We had a pretty good trip. Okay, awesome trip. First day was cloudy and cool but the rest of the time was sunny and warm. It was a new experience figuring ways to cool the boat instead of trying to stay warm. We were even able to shower on deck in comfort!
Prince William Sound is spectacular. Glaciers, mountains, generally protected waters and a huge area to explore. The wind is fickle and sailing can be a bit frustrating...but you can't have everything.
Navigation takes a bit of concentration. There are many islands, rocks, passages, ROCKS, channels and rocks. We had a bit of a faux pas in that we failed to bring the chart of the area. I wasn't super concerned, I have two GPSs plus a laptap with chart software. I prefer to have a paper chart layed out for the big picture, but wasn't really concerned. Yeah. We were motoring north up Long Channel headed to Barnes Cove in Drier Bay. Short trip of 10 miles or so. Did I mention the rocks? I had the chart zoomed in close so as not to hit the rocks but managed to miss Drier Bay. Oh I saw it, I even took photos of it...just didn't realize it was our turn. After a bit I'm thinking this is seeming to take too long....zoomed out on the chart to see we'd overshot the bay by 4 miles. Oh yeah, I'm embarrssed. I've flown light aircraft from Alaska to the lower 48, I've flown VFR around the lower 48 twice and not once have I made a nav error. Sheesh. Next stop is the chart office for some paper!!
We used a popular cruising guide to find our way around and get hints on anchorages and points of interest. It was very helpful to tap someones local knowledge of the area. One anchorage required us to cross a glacial sill, channel 200 yards wide and still 15' at low water...but you have to be careful of chart depths because of the uplifting that occured during the '64 quake...things aren't always as they appear. We got across the sill in 18' of water and spent a glorious night in Humpback Cove. The next day as we left I had the admiral follow our GPS track out...theory being we didn't bump coming in, should be ok going out. As she eased us across the sill I'm on the bow and see this big rock only covered a couple of feet pass about 15' to starboard. Never saw it on the way in.
For those interested here is a link to some photos of the trip.
And here is a link
to a kml file that shows our route in Google Earth.