Another Misadventure

man standing next to boat on shore in Alaska

Scout dad Marc was in town from Juneau on business and stayed an extra day to go deer hunting.

I saved my honey hole for him, and didn’t hunt there til today. On the turn to the spot, there were about a dozen humpback whales.

It was another beautiful day. We offloaded our gear. Since the wind was calm and the tide near low, I just put the anchor on the bow, pushed the boat out, and pulled off the anchor.

We hiked all day – 4+ miles – and hunted some of the nicest country I’ve ever hunted, and didn’t call up a single deer until we got full circle back to the first muskeg we started in, and Marc called up a doe.

I staggered well behind Marc back to the beach. When I could see the beach, I could see the boat was beached. An onshore breeze came up, and although we got back in time for the boat to be floating in it’s original anchored position, the fine gravel bottom didn’t hold the anchor. We got back about an hour too late.

I immediately texted my neighbor the situation so he would not come looking for us. We were gonna be here awhile. I should have anchored the boat well offshore in the large kelp patch to be sure we’d have a floating boat upon our return. Pilot error.

I changed out from my wet clothes to the dry ones in the ditch bag. Then took an inventory of food. A jar of smoked salmon, two granola bars, tea bags and coffee, and almost 3 quarts of water, along with the coffee left in the thermos from the ride out today.

Low tide wasn’t for another 3 hours. Marc took a beach walk with his gun, as we had another hour til sunset.

He returned at sundown, and the temperature quickly dropped to about freezing. We put on more clothes as we needed them. The famous boat heater is out of commission til I get a new controller switch from Amazon. Of course it is.

We talked and listened to some podcasts from Marc’s phone. At low tide, I took the anchor all the way out to the waters edge and buried it, then tied the anchor rode tight to the bow eye shackle. I wanted maximum holding power so when the tide came back in, it would not push the boat further up the beach. In theory, we could pull ourselves out to the anchor once the tide refloated us.

Seven hours later, we floated and pulled ourselves out to the anchor. We went the long way home as I was worried about running into the whales at the entrance to the channel. The big moonlight on the water allowed us to see quite well looking out for logs and kelp. Like running somewhere at dawn.

We arrived at the boat ramp a little after midnight. Another misadventure for the memory book.

Subscribe to Mark's blog via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.