Wednesday, July 27, 2011

off to george island

so you know you are in southeast alaska when you run across one of these...slugs! always loved these huge slugs in ketchikan. especially these spotted ones. very cool looking, don't you think?

just woke up from a nap. woke with a migraine at 4am last night. have been battling it all day and ended up calling out sick for tonight. hate calling out sick. especially for a migraine, seems like such a waste. i know it will improve given time and sleep, but when you are in the midst of one, you are kinda useless. mine isn't a job i can do in a funk. lives actually do depend on me. i know that sounds all dramatic, but it's true. i wouldn't want someone taking care of my family/friends when they aren't feeling alert and able. often for me the best thing to do is crash and hope it's gone when i wake up. still not myself, but much improved.

these are on george island. i believe this is called granite cove. the smaller adventure cruises stopped through here with zodiaks and kayaks a plenty. there is a trail here as well so many of them utilized that. we never crossed paths with these folks, but thier boats sat in the water of the cove. the fishing boats also used this cove. looked like the smaller boats came and offloaded fish here.

we just stayed one night here, but it was a lovely place to stay. it's not a large island. we paddled around it that evening after we set up camp.

tanya and i were with one of the guides. we'd taken the first boat out of gustavus. our group was divided into two boat and slow boat. that slow boat took forever. our boat first dropped another group off at point adolphus for thier 3 day stay out there. seems over 90% of the people who do these paddle trips have zero experience. i think they were all a bit nervous about thier first kayaking trip...and excited. tanya and i ended up getting off the boat at point adolphus to help unload stuff.

these are deer tracks above. the deer are tiny out there. i think they are sitka white tail deer? not sure, but they are a tiny deer..very cute.

we were so excited to take the trek through inian islands via boat. it really is an amazing area and i'm so happy we got to check it out.

tanya and i explored a bit on george island while we waited for the rest of our crew. i'm still not clear how it worked but i think the other boat couldn't actually land on the beach so they transferred stuff to the fast boat once they got closer. not sure where or when that happened. tanya and i were off wandering and when we got back to the beach everyone was there already.

the george islands are across from elfin cove. elfin is a tiny fishing village. we were hoping to stop by there and check it out, but we were beholden to the tides in south inian the next day and bypassed close and yet so far.

trying to load up on water...things that will exacerbate a migraine for me. stress, hunger, dehydration, femaleness, and irritating my winging scapula. this one was irritating the winger by way of gardening. stuff has to get done though so you just do it and deal with the consequences later. i'm not wealthy enough to pay others to do all my manual labor, but i do have the ability to call out sick when i've overdone it. i know that there are many others on this planet that can't stop for pain ever. thier lives depend on them moving and doing. i realize it's a gift that i can rest when i need to. when i have times of pain it does make me think of those less fortunate who have no options.

love the intertidal zones. george had some wonderful tide area's. sea stars, anenomies, barnacles....

tanya enjoys a moment of peace on george island

more stars

rain forest of southeast alaska. gets even thicker as you head down towards ketchikan.

did like the weather overall, the temperatures in southeast tend to be 30-60 F. 60's being the average highs in summer and 30's average lows in winter. if you don't like extremes and don't mind alot of may just be the place for you.

have a rainbow out here tonight. i remember seeing lots of rainbows when i lived in southeast. we didn't get that lucky out there the week we were there, but it's always a possibility there.

they looked to have newly built a nice little trail out here. it ends at an old wwII relic. an old gun. lots of that sort of stuff out on the aleutians but i hadn't realized any of the southeast was used in the defense mode. i knew that many of the natives from the aleutians were moved to southeast during that time period. many of them died in southeast. the nation was not very good to the natives in that time period. there was a great deal of hardship. a great little book is called "aleutian sparrow" by karen hesse. it's in poetic form but tells the story of her people in this time.

in 1942 the japanese attacked and captured kiska and attu islands. as a result of these attacks the united states government decided it best to relocate the aleut peoples. promises of return were slow in coming and often when they were returned they found their previous homes had been burned, ransacked and destroyed. alaska wasn't a state at this time.

