Warm Springs Bay to Keku Strait. July 24, 2011
03 August 2011 | posted at Metlakatla
Photo: Islands in Keku Strait.
"SE winds, 10 knots" was the forecast for Chatham Strait. We headed out planning to eat breakfast underway in what we assumed would be quiet seas. We should have known better. If a forecast of 15 knots equals 35-40 knots, then a forecast of 10 knots equals 25-30 knots. A dark foreboding sky and a chill wind added to our dismay. We beat a hasty retreat and returned to Warm Springs Bay where we anchored in a small nook to the north. There we had breakfast, deflated and packed away the kayak to make room for the dinghy on the cabin roof then deflated the dinghy and put it on the cabin roof. If we had to sail in stiff winds, at least we would be prepared.
We'd already given up plans to continue south down Chatham Strait to Coronation Island, realizing that we wouldn't make either Joyce's connections in Craig or our plans to attend the cultural festival in Hydaburg if we had to beat all the way south in Chatham's rough waters. Instead we would head southeast for Frederick Sound and Rocky Pass in Keku Strait.
Despite the winds we had a great sail with two reefs in the main and the jib rolled in to the first green dot. We first tacked across the Strait where we found even stiffer winds along the eastern shore, then tacked out to the middle where the winds slacked off to a reasonable 25 knots. Soon we were heading east into Frederick Sound. As we sailed up the sound towards Keku Strait the wind slackened even more, until we had to turn on the engine. Amazing what a difference a few miles can make in Alaska's inside waters.
We motored through the islands of Keku Strait, admiring the many limestone pillars. We anchored for the night at the entrance to Rocky Pass just as a rain began to fall.