Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Red Bluff Bay

Most times when a particular place is described in the cruising guides, sounding too good to be true, it turns out to be exactly that, too good to be true.  This is one of the exceptions, a place even better than advertised.  After waiting many days for the weather to clear up, we finally gave in and headed out on a not so horrible forecast.  Chatham Strait turned out to be reasonable, some chop and some big ocean rollers but nothing too uncomfortable, and only occasional bouts of light rain to keep things damp and misty.
The "truth in advertising" starts right away as you approach the area, the high, rocky red bluffs being visible from quite a ways off.  To enter you thread your way among several islands before emerging into the outer portion of the bay.  From here you can see the red bluffs from the back side, as well as an impressive, high, wispy waterfall on the opposite cliffs, and the remains of an old cannery on the shore.  At about the half way point the bay narrows between the cliffs and then opens out again to the second part of the bay.  This is surrounded by high mountains, some with year-round snow fields, and a large meadow split by a good sized stream at the head of the bay.  Also in this second bay is a spectacular waterfall tumbling off the cliffs.  We saw quite a few brown bear, in the meadow, fishing in the stream, and along the shores near our anchoring site.  We also counted as many as seventeen bald eagles at one time feeding on the fish that were spawning in the stream.  The pink salmon were thick in places, we saws schools with hundreds of fish in many places in the bay.  There is a small cove at the head of the bay that provides good shelter for anchoring without obstructing the views of the stream and the mountains.  Overall one of the most impressive locations we have visited so far.

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