21.07.2018

Speechless

I thought by now we've seen it all. But we hadn't until we arrived at our current anchorage. Ok, the weather is doing its best, blue sky and sunshine. Which did not always seem like that. When we left this morning to come up here to the glaciers in the northwest of Prince William Sound we came into fog, thick fog. I wanted to stop and go to an anchorage, I didn't believe it would get better again. But Marcus kept on going and said, if there is one place where the weather is still nice, it's up there. A front is moving in and a low behind. That is going to bring us bad weather for a while. In most parts it starts raining tomorrow, but it's supposed to be nice most of the day tomorrow where we are. You can see the current position if you follow the link on the page "Where is Alita". After a while, when we drove into a tiny passage between islands, the fog got away. We met it again once we exited that passage. The fog was moving east to west in the big passage. We once again dug
in, even had to turn the radar on. But then is cleared again and with open mouths we got to see the most amazing panoramic view with flat mirror water and all the high mountains and glaciers in front of us and to our sides. We're now anchored at the very northwestern part, inmidst 6 glaciers with an amazing ice view all around Alita. We're right at the foot of one of the glaciers. The front is old and covered with gravel and rock and at first glance one thinks its only rock and gravel. But it's a lot of ice underneath. Because we never know how high that front is we are always wrong in guessing the distance and height. So what to me looks like 150-200ft high and 1/3 of a mile away seems to be about 350ft high and nearly a mile away. It tool Charly for ever to get there and I had to fly 140m up. Spectacular. Between us and the front is some lagoon, then a moray of gravel and then a complex system of little rivers flowing down from the big waterfalls made up of water coming o
ut underneath this huge ice field at a big ice cave. Just amazing! We want to walk there a bit tomorrow - no worries, far enough so that no ice will ever hit us should the glacier calf throw down ice.
I don't think I can sleep tonight, have to watch all the shades of light here. This is THE most beautiful anchorage in all these 6 years of traveling. Sorry, it just kicked Caleta Beaulieu (Patagonia -Chile) from its gold position, although that was spectacular and the view in the morning with blue sky and sunshine amazing.
Soso happy to be here. No wave, no wind. Just flies and mosquitos and the sound of the waterfalls - and some eagles.

19.07.2018

Prince William Sound

So we made it to the famous Prince William Sound (PWS) after a wonderful time in the Kenai National Reserve where we visited nearly all glaciers. We couldn't be more lucky these days. once e arrived here, the clouds lifted and moved away. Glassy water with little swell in the evening sun welcomed us and PWS put on a special show for us: feeding humpback whales. I got to shot "THE" photos. May favorite ones in a long time. Sorry bears. But feeding whales, with their mouth wide open and ever detail visible in the picture, is just AMAZING. Never had I seen feeing whales before. We watched them for a while, until they probably stopped. I am so thankful I bought a bigger lens for Alaska. I use the 300mm a lot, sometimes even with an extender to make it 4540mm. That's the maximum you can hold by hand.
So that evening was special. Next morning I was able to take a picture of a salmon jumping. Now that's a rar chance as well. boy. Today i got sea otter with a little one on top. And Marcus already caught two salmons. So ever since we got here, we've been eating salmons.
The fun part is, that because we're trawling for salmon, we're going really slow. This allows us to enjoy nature even more. Yesterday we were sailing so slow and quietly, that a sleeing otter did not hear us come. We did not know until we were really close if it's an otter or a tree in the water (there are many floating logs here -next to all that kelp). When that cute little bouncing thing was at the hight of the bow of Alita and about 5m to the side, he opened his eyes and was so shocked by the situation he immediately rolled around, flapped in the water and dove down. Oh poor guy. Sorry to have scared him. But we really couldn't tell, even with the long lens. But his reaction was so funny we laughed for a while.

