Our plan was to get a very early start for our crossing of icy strait to Elfin cove to ensure that we had the strong (>3knots) ebb tide with us. That meant for a 4am departure. I awoke at 3:30am to find thick fog. I decided that although a wait for the fog to lift would mean a much longer journey this risk of travelling in fog with possible icebergs was not sensible. We do have radar but I am sure the bergs would not show up on the screen particularly the smaller bergs.
So it was that we departed at 7:30am with the last of the ebb tide with us to the mouth of Glacier bay. a large humpback whale performed for us, slapping his fins and tail and breaching quite close to the boat. We lingered for a while taking in the display.
Once we exited Glacier bay the waters became significantly more turbulent. Our speed over ground dropped from 7 knots to 3 knots and our course over ground was almost 90 degrees to our heading. It could be a long day. As we were battling the strong currents throwing us from port to starboard I spotted a fast approaching boat. The dammed coast guard again! They came within 20yds of us and realsied that that they had already inspected us, they did a sharp turn and sped away leaving a large wake which made our already unsteady journey more difficult. Not very clever for a coastguard.
I decided to take a southerly route which passed Lemesurier Island which might give us some protection from the currents. Sure enough our SOG and COG improved as we passed the east side of the island. When we sounded the southern tip of the island we managed to get some back eddy. The wind picked up and we decided to raise the sails. We were making good time and would be at South Indian Pass in time for slack water.
We rounded point Lavinia on Chichagof island and headed towards the village of Elfin cove. It looked like the government dock was full and we approached for a closer look. There could be enough room just in front of a fishing boat but it would be a tight squeeze. Let’s give it a go. We went in and with the help of some people on the dock we managed to squeeze in with about a foot to spare at either end of Sarita.
Everybody went ashore to explore this pretty boardwalk village. After a week in Glacier Bay it was time to do some laundry and stretch our legs. Steve and Sandy went for a walk with Ben and Amber and we chatted to some locals who were sitting on a bench on the boardwalk who told us of what it was like to live in Elfin cove year-round and of the history of the place.