Our route and current location: [Note - I forgot to turn on tracking for a while - the track is discontinuous but does pick up later]
For those following along at home - and at work - the Sail Blog app is just a straight line, giving our anchored locations - where we end for the day. The Garmin track linked above, which starts in Powell River, gives a fairly continuous track of our travels; showing the ins and outs (and backtracking) we are doing. Also you will notice that the dates of the writing may seem a little off. Entries get written when there is a good internet connection and may reflect that date. We will try to start putting the date(s) we are at a specific location into the heading.
We made our way up Chatham Strait to Peril Strait where we turned west and headed towards Appleton Cove for the night. As we went along, we noticed many whales bubble fishing; something we had not seen a lot of during our earlier stretches. Bubble fishing is when the whales (humpback whales) make a lot of circles around a school of fish and blow bubbles out which confuses the fish. The whales are then able to dart in and feast on them quite effectively. It was very interesting to watch, as we saw a couple of whale pods as well as the 'odd whale out' not a member of any pod. The teamwork of the pods definitely made feeding easier and more efficient than feeding as a single individual.
We saw several fishing boats - trollers and purse seiners - out working towards the end of the season. It had been a pretty good season so far and the fishing fleet in SE Alaska was making the most of it. Trollers are the ones that catch fish (salmon) individually on hooks and take great care to not mar the fish so the appearance is good and the price stays up. Other types of fishing like purse seiners catch large amounts of fish at once. Generally these are destined for cut filets or steaks or canning.
We pulled into Appleton Cove fairly early and found only one other boat in the anchorage. It is a very protected anchorage in all but severe northwest blows. We still had a good amount of daylight left, but couldn't go any farther because of the very narrow Sergius Channel that lies between Appleton Cove and Sitka. Sergius is only about 400 feet wide, which seems like a lot until you understand that the current can run at up to 8 knots through this narrow passage and make transiting it very difficult for most boats. As usual in the travels we had this season, it was wait until slack in order to transit transit, so that is what we did in Appleton.