Red Bluff Bay--we finally made it!
Updated: Jan 18, 2021
After all the effort we made to get to Red Bluff Bay, it was a little anti-climactic. First, cruising the 20 miles or so, from Patterson Point to Red Bluff was incredibly benign. Particularly after the tumultuous waters we had endured just two days prior. The water was flat, and it was foggy—lots of fog!
As we approached the entrance channel, we could not see the infamous ‘Red Bluff’ on our arrival. It was enveloped in the fog. The channel itself was quite pretty. We navigated around the islets near the entrance, as we entered. We saw the area of the old cannery, and passed an epic waterfall. As we approached the anchorage at the back of the bay, there was only one boat there. It was a 150’ or so mega-yacht. We anchored in the nook we had planned on and enjoyed the fact that we had actually, finally, made it there.
The Douglas guide book says that Red Bluff Bay is ‘the most spectacular combination of mountains, waterfalls and icefields in Southeast Alaska.’ After the effort to get here, we were a bit disappointed that we could not see the mountains, or the icefields due to the cloud cover and fog. We had a great view of Bear Meadows, and the large stream at the south end of the bay. We tendered out to the stream at high tide to see how far we could go, but it was not too far. The stream was quite shallow. (I tried again, later at low tide, rowing in the red tender, but I really struggled with the current).
We also took the tender out to the large waterfall. It was spectacular, and when you
approached you could experience the waterfalls' misty microclimate.
The next morning, we saw bears in bear meadow. That was quite a treat!
Shortly after that, the mega yacht pulled up anchor and left. We were alone for a couple of hours, then decided, with the weather looking ok today, but getting rough again for the next 5 days, that we would like to get a bit farther north. Maybe, we would even see other people and get some cell coverage.
So, shortly after noon, we pulled up anchor to head to Baranoff Warm Springs. As we exited the bay, still in the fog, we were hailed by another mega yacht entering who saw us on AIS. We coordinated our departure with their entrance, and saw them briefly from a distance through the fog.