though the united states had rid the aleutians of the japanese by 1943 most of the people were not allowed to return until 1945. they did allow many natives from the pribilof islands to return though, i believe this was because only the natives were allowed to kill the fur seals and the fur industry had some power. natives weren't actually native to the pribilofs but were brought there by whites to kill fur seals.

for those who stayed in southeast alaska many never left. it's said that 1:4 died from diseases. tb, whooping cough, measles, mumps, pneumonias. the natives were not kept in clean conditions and were totally unprepared to live in this damp environment. having visited both the aleutians and southeast alaska i can see how it would be a shock for one to make such a dramatic change.

but i digress.

the point being that wwII lives on in alaska. after our paddle we made the short trek from the beach to the remnant gun.

will post those later. i'm pretty slow at getting this all posted, but i like to get the pictures in and not miss anything. will have lots to post again when i'm done with this.

we really thought that slow boat would be much faster. took several hours before we saw our friends again.

this meant the hauling of some gear by tanya and i with our guide, adam. he set up lunch but we left the tents and all that for later. not sure what the plan was really, except i suspect adam also thought they'd all get here sooner than they did. guess thier boat was only running on one engine.

weather wasn't bad so we all seemed okay with lazing about.

we did linger a bit in the inians. the sea lions were a blast to observe. that place is just teeming with life.

wasn't quick enough with the camera and like i said video would have been great.

sea lions were everywhere and they booked it toward the boat and played and played.

our boat captain just bought this boat from the other guy in the slow boat and is taking over the taxi services. he'll do great, just getting started. he said he used to fish out here and loved to come to this area for lunch and just to watch these guys.

they really are entertaining. i'd give up an hours work for them anyday.

the seagulls kept trying to land on the backs of these active beasts.

we were surrounded! was a bit nervous thinking of these big sea beasts doing this around our little kayaks the next day....

loads and loads of sea lions out there and in the beardlee's the day before. obviously a healthy population.

does look like fun out there!

the various currents and eddies stir up the water and make food more available. these guys are right there to take advantage of it.

tanya and i went to kincaid for a walk. i cut it a bit short as i just wasn't feeling very good. sometimes getting out for a walk will help the knots dissapate. was telling her about this article in the paper about the police in norway and thier possible failures over the weekend with this guy who killed over 70 people. one wonders if changes will occur after this or if it will just be seen as a random incident where changes aren't necessary. norway has always been pretty chill it seems. the police don't all even have guns i guess. the longest a sentence can be is 21 years.

sadly, people calling from the island to report the killings were put off as that bomb had exploded and the police were busy with that. then they do have a helicopter but all those who can fly it had been allowed to go on vacation the same week, so they took a little skiff across to the island, the skiff was too full, started taking on water and lost the engine. it was like the keystone cops and the response to this tragedy was terribly slow. that whole thing is just so sad and the fact that it could have been stopped much sooner only makes it more sad.

seagulls and cormorants

sea lion on his back.

playing in the surf.

that gull is on a sea lions back. not sure what makes them want to do this. the sea lions don't seem to stay long enough, but they must have a reason.

i'm sure the sea lions leave some food behind and these birds are just at the ready.

their heads always look so tiny, then the rest of them comes out of the water and you realize how large an animal they really are. nothing compared to those humpbacks, but from kayak level it all looks way larger.

could have sat out there watching these guys for hours, just amazing.

you can see his little toenails


these guys are just racing towards the boat to play.

more breaching.

flying sea lion! does look like fun!!

i don't weigh nearly that much and i can't propel this body out of the water.

couldn't believe all the activity. very cool!

great start to the kayaking portion of our trip. i'm still so excited that we got to see the inain's...what an awesome place. try not to miss this portion if you get out that way.

kayaks loaded and ready.

nice flat calm water.

we leave our buddies behind.

this water makes me want to just paddle over. i think it's 8 miles from gustavus to point adolphus.

the inn keeper or our driver at the bear track took this of us. not my camera. not even sure who's it brain went blank. i believe it's bob and tanya's camera.

before we left flush i'm off to load up on more medications and hope tomorrow is a better day.

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