A coastal itinerary

Day One: Sitka offers many good accommodations and we highly recommend staying at Ann’s Gavin Hill B&B on the nights preceding your charter dates. Don’t forget to check out the amazing Totem Park. Singawing awaits your arrival at two P.M.  From the industrious fishing docks we will depart and begin our journey into the wild country.  A short ten mile trip into Krestof Sound will bring us to our evening destination of The Magoun Islands.  Sit back and relax as the crew prepares the first of many mouth watering meals.

Day Two: In the morning you will awake to the smell of fresh baked cinnamon rolls. Singawing will get underway as soon as the guests have enjoyed a walk around the island. We will be headed through Whitestone Narrows that lead us into Neva Strait.  After rounding Scraggy Point we will begin to feel the influence of the Pacific Oceans swell.  Soon we will be safely anchored in Kalinin Bay.  From the back of the bay we start on a beautiful hike out to Sealion Cove on the ocean.  From the cove, sea lions will abound on the surrounding rocks, their barking only rivaled by that of the sound of crashing surf.  Watch for eagles as you eat the bountiful picnic lunch your crew has created.  After the walk back to Singawing we will hoist up the sails and reach to the north out of Salisbury Sound.  Tonight we seek refuge from the open Pacific in Klag Bay.

Day Three: Waking up in Klag bay presents decision time.  This morning you will be confronted with choosing from more amazing activities than one has a right to in a life time.  We can visit one of two incredible lakes (Anna or Sisters,) we can explore the Myriad Islands whose coastal shores are teaming with aquatic and avian wildlife. Or we can hike high on Hill Island and witness whales plying the rolling seas.  Perhaps kayaking amid a multitude of different animal species is on the agenda or maybe you would enjoy a spirited sail on the open Gulf of Alaska. Whichever activity you choose we can spend the majority of the day as our next destination takes us only a short two hours traveling north up the coast.

Day Four: Having awakened once again to delightful aromas from the oven, your eyes will gaze through the portholes to the beauty of Mirror Bay, so named due to the calm mirror-like surface of the water. After breakfast a quick row or paddle will bring us to a board walk.  An easy one mile hike will allow us to rest our sore bones from the previous day’s activities in White Sulfur Hot Springs. When maximum relaxation has been reached we will return to Singawing for a Dungeness Crab Feast.

Day Five:  This morning we cruise into Takanis bay to enjoy breakfast surrounded by the impeccable beauty that Alaska has to offer.  Upon visual satisfaction, Singawing will head south into Lisianski Strait bringing us to our evening destination in Stag Bay.  The 3000 foot peaks and ridges surrounding Stag Bay provide an authentic fjord experience.  Just a short dingy ride around the corner is the village of Pelican; with two bars and a restaurant this little town makes for a great spot to have dinner ashore.

Day Six: Today the crew will arise early as we’ll cover the second greatest distance of the cruise.  Feel free to sleep into the sound of our twin diesel engines. Those early risers will be rewarded by organic freshly brewed coffee along with other treats as we meander through the narrow and impossibly high cliffs and ridges of Yakobi and Chichagof Islands.  After two hours we will round Column Point and enter Cross Sound providing ample opportunity for a brisk morning sail.  Snaking our way through Three Hill, George and Inian Islands, be the first to grab for the binoculars. These shores team with wildlife including bald eagles, sea lions, puffins, porpoises and whales.  Crossing Inian Pass we enter the lee of Taylor Island and the protection of Fern Harbor, our destination for the evening.  Lunch will be served while we await the end of the ebb tide.  On the flood we can explore Taylor Island’s several sea caves, arches and a blow hole via our dingy, kayaks or the inflatable.

Day Seven: The seventh day promises to be the favorite.  Again the crew will wake up and get Singawing underway.  If the wind cooperates this day will be the best for sailing.  A broad reach, Singawing’s fastest point of sail will send us screaming through South Passage.  As every mile slides under our keel, Point Adolphus beckons nearer.  In less than three hours we have arrived in humpback heaven.  Only a little patience is required before these majestic beasts will break the surface.  Sometimes playing alongside 2000 pound stellar sea lions that look like toys, the calves may breach and frolic for hours.  If we remain long enough we’ll witness the magical bubble feeding for which these giants are revered.  The hardest part of the seventh day is heading for port. Tonight Singawing moors in the small but fun community of Gustavus where several galleries and gift shops offer souvenirs and good restaurants and café’s make this a great spot for our final dinner ashore.

