A Sculpted Anchorage
Before long, a modest breeze sprung up on Resurrection Bay, and our destination, Thumb Cove, grew closer as we tacked toward it. Puffins and guillemots dived for baitfish, and an occasional bald eagle flew by after growing tired of dining on coho salmon. What had appeared as a dash of snow on the top of the coastal mountain range turned out to be a field of alpine glaciers that had carved several granite ravines, creating a massive natural sculpture that surrounded our anchorage. The sun was still fairly high, and I judged it was late afternoon by my built-in midlatitude sundial. But because it was summer and this was Alaska, late afternoon translated to about 1900. A few Seward-based cruisers already had their hooks down and were broiling salmon dinners on stern-rail barbecues, enjoying the sunlight as it accentuated new crags on some mountain peaks and backlit others. The breeze faded, and the afternoon chop soon settled, leaving the sea as flat as a millpond. We decided to forgo our usual post-anchoring ritual, drinks and hors d'oeuvres, in favor of a closer look at our surroundings, and this became our policy for the whole trip. As soon as the anchor was set, we'd put the outboard on the dinghy, grab cameras and binoculars, and explore another pristine anchorage. In fact, the remainder of our days afloat passed much like the first: a bit of motoring, some beautiful sailing, and an unforgettable anchorage with a backdrop that only Alaska can provide.