Whitewater Bay, Chathan Strait. July 22, 2011.
03 August 2011 | Sitka, posted at Metlakatla
Photo: Whitewater Bay, Admiralty Island.
With two reefs in the main and our new roller furling jib rolled in to the second green dot, Osprey heeled sharply as spray flew over our bow.
We were tacking south down Chatham Straits, hoping to make it to Warm Springs Bay. The weather forecast had called for 15 knots; we had 35 knots. Then the wind increased to 40. Although the boat and sails were doing fine, our dinghy behind us was not. It first slewed to one side, then the other. And we knew it could flip at those wind speeds.
We looked at the chart. We were heading across Chatham Strait right for a bay none of us had ever heard of: Whitewater Bay on Admiralty Island. But the chart promised an easy entrance, protection from SE winds, water shallow enough for anchoring and a river to explore.
We anchored off a broad marsh surrounded by mountains. We soon had the outboard on the dinghy and were motoring up river on a rising tide. The river widened into a lagoon. Seals dove around us. A family of Mergansers paddled by. Then a fish jumped, and another and another. I looked over the side to see a whole school of salmon swimming under the dinghy.
We’d discovered a beautiful anchorage because of a bad weather forecast.
The next morning the wind was flat calm and we motored all the way to Warm Springs Bay.