Day Eight: Heading back out into Icy Strait once again, Singawing will be welcomed by more humpbacks and the occasional orca pod.  Once again we will raise the sails and let the wind carry us to our next destination behind Couverden Island.  And once again we will feast on fresh Alaskan aquatic delicacies by candle light under the northern lights. Tonight as you slumber, dreams of the past seven days will drift through your head; sleeping, you’ll experience the gentle rocking motion of Singawing, the sound of the rushing tide and barking sea lions outside of your port hole. Tomorrow marks the end of an adventure for this year but begins the planning process for next.

Day Nine: After a final delicious breakfast, Singawing will hoist anchor and head north around the Mansfield Peninsula, down the Saginaw Channel and, followed by begging seagulls, into our final destination of Auke Bay.  After a snack, taxis will take you to the Juneau Airport.  As the 737 climbs steeply to surmount the 4000 foot high peaks surrounding Juneau, gaze out of the window and attempt to recognize the bays, straits, mountains and islands that you have become so close to during the last week.  Don’t be too sad, you will be back!



A fjordic itinerary

Day one: You will find your yacht, Singawing, provisioned and ready to go in Auke Bay, just a short taxi ride north of The Juneau, Alaska airport. After departing the marina we will head south down the Gastineau Channel passing the bustling capital city waterfront.  Take one last look at society because you won’t see it again for eight blissful days.  As we make our way down Stephens Passage focus on the western shores as Admiralty Island has the highest density of grizzly bears in the world. This evening we will spend nestled in protected Taku Harbor under 2600 to 3700 foot peaks that rise strait out of the bay.  After a delightful fresh salmon dinner, as you sip on that single malt or favorite glass of wine, notice how incredibly bright the stars are this far from the light pollution of the lower forty-eight.

Day two: After a morning row Singawing will reenter Stephens passage once again heading south. Today depending on ice conditions we will head up the infamous Tracy Arm. This fjord’s steep rocky walls lead the way to the North and South Sawyer glaciers. At times when dangerous ice prevents Singawing’s entry, we will explore this area in the kayaks or our inflatable.  Surrounded by icebergs we’ll cautiously await the calving of the glacial wall.  Massive waves can be caused when two hundred foot tall sections of ice drop into the inlet, so it is important to stay at a relatively safe distance.  Any particulate that is suspended in the ice bergs or glacier wall probably became entombed in the time of the Roman Empire.  Toting a chunk of glacial ice back for evening highballs, we begin our journey to the Point Ashley and Wood Spit Anchorage.  After dinner while sitting on the deck, gaze up to the Sumdum Glacier as you sip your cocktail, remember the last time the ice chunks in your glass were in liquid form was 1500 years ago.

Day three: Today we head as deep into Endicott Arm as the ice will allow; our goal: Dawes Glacier. Some of the largest icebergs in Alaska can be expected here as this huge mass of ice regularly sloughs off building-size chunks.  When calving occurs, up to twenty-five foot-tall swells can majestically roll out of the inlet, lifting everything in the way including boats and icebergs.  Care must be taken to keep Singawing’s bow into these waves.  After a few hours of calving time we’ll head back out the inlet and turn right into Fords Terror.  If our timing is good we will meet the slack tide as we enter this unmatched, beautiful and isolated fjord.  Once inside the narrows, whose currents can flow at up to fifteen knots, have your cameras ready.  Several waterfalls tumble endlessly to their demise, black bears meander in and out of the forest onto the beach, eagles soar in the thermals created by the 5000 foot walls that border this amazing gash into the mainland. Having anchored in the west arm under a massive waterfall, feel free to take the dingy or kayak on a paddle.  There is no hurry as we can spend up to three days exploring this magical place.

Day Four: Fords Terror. Kayak, fish, shrimp, crab, relax, dine, row and explore.

