Second Leg - Days 45-52 - Petersburg to Juneau
The main natural and man made features encountered along this stretch of the route include:
The town of Petersburg, Cape Fanshaw, Stephens Passage, Port Houghton, Holkham Bay, Taku Inlet, Gastineau Channel, and the city of Juneau.
Heading across Frederick Sound toward the Sukoi Islands.
Today I set off from Petersburg and started what would be a weeklong paddle to my next destination, Juneau, Alaska. After carrying all my gear down to the boat and loading it up, I was pushing off from the dock at 6:50am. The overcast sky was solid gray, and the air was chilly, but it was not raining and the wind was light, so conditions were good for paddling.
An iceberg in Frederick Sound.
I headed north in Frederick Sound and paddled diagonally across 6 miles of open water through the Sukoi Islands reaching Point Agassiz on the far side at 9:30am. During the crossing, I passed a hand full of icebergs that were the size of commercial fishing boats. These had drifted north either from the LeConte Glacier or south through Tomas Bay from the Baird Glacier. I carefully kept enough distance between the icebergs and myself in case one of them decided to flip just as I passed.
Stormy weather approaching.
After reaching the eastern or mainland side of the sound, I made my way up to Wood Point and the entrance to Thomas Bay. The bays entrance is about 3 miles across with Point Vandeput marking the northern tip at the end of a long peninsula.
Once past the imposing opening of Thomas Bay I started looking for a place to camp. The peninsula that forms Point Vandeput is mostly a long sand beach but the foreshore is composed of large barnacle encrusted boulders at low tide that makes it unsuitable for camping. At the head of the peninsula, near an opening to a shallow lagoon, I found a perfect spot to camp. After paddling 22 miles from Petersburg, I landed here at 2:35pm.
My campsite three miles north of Point Vandeput.
The lagoon here is shown as Dry Bay on topographic maps but is un-named on nautical charts. The shore is sand at all tide levels and big solid rocks high up the beach make a good spot to cook and sit back and watches for whales. This site was very buggy most likely because of its close proximity to the shallow lagoon hidden behind it. That obviously has not stopped other people from using it, as there is a large cleared camping area up in the trees that is well above the highest tides. It would also be a perfect spot to get out of high winds.
A seemingly endless parade of boats passed by offshore all evening making their way through Frederick Sound heading toward Petersburg and Juneau.