Point Nowel Cove

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Sun 26 Oct 2014 04:26
Position: 60 26.39 N 147 56.52 W
Moored Point Nowel Cove
Sea: calm Swell: nil
Weather: calm, overcast at times, sunny patches, cool
Day's run: 24 nm

At seven a.m. I got up and had breakfast so that, as soon as it was light enough, I could get Sylph safely under way. Sunrise is at nine, with plenty of light by about eight thirty, so by nine thirty I had all lines inboard, the anchor home, and was motoring out of the placid cove with the dinghy in tow. First of all we made a short detour of five miles over to Cordeva, a village which was abandoned after a 9.2 earthquake caused a massive tidal wave in the Sound, back in 1964. There was not much to see, an old church in ruins, largely overgrown, and a couple of newer looking buildings nearer the foreshore. Apparently the area remains off limits to visitors, presumably because it is considered a grave site, and a sign on the beach says, “Property of Chenega, no trespassers”, but being so close, I could not resist having a quick peek.

Curiosity satisfied, I returned out to the main channel of Knights Island Passage where we found a little wind to which I set sail and shut down the engine. The breeze was light and from the north, a head wind, so progress was slow, but I am in no hurry and, while the weather is getting cooler, the sailing is still pleasant. We saw our first bit of ice today, small bergy bits just off the south eastern point of Chenega Island. Presumably they originated from some tidewater glaciers further up the bay.

We tacked back and forth up the channel until three thirty, when the wind disappeared completely and left us drifting. I started the engine and motored for an hour, and at four thirty dropped anchor in an unnamed cove just inside Point Nowel. Once again, rather than rely on the anchor holding on the rocky bottom with only limited swinging room, I have taken a couple of lines to trees ashore. I am expecting it to remain calm overnight but I figure it is best to get into good habits early so as not to get caught out when conditions deteriorate as they undoubtedly eventually will.

There is a shack on the eastern side of the cove, with a large red flat bottomed dinghy hauled up on the shore, but I can see no sign of activity, and as it has gotten dark no lights have appeared, so I assume that for now it is uninhabited. I was tempted to investigate, with the sounds of banjos strumming in my head, but by the time I had secured Sylph it was getting dark, and dinner was beckoning.

A light north westerly breeze is forecast for tomorrow, so I will try to make the most of the mild weather while it lasts. My immediate goal is to try to get to Harvard Glacier, about fifty miles from here, marking the northern most navigable section of Prince William Sound. On the chart the glacier looks very impressive. From there I will head for Cordova, which from all reports is worth a visit. I will then wait in Cordova for a favourable weather pattern to make a break out of Prince William Sound for Yakutat.

No bears.

All is well.