Today we passed whale bay with no success in seeing whales and then drove up Icy Bay. Yes, there is lots of ice, coming from two glaciers. And there are some quite big ice logs amoung them. We had read that the bigger one of the glaciers, Chenaga glacier, does a lot of calving of biigger chunks, even real icebergs. And that it can be impossible to enter the bay as there is a tighter pass to it where all the ice gets stuck in specific currents. And once you're in, it can happen that the ice closes then and you have to wait for a couple of days to get out. Well, we got in well and it started closing a bit, but the chunks were not soooo big. I was not scared, in the worst case i would have taken the dinghy and pushed the ice away. But I understand that Marcus worried a bit and did not want to stay in there too long. So after a short round within the ice limits we drove tooutside the ice line (but still inside the bay). Our feeling told us we're about half a mile away from the gl
acier. Until I flew my drone. I gave up after one mile and turned around. The glacier was still far out. I guess about 2,2 miles from our position. but it already looked so biig. There were lots of seals on the ice chunks and it was fun filming them with the drone and with my camera. Also I love the picture of seals on a chunk of ice with the big glacier in the background. Knowing that the distance from the seals to the ice front was still about 3/4 of a mile away makes the ice even more bombastic. Too bad we did not drive up to the ice today, but we have done it already twice at other glaciers and did not want to risk anything with the ice today. The others did by far not have as much ice around them. Not until right before them.

All anchorages here are CALM. I don't even feel I am on a boat. But that's also because of our super calm weather. No or little wind. And because the anchorages here are super protected. Like in Patagonia. What I love is that we do not need land lines here! Yay.

So long, we keep on enjoying our senstational time in the land of high contrasts with super white and blue glaciers and rich green landscapes.

Ah, I almost forgot: we saw our first black bears. I even got a picture this morning, although it was far away. Cute litte thing. Very shy.

11.07.2018

Airplane incident

Two days ago, it was a day where the rain just kept pouring down, we peacefully remained at our anchorage. Late morning a waterplane came in, landed besides us and drove to the beach. You have to know we were in the middle of nowhere, in one of the Fjords, by far no town or no other person. We were wondering what they are doing, especially as the started drifting. When the drifted by Alita I sent Marcus to ask them iif they need help. So the men drove over bit the two young guys said they are ok, just waiting for better weather. That was an interesting response considering the weather report let us only hope for a very short period of no rain the next morning. But the boys could not wait. About 20min later they started the engine and flew away towards the mountains, but they did not make height. About 30min later I happened to look out of our window and I saw this plane driving by on the water really close. They circled us, trying to communicate because their radio on board
does not have the boating frequency. Marcus stepped out (still in pouring rain and no sight) and they asked us for fuel. Unfortunately we just had little Dinghy fuel, but that was better than nothing. Two young boys in their and 20s or early 30s had either not planned their trip right or any other problem. They had no money on them, no food, just a bit of water. We tied them to our Dinghy (as a fender inbetween) when Marcus gave them fuel and I offered them something to eat. First their eyes widened in hope of food but they responded they had not much money (15$ as it turned out. I went downstairs, grabbed a bag, put two apples, two bananas and a bag of chips in it. Oh they were so happy. We did not take money as they would need it if they ever made it to a town. They were going to fly along the coast over the water instead of the short way over the mountains. I hope it worked. We have their phone number and will call once we can- just to check how the story ended. These guy
s were soaking wet. I hope all went well. It was very funny to have a little airplane tied to Alita's stern..

08.07.2018

Kenai Peninsula

So we made it to Kenai Peninsula two days ago late in the evening. We had a beautiful sail over from Afognak Island in good wind, blie skies and sunshine. Arriving at Kenai we entered thick fog, which in the meantime changed to rain and thick clouds. We're in this beautiful area full of glaciers coming down but we can't see them. We got a glimpse of "Split Glacier" yesterday as a very small part of yesterday's fog opened at the glacier for a while. But now the weather is really bad and as it looks now it will be for a couple of days and we don't expect to see anything even until we get to Seward to deliver our guests.