Photo: a gillnetter enters the south end of Lincoln Channel.
We chose Lincoln Channel for our last anchorage in Alaska because of its location close to the Canadian border, but it's worth visiting for its own sake. We had stopped here in 2008 and as we left I noticed the point on the south end of Kanaguni Island is named Garnet Point,I wanted to go back to look for garnets. My interest in Garnet Point was rekindled on this trip when at Wrangell we saw some garnets for sale in their original rocks.
We motored down Revillagigedo Channel under sunny skies with a light southerly wind, staying far offshore to avoid the gillnets we knew were near the beach. As we approached the channel, I looked back to see a fog bank racing in from the Dixon Entrance. First it covered Cape Fox, then the Lord Islands just behind us. It followed us in as we entered the rocky pass between Tongass Island to the north and Kanagunit Island to the south. And no sooner had we anchored then it blanketed the channel around us. So much for hunting for garnets, I thought.
But by 4:30 the fog had changed to mere wisps swirling in the treetops. We put the engine on the dinghy and motored south down the west side of the channel. The shore here is steep-to with dark colored rocks intersected with bands of quartz. I remembered that the granite rocks at Wrangell had been black. Around a corner we found a shingle beach and took the dinghy ashore. Scattered on the beach were rocks of all kinds of colors and shapes: golden, white, black and red and some with bumps of pink --garnets? Whether we had found garnets or not, the geology of the beach was fascinating.
Photo: the pink bumps in this rock may be garnets.
Cruising in Alaska can be frustrating because its so difficult to find information about the different anchorages; there's no guide that describes them, only a guide that tells you where you can anchor. But there's also a feeling of satisfaction when you discover a place on your own. We had found this spot just by looking at a name on the chart.
As we motored back to the Osprey a gillnetter flagged us down. "Would you like a sockeye?" a young man asked us. When we said yes, he put a nice hefty sockeye salmon in our dinghy. "Everybody wants a sockeye," he said, "but they're hard to catch."
A salmon dinner provided a fitting celebration for our last night in Alaska.