Point Baker AK
There are a number of places here in SE Alaska that are in the " Gem " status. Port Walter, Elfin Cove, Myers Chuck, Inner Angoon Harbor, Point Baker, Tennake Springs, Boca de Quadra, Rudyerd Bay, Fords Terror and perhaps the whole west coast of Baranof Island, which Iv'e never seen. Another of these gems I had'nt seen was Point Baker, at the northern end of Prince of Wales Island. Since it was on our home turf we droped our fall chores and went there. Since we can drive within 4 miles of Pt Baker ( on Port Protection ) we went mostly by road ( Suburban and 14' box trailer ) with sq sterned canoe and small OBs. Took us 3 1/2 hrs, 2.5 of that on chuck holed gravel roads. We were running a bit late so I pushed the speed a bit and still it seemed longer than I expected. The first engine wouldn't run well as it had been sitting on the deck of the Willard too long so had to switch .. took time. Mounted the 3.5 hp 4 stroke ( new ) and it ran fine .. shakes a lot and I hate it. We were to run through a very narrow channel so I stoped at the Willard and made a little chart on a scrap of of paper via the GPS. I had all the rocks marked and we went through without a hitch ( what ever that means ). The water was very clear ( unlike Thorne Bay ). We saw an amazing amount of sea life. Sea Anenomes ( white ) and HUGE starfish, many 6 to 8" dia without the legs. Point Baker sticks out sharply into Sumner Strait causing lots of tide rips and with the proximity of the ocean very high concentrations of nutrients are in the water. This is one of the few places where whales are ( in season ) almost always present and they were on this day. I love to hear them blow. The narrow passage was too choked with kelp to get through to the outside on the point. The store was closed ( owners went to town ) but chatted with several locals on the floats. These are true Alaska Bush people blemished only by thier association with the tourists that come there. They showed us thier fire boat ( impressive ) and seemed to enjoy our presence. The tide went even a bit lower on our way out but I was thankful as many of the rocks would have been covered at high water . The Baker folks told us the morrow was to be with 25 knot winds and it already was starting up on our way accross Port Protection on our way back. I went slower home but the ride was even longer. Must have burned $80 in gas but if we'd taken the Willard We'd have had to buck the head seas all the way home and not untill the next day. The Jury filed in, in my head, and I put Point Baker firmly on my list of Gems.
Thorne Bay AK