Anchored off Mt. La Perouse in Dundas Bay

Sea otter Inside a glacial cave at Reid Glacier
Go to Home Page



Cruising Southeast Alaska: Dundas Bay West Arm


Porcupine Bay was our last stop on the west side of Chichagof Island--we would spend the next week in Glacier Bay National Park. We still had two more days before we could enter the permit-only portion of the park, but we planned to spend a night or two in Dundas Bay first. (Dundas Bay is in the park, but is outside the restricted area.) We weren't really sure what to expect there, from either an anchorage or a scenery perspective, but the area turned out to be excellent on both measures. (Map of area.)


We toured Ilin Bay on our way out of Porcupine Bay. Thousands of salmon swum in tightly-packed schools and jumped constantly. In the picture at left, several fins are visible above the water.
A thick fog settled over the area as we approached Lisianksi Strait. We saw no other boat traffic, but this float plane was barely above the water surface as it flew beneath the cloud cover.
Our first glimpse of the fabulous mountain views in the park. This is looking over Brady Glacier to the Fairweather Range. 
The fog cleared as we neared Dundas Bay. The passage through the main arm passes by many small islets and extensive mud flats, with mountains visible in the distance. With calm seas and a blue sky developing, we had a relaxing cruise up the bay.
We weren't sure whether to take the west or the east arm. We could see reasonable anchoring depths in a small 3 1/4-fathom section in the west arm, so we decided to try there first. If we didn't like it there, we'd try the east arm. As we neared the head, any doubts about choosing the west arm disappeared when snow-encrusted 10,756-foot Mt. La Perouse came into sight.
Yes, I think we'll stay.
The scnerery to the south would be notable in any anchorage besides this one. But nothing could compare to the view north to Mt La Perouse. 
The river off the head was flowing swiftly enough that Dirona was pulling back hard on the anchor. But the current slowed considerably during our stay to almost slack the next morning. The crew of Sea Spirit told us later this likely was due to an ice dam that had built up-river and broke.
We we able to work a ways up the river in the dinghy, with depths of 8-15', but practically had to plane to make any way against the current.
We finished the day with a glass of wine on the bow. We just couldn't get enough of that mountain view. 
Click for more pictures 

                                            [Up]                    [Previous]                     [Next]



Last updated 2010.11.06