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Old 11-18-2020, 12:59 PM   #1
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Calling SE Alaska Cruisers

I was talking to a fellow cruiser about the 2021 season. He suggested two places I have never been. These are located south Chatham Straits.

Bay of Pillars

Mist Cove

Mist Cove is straight forward and no worries. Bay of Pillars no so much. Lots of charted and uncharted rocks, hence the name Bay of Pillars.

Has anyone navigated the narrows?

Tried to post this with a print screen. I was unsuccessful.........

However here is the link on Active Cap't

https://activecaptain.garmin.com/en-US/pois/57276
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:25 PM   #2
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We've anchored in Bay of Pillars but haven't all the way back in. Anchored about 1/2 way in behind a larger island at 8 fathoms, 59deg, 37.000N-134deg,12.073W. There is/was a lodge located in the bay. Caught some nice size halibut while anchored-40-60#.

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Old 11-18-2020, 01:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tator View Post
We've anchored in Bay of Pillars but haven't all the way back in. Anchored about 1/2 way in behind a larger island at 8 fathoms, 59deg, 37.000N-134deg,12.073W. There is/was a lodge located in the bay. Caught some nice size halibut while anchored-40-60#.

Tator

Thanks. Just so happens the owner of the lodge are the folks that visited us a few days ago.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:54 PM   #4
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Tom, Pillars is also on my list. Douglass has a good write up on that inlet. The chart looks rocky as hell to get all the way in, but pretty easy before the choke point. As mentioned, that area should be really good for fishing. I'd guess few boats go there.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:57 PM   #5
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Been through the narrows.
It’s long and dosn’t look at all like a channel at all. We anchored about mid channel at a river mouth so of St Johns Bay. The narrowest part is frequently choked w kelp especially in late summer. I was a little concerned going through but all was well.

Haven’t been to Bay of Pillars But nearby is Tebenkoff Bay. A number of guys at Thorne Bay talked up Tebenkoff Bay and made fishing trips there when they could. And then talked forever about going back.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:03 PM   #6
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Tom, Pillars is also on my list. Douglass has a good write up on that inlet. The chart looks rocky as hell to get all the way in, but pretty easy before the choke point. As mentioned, that area should be really good for fishing. I'd guess few boats go there.
When you look at the entire area Tebenkof Bay and others in Lower Chatum Strait looks like a fun area. The seas can be rough in the strait with SW swells.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:27 PM   #7
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Went thru in 2016, was going to anchor up and check narrows in skiff, but as I got close a Nordic 46 had pulled his hook and headed thru, I followed him but stayed to the left thru the first part and mid channel thru the rest. Lots of Otters, and Black Bears. Interesting place not to scenic.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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Another similar trip I want to make in good weather is to leave Sitka and head down the lower west side of Baranof. Have you been down that way? Good weather is the operative term, and the size of the ocean swell rolling in. In the fishing I've done from Cape Decision down the outside to the Noyes Island area west of Craig, summer ocean conditions there can be pretty benign or awful, but almost always with a SW swell of some size.
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:54 PM   #9
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Looking for a quiet spot, about 7 years ago went in and anchored in the NE end of the main Bay of Pillars at high tide. Plenty of water, only one tight spot. The next day at the high tide I took my shore boat, went thru the narrows and sounded a path for the big boat. I went all the way across the inner bay and all the way to the end of the south arm. I could have taken the big boat to the end, but it wasn't quiet enough for me. Too many boats. In the narrows, the tightest spot was about 50' wide.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:06 PM   #10
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Just looked it up, nice find!
How long do most take to get there from say Anacortes ?
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:37 PM   #11
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We've spent a bunch of time in Tebenkof as well a Bay of Pillars. Also dinghied through the back channel into the back bay. As others said, lots of otters.


We really liked Tebenkof, but beware in both areas that the soundings data is 40-50 years old in many areas, and well over 100 years old in some. Check the notes on the charts to see for whatever areas you plan to visit, and proceed accordingly.
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Old 11-18-2020, 10:00 PM   #12
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We have been in all the bays on the west side of Kuiu Island several times. We spent one night in the back of the Bay of Pillars in the fork to the south. I don't recall any problems going in or coming out as the Active Captain comments were pretty accurate, but I think we did it around slack tide. At the head of the bay is a short trail with an old marker on it that leads up to an old logging road. We only went east on the road and got to the upper end of Port Camden. Rowan Bay has access to the logging roads on Kuiu Island also. The logging roads are about the easiest way to take a long hike or better yet bike ride if you carry one on the boat. Tebenkof Bay has so many places to anchor I think you could spend a week there and never anchor in the same place twice. South of Frederick Sound swell heights to increase as you head south. We have done the trip around Cape Decision several times and as you get south of Port Malmesbury you could see the direction of the swells switch around to the west. We've been to the Coronation Islands a couple of times and have had to endure short period swells on the starboard beam. Last summer we bailed into Port Malmesbury for two nights when the forecast and actual conditions didn't match. 15 and 3 became 25 and alot.

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