Anchored off Mt. La Perouse in Dundas Bay

Sea otter Inside a glacial cave at Reid Glacier
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Cruising Southeast Alaska: Dundas Bay North Arm


After the astonishing view to Mt. La Perouse in Dundas Bay West Arm, we didn't think the north arm could compare. But we were wrong--we liked the north arm even better. The head of the bay felt almost land-locked, with steep mountains all around. In the calm, glacial green waters, we felt as if we'd anchored in Lake Louise. Plus the area was rife with bluffs for a hike with a view.  (Map of area.)


The west arm was clear and sunny that morning, but a thick fog filled the channel between the two arms. We couldn't see either shore as we passed through. The tide level was around 3 feet, and the course requires a zig-zag around a couple of rocks and a half-fathom area, so we were careful to follow our entry path back out at dead slow with the fog horn on. We later learned that Lady Anne had gone aground on one of those rocks the previous year. The rock apparently is 138 feet from it's charted location.
The north arm looked promising as we neared the head. The fog was almost gone, and the mountains stood against a deep blue sky.
A sea otter doing a lazy backstroke seemed unconcerned at our approach.
The scenery was amazing, especially with such clear weather. Shortly after our visit there, we read in Sea Magazine that the GSSR had stopped in the north arm of Dundas Bay the year before. We can understand why Ken Williams described it as "one of my favorite anchorages in the world".
We love hikes with a view, especially if we can see the boat at anchor, and several bald spots in the lower hills beckoned. The northwest slopes seemed to have the best potential, and we soon had the dinghy ashore. The tide was low and going to rise at least ten feet, and flats extended a long way from the waterline. We carry a 50' and a 100' line to tie off the dinghy and used both that morning so that we wouldn't have to wade for the dinghy later on.
We found a well-trod trail near a creek along the northwest shore. The going was a little steep there, but open and relatively easy after that.
This is one of several good viewpoints we found along the way. We almost stopped here for lunch, but wanted to get a little higher still.
The last leg was steeper and through thick growth.
The view down the arm, however, was worth it. What a great lunch spot. The bugs up there also were hungry--we made heavy use of the bug repellant we'd brought with us.
The scenery behind us wasn't too shabby either.
In the distance we could see another boat approaching. We'd not seen another person or boat since we'd entered Dundas Bay. We stopped by to say hello on our way back to Dirona and met Ken & Diane out of Gustavas on Sea Spirit. They said they came here a lot, and had made the same hike we did a decade earlier. It was Ken & Diane who told us the current we'd seen in the west arm the day before likely was due to an ice dam breaking.
We had an afternoon snack on the upper deck in the sun. (Spitfire just loves nuts.)
When the tide was high later in the afternoon, we took the dinghy up the creek at the head looking for bears. The water was packed with salmon.
We didn't see any bears, but we did see fresh scat.
We then went on a tour of the rest of the bay. The day remained clear and windless. A light fog drifted in as dusk approached.
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Last updated 2010.12.12