Day five: Today we leave early and with the slack tide.  Feel free to sleep, in order to diminish the tears on deck as we leave Fords Terror. There is no reason for sadness, however, because during a beautiful down-wind sail we’ll have a great chance of spotting and traveling with humpback or orca whales. If we are lucky we might witness the humpbacks synchronized bubble feeding, a method of collecting schools of fish behind a circular wall of bubbles produced by multiple whales rising to the surface. Tonight, weather permitting dinner will be cooked over a beach fire on our Swanker, a German swinging barbeque.  The Brothers Islands offer a prime spot for an evening bonfire. Located on the north side of Frederick Sound at its confluence with Stephens Passage, this small island archipelago plays host to a myriad of wildlife and is ripe with exploration possibilities.  Save up your favorite camp fire stories, the crew loves a good tale.

Day Six: Today is no different from the last; a watchful eye on deck will spot another pod of whales.  By this time in the cruise, sea lions, porpoises and bald eagles are commonplace.  As we drift along side of breaching, surfacing, disappearing and reappearing humpback families, this five hour leg of our journey will seem too short.  After leaving our aquatic entourage we’ll enter the narrow gap leading into the cliff ridged Red Bluff Bay.  Anchorages can be found beneath two delightful waterfalls that drain any precipitation from thousands of feet above.  Binoculars are always available, and should be taken advantage of, as grizzly bears frequent the low land sections of this wild and beautiful bay.  Join the captain as he sets crab and prawn traps. Tonight, after fresh seafood smorgasbord, you can drift off to sleep, lured to dreams by the crashing waterfall just outside.

Day Seven: By this time, some may have developed sore muscles from all of the activities. There is no need to worry; today we’ll sooth our bodies back to the same relaxed state our minds have discovered. Just two hours north, lies one of Southeast Alaska’s greatest treasures.   One hundred and four degree Baranof Warm Springs sits directly beside the crashing drainage creek from Baranof Lake. It is easy to lose time and sit in these springs for several hours.  For those who wish to continue hiking up to the lake it is a short distance and well worth the effort.  Some passengers may prefer more of a domesticated spa-like pool and these are available as well.  Again this anchorage is also blessed with a dramatic crashing waterfall.

Day Eight: Continuing north up Chatham Strait, we have now put Admiralty Island on our starboard side.  Remember to watch for big bears scouring the rocky beaches for dinner.  To the port side a continuous barrage of wisp-like long waterfalls will greet us as we round every headland and point. Our destination today is Hanus Bay located on Peril Strait.  After dropping lines in the water for king salmon and halibut, Singawing will nestle in behind Point Moses.  For the eager among us an easy hike up to Lake Eva is a great way to spend the rest of the afternoon.  The predominance  of the color green painted everywhere by immense Sitka spruce, cedar, hemlock and fir trees will tomorrow give way to blue, as we easy our way through Serguis Narrows out into the vast Gulf of Alaska.

Day Nine: After running out Salisbury Sound into the ocean swell, we will for the last time see what the bountiful Alaskan waters can provide for tonight’s dinner.   As the last lure is pulled out of its salty bath and the poles are all stored, we will head into Kalinin Bay for our last night at anchor.  From this quaint bay with a wonderful view, a trail leads out to Sealion Cove.  This weather-beaten and wild beach reminds us of what happens here when the wintery winds return and all of the cruise ships and pleasure vessels have headed south.  The trees are shorter, sturdier and angled, braced against the prevailing wind direction.  It is hard to imagine the storms this craggily forest has witnessed.  Upon our return to the comfortable little ship that has been your home for the last week, cocktails, dinner, music and good cheer will cap off the evening.

Day Ten: With the last day of any cruising vacation sadness is experienced.  However, we encourage this day not to be considered as the last day in Alaska, but rather the first of many rewarding northern adventures. Today we will sail down Neva Strait through Olga Strait and accompanied by eagles and porpoises into the bustling seaside town of Sitka, Alaska.  Before leaving, we recommend checking out the totem park; it is truly not to be missed.  As your flight departs the Sitka airport and climbs over snow capped Baranof Island, gaze out the window and try to retrace the nine amazing days you had aboard Singawing.  See you next year!