Linnansaari

Linnansaari National Park on Lake Haukivesi encompasses 15 sq miles (38 sq km) of beautiful Saimaa Lakes scenery. Established in 1956 to protect the natural landscape of the Finnish lakeland, the park also is a habitat for the critically endangered Saimaa Ringed Seal. After a 68-mile run from Puumala through fabulous lake scenery, we anchored…

Headed North

Been a while since I’ve posted, but we’ve been doing a lot of planning and prep for a Summer trip up the West coast and through British Columbia to Alaska and back. We did this journey about 10 years ago on our old boat Seabird (http://sausalitoseabird…

Puumala

Puumala sits on a chokepoint in the Saimaa Lakes region—all vessel traffic must pass through the 1000ft (300m) Puumalansalmi channel to reach the towns and cities to the north. Spanning the gap is the 2,562ft (781m) Puumalansalmi Bridge, one of the largest highway bridges in Finland. And built into the bridge is the Saimaanmajakka observation…

Yin and Yang

Dora has been loving her time at the dog park with her dad. She is a very social dog who only wants to play, play, play with every dog that comes into the park. Recently she meet her yin to her yang, or yang to her yin, or whatever.The bottom line, the…

Irony –

In more ways than one —

— Good satire

Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa

Lappeenranta

Lappeenranta lies on the south end of Lake Saimaa, about 3 nautical miles from the Saimaa Canal and about 16 from the Russian border. The town was charted in 1649, when it was part of Sweden and an important port for tar. The Swedes built a fortress there in stages in the 18th century, but…

Misty Fiords

After a peaceful night at anchor in Bullhead Cove, we head north to the eastern entrance of Behm Canal. On this 150 mile exploration, we will circumnavigate Revillagigedo Island counterclockwise. The trip will take us into the heart of Misty Fiords National Monument Wilderness. This is the second largest wilderness in the United States encompassing […]

This is the Alaska I Remember

The last couple of years, it seems like the weather during our time in SE Alaska has been extraordinarily nice bordering on record setting. The recent stretch of weather during our travel from Ketchikan to Sitka has restored my sense of normalcy to the world.

2019-Cruise-060xAfter we arrived in Ketchikan on June 4, we decided to do a partial loop around Revillagigedo Island and hit some of our favorite anchorages along the way. We departed on June 6 and stayed at Yes Bay, Fitzgibbon Cove, Walker Cove and Klu Bay before returning to Ketchikan on June 10. We did some crabbing and prawning along the way, enough for some meals with more to go in the freezer for later.

We raced back to Ketchikan a day earlier than planned to beat a strong couple of fronts passing over SE Alaska (I read the dreaded word “atmospheric river” in one of the forecast discussions put out by the Juneau weather office). We were glad the slip we were assigned in the Bar Harbor marina was next to a purse seiner fishing boat whose heft protected us from 25 knot winds blowing across the channel,Tongass Narrows, running in front of the harbor. We were In the section that only had a floating breakwater for protection and not “real” rock breakwater barrier.

Devils Elbow RouteAfter about 36 hours of stiff winds, they relented and we were able to start the next leg of our trip towards Sitka on June 12. To cut a day or so off the journey, we took the most direct route through Keku Strait/Rocky Pass. Our first night out of Ketchikan was in bight outside of Red Bay on the north side of Prince of Wales Island and the second night was at an anchorage about a mile WNW of Honey Dew Cove on Kuiu Island bordering Frederick Sound.

2019-Cruise-066xOur destination for June 14 was Gut Bay but Marcia wanted to fish the mid-day bite in Chatham Strait along the east shore of Baranof Island. Her instincts were good and after about an hour of trolling, she hooked and landed a beautiful 25-pound Chinook salmon. To say she was overjoyed was an understatement.

The next day, we tried to see if “lightning would strike the same place” but to no avail and we moved on to lovely Takatz Bay. 2019-Cruise-079bwShortly after we anchored, rain began in earnest. The way the clouds threaded their way through trees and past ridges was reminiscent of our time in Misty Fiords during rain.

Fortunately, the heavy rains were not accompanied by high winds and Chatham and Peril Straits were not uncomfortable when we headed to Douglas Bay in Hoonah Sound. The next day, June 17, we ran 2019-Cruise-063xCanoe Pass next to Sergius Narrows, fished the north end of Kruzof Island outside of Kalinin Bay then headed to the cove outside the entrance to DeGroff Bay for the night (and more rain).

On June 18th, the winds and waves in Sitka Sound convinced us that fishing Viskari Rocks was not a good idea, so we took the protected water route through Sitka Harbor and the islands to the SW over to Biorka Island where we again fished unsuccessfully. We anchored the night in Samsing Harbor just a few miles south of Sitka.

Despite the leisurely start that morning, we were tied off in Sitka by 10 AM.  We’ll spend a couple of nights here before heading out on our slow journey to Juneau…

Saimaa Canal

The Saimaa Canal, connecting Lake Saimaa to the Baltic Sea, has long been an important commercial transportation route. The canal was completed in 1856 while Finland was a Duchy in the Russian Empire and was wholly within Finland after the country became independent in 1917. As part of the reparations for World War II, Finland…

In the Groove

Any time the Red Head crew stays at a spot for more than a few days they develop a routine. Their Baltimore routine is a bit different than ones of the past.

The first day here, Dylan, Dee Dee, and Dora walked to the Canton dog park. It’s a bit less than a mile each way. Dylan sat in the shade and then dragged most of the way back to the boat. Dee Dee was not behaving so her dad took her out for a walk.

The new morning routine is as follows. Up (early) for breakfast, a bit of play time, and a snooze. Around 8 am, Mom takes Dylan for a walk on the waterfront promenade, before it gets hot. He loves sitting in the air conditioning when he returns.

At 9 am, Dad takes Dora for a walk to the dog park. He returns with one throughly exhausted pup.

About 9:15 am, Mom takes Dee Dee for a walk on the promenade, using the one-on-one time to work on leash and other dog manners. She has never liked small dogs and while she won’t approach one, if she is approached it can be ugly. This has now spread to pretty much any unfamiliar dog. Hence, her dog park restrictions. Mom wonders if Dee Dee is feeling her dominance challenged by Dora. It’s hard to know what is going on in those little brains. Fortunately, she is improving and seems to like the special attention.

For the next few weeks we have a routine that seems to work for everyone.