People do die out here.

And yes, we have had and as of late, I have had rough seas to contend with. The kind that made crew queasy at times and recently hit some that even I thought damn… am I going to get queasy but I did not. There is something cool yet scary about the bow of your boat burying into a wave and disappearing. Wish I could take pictures of this but you just are hanging on and there is no way.

While I had the help, we did kayak and on one occasion, I did have a whale go under my kayak and lift it out slightly and move me a good five feet. It was soooo cool. I would have loved to have him do that again. I have had some close whale encounters and some more bubble feeding shots. May not get to use the kayaks for now, but still getting out there and close when I can.

And as well, some bear photos but really not that many. It is so hot how could one blame a big furry creature, lately black, not wanting to be on the beach in this heat with this much sun. They are deep in the forest where it is cooler and so I am not getting close up with the bears this year. Yet.

And there have been some great climbs up into the mountains. But again, too hot as of late. But I do have some shots of the coastline looking down and those came out well.

And even when I had crew, we actually threw a football I had brought along at Big Bear Baby Bear. It was fun. In the middle of remoteness, to be on the beach playing football. Since, I have donated the football to the USCG Eldenberry crew so they could use it as I cannot throw the ball back and forth to myself.

And earlier we passed through a lot of natural hot springs. Goddard. Tenakee. Warm Springs. But with this heat, who needs hot springs. Now I am enjoying cooler waters in the streams and falls. Ah, to cool down.

And as for camping out, I did that a few times when there was a crew and will again without crew. I love to sleep on the beach or shoreline and plan on doing this again before calling it a year.

So between finding sea caves to go into or hidden beaches and coves or still some amazing things out here in sometimes mundane places, this year is turning out well once more. And hopefully the rest of my time here will continue to amaze and surprise me…


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photo by: vances