Sunday, June 8, 2014
Day 2 - 3: Eight Fathom Cabin
Mr. X got a good sleep-in and I read and wandered around the island. After a late breakfast of oatmeal, we set off toward the Eight Fathom Bight six miles up inlet. Mr. X really wanted to find water and I somehow convinced him that we should just head to our destination and we'd find water along the way.
Once we landed on the beach, I set my priorities: food in cabin, boats secured, then gear. Mr. X set his: outhouse, more water. He set off with the bucket to find a stream near the cabin, I handed him the bear spray. We unpacked, laid some things out to dry and then set about starting the stove.
Thankfully someone had left kerosene in the reservoir and Mr. X got the stove started. We read in the cabin log that they stove is terrible and everyone wishes they would switch to wood. We never got a "blue" flame, but we were able to get the cabin up to 72 degrees, eventually.
I wished we would have brought popcorn and marshmallows for entertainment, but we didn't want to have to carry them through bear country, so maybe next time.
We enjoyed our morning at the cabin watching the whales come back for more herring and three sitka deer on the mud flats.
We learned that there was a water source up the trail from the cabin, but we definitely agreed that the water from the creek was sweeter.
Eight Fathom Cabin was built using "Recovery" money in 2010. The Forest Service hired a local wood mill, Icy Strait Lumber to provide the wood and kit, and the cabin was fully assembled in downtown Hoonah. Then the cabin was barged to Eight Fathom Bight where the cabin was carefully unloaded and placed on the foundation. It was amazing to see the pictures of them sliding the cabin off the barge and onto its foundation. It's a solid building.
In the early evening, Mr. X started packing up. With the wind that we had had getting to Eight Fathom, he was concerned that we would have trouble with the rest of the trip and the ranger had said that Tenakee Inlet is often worse weather-wise because it's straighter than Port Frederick. As a result, Mr. X decided we needed to leave one high tide early...which is how we ended up doing a "midnight assault" on the portage.