Raven Bay , Unalaska Island

It is good to be here. It is 0400 hrs and dawn is well underway. A sparrow sang and a frog croaked. There is even the odd mosquito. We finally motored into the entrance to Raven Bay mid afternoon yesterday, Tuesday June 25th. The approach was prolonged as we sailed along the south shore of this island in gusty winds varying from nothing, in choppy seas, to 35 knots. But it is a spectacular place. Our first sight of the islands was of snow covered volcanoes. Now here we are anchored in this small alpine lake. The anchorage is a little enclosed bay just to the west of the main bay. Our position at the moment is 53 28.37 n 166 53 w snugged up to the north end of the pool with two shorelines. It should be just visible on Google Earth The weather was sunny yesterday, and it is looking the same today. But even so, williwaws are gusting from several directions, down the gully behind us, and straight down the 800′ cliff that starts from the water 75′ from our starboard side. This bay is about 400m by 150 m and is entered through a very narrow kelpy passage winding among rocks, but with plenty of depth. Greg Soroka on Alcidae III told us of this place in a radio conversation we had on the second day of the gale. It is very reminiscent of any alpine lake, above the tree line. There are no trees. But the grassy tundra is fully green. There some alpine peaks nearby, still with a fair amount of snow on them. As we entered the pool, a little rodent that looked like a ground squirrel raised the alarm from a nearby grassy ridge. The lupines are blooming. And of course, because it is an alpine lake, the tufted and horned puffins are plentiful. Ha. Koos went for a kayak paddle in the evening, and I went to bed at 8 pm and slept deeply for 8 hrs. Beauty. What about that passage from Kauai to here? It was very unusual, in that there was a LOT of motoring (164 hours in total, that’s SEVEN days!) mostly in the first 2 weeks. Then we rode out a gale for 3 days. It took 22 days and a few hours in total. ( Despite all that motoring, in theory we still have enough fuel to get to Dutch Harbor, maybe even enough to pump out a few liters for the heater. I shall look into the tank this morning to make a guess at the reserve.) Then we arrived at a very different place. This looks like a great place for foot exploration. We’ll probably leave here tomorrow or Friday and take 2 or 3 days to get to Dutch Harbor, around the east end of Unalaska, via English Bay, where Cook anchored ( where didn’t he anchor?). Imagine the exhilaration we felt to enter this peaceful CALM green place with birdsong, with the fresh memory of the gale’s chaos and uncertainty.

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