Sunday, July 31, 2011

through south inian passage to shaw island in idaho inlet

after a tasty breakfast cooked, served and cleaned up by our guides...loved that...we got off to the inian passage. these are a few pictures of me taken by valerie morris...thank you val! below i was doing sand angels!

the inian passage is apparently a pretty challenging area for paddling. i think i was so overwhelmed by the abundance of wildlife we saw that i didn't notice how fast our boats were being taken by the currents and tides. our guides were pretty serious and asked us to keep paddling despite our desire to settle in kelp and get out our cameras. luckily val snuck hers out a couple times. if you make an error in this passage it is pretty nearly impossible to correct it. strong eddies and currents will take you far off course quickly and paddling against that powerful current would wear you out very quickly. i could see the need to get through this in a timely fashion.

while we were in the inians again we ran into all those sea lions we'd seen the day before playing in the currents. i guess that passage can get some impressive wave action as well. lucky for us it was pretty calm despite the speed of the current. if you missed the tide though at that speed paddling would be hell. i thought halibut cove and china boot seemed challenging..ain't got nothing on this place.

after we paddled through we made our way to shaw island for a lunch break before crossing idaho inlet to find our next camp for the night. above is scott on shaw island.

another fine meal prepared by the guides. tanya, sandra and val partake.

we kept expecting the weather to make a turn for the worse and it kept surprising us.

enjoyed taking some fun kayak/scenery pictures.

didn't wake up early enough today to join gail on cross pass. just keep staying up late and just couldn't get myself moving. did walk both dogs in the bog, no bear sightings and then went ahead and headed to girdwood. missed the hike but it still seemed like a good idea to be on the road. took both dogs though and we hiked the other, non hotel, end of winner creek. it was just a mile to the hand tram so we went to that point and turned around. not taking a blind dog on a hand tram over a very fast running creek. ran into several folks from work. always fun. girdwood is a popular weekend getaway from anchorage, summer or winter.

those sponges became a topic of conversation. here you would just use them to sop out your boat if there was just a bit of water. when scott and i did our first paddle trip out in misty fjords in ketchikan we were instructed that we may need to use the sponges to pee in in our little kayaks. really don't think i could manuever myself out of all those clothes in order to pee in a sponge in a kayak. in misty fjords the mountains go straight up from the water and there is often very few places one could actually pull a kayak for such things.

camping and bathroom details are never a favorite. one does what one must in order to be out in this amazing wilderness though. we nicknamed the one beach that we hiked to "turd beach" as it was designated our restroom. one wonderful aspect of using the beach is that we often could see whales swimming about as we utilized the facilities. we decided we should all get t-shirts made that said, "i took a dump with a hump". potty humor happens on all camping least all of the ones i go on. hehe.

yes, no outhouses to be found. our last camp actually had a pit toilet which seemed a luxury.

but lets not digress from the beauty of the day!

my strawberries and rasberries are starting to ripen. if i can get to them before the birds and moose do i'll be happy. the rasberries go crazy here, actually, i didn't plant these, they grew over from my neighbors. no berries on our paddle, but they seemed to have an unending supply of apples.oranges and cheese. lunch that day i think also had this salad made with smoked halibut, apples, peppers and a little mayo i think. we all loved the smoked salmon and got tanya to purchase us all some in gustavus as they stayed most of tuesday.

mine is in the freezer. need to get it out and use it. tanya brought me a nice salmon too. they went dipnetting i think last week. people love thier salmon up here. we were memorizing the different types of salmon and thier various names. king is also called chinook, red is known as sockeye, pinks are humpbacks, silvers-coho's, chums are also known as dog salmon. with sandra along this became a game...king starts with k, chinook ends in k. if you get socked in the eye it turns red,, i won't go there, it's a public blog. wouln't give your ho gold. dogs are my chums, or chum/thumb.

embarrassed to say i haven't fished myself since i moved from ketchikan. it was just so much easier, cheaper in ketchikan. everyone had boats, you just went, no crowds, no hassle. up here they have alot of what they call combat fishing. you are out there with so many people and tourists. just not as relaxing in my mind. as my friend kelly says, it's often cheaper to just go to new saguya and buy the fish you want to eat that night.

we did see lots of fish out there jumping. when we didn't see any humpbacks breaching we saw salmon breaching, sea lions breaching and even herring breaching.

got loads of pictures of sandra. these were always taken upside down and over my head so sandra would just direct me til i got it lined up...then snap.

these are just of us getting started on that first longer paddle through inian.

the guides ended up in a kayak together. so that is adam and monica there.

water was flat and calm, just how i like it!

settled in tonight and watched "JFK". it's a long movie and i'd never seen it before. i saw the one "bobby". i knew there were several conspiracy theories about jfk and when i was in dallas once my brothers took me to where he was killed. there were people with tables set up still talking about the conspiracy theories. i think i may have fell asleep a few times, but not too long. overall it was interesting and good. jsut saw the bones episode about that as well so kinda funny to see them both over the same weekend. hard to imagine that many people being involved in this conspiracy and it never coming to light, but sadly, it's not hard to imagine the government being involved. the records don't get unsealed until like 2029 or something, of course, records are often doctored anyway. doubt that will clear anything up.

not a day of dilly dallying, but we managed to get some in anyway.

erica and alex decided they were ready to ride together.

bob and tanya wait with us while everyone gets loaded and on the water.

did enjoy camping on george island, beautiful place.

all that gear has to go in those boats...that first load up is always a bit time consuming. after that it's more organized. sandra and i carried most of the food and our boat was probably the heaviest one out there. only the two blue boats had the center storage area.

a bit of the sea life before we left george island.

sea anenomie above, which apparently can live for decades, maybe more according to the national geographic i was reading on the plane out.

above is a chiton.

look like seals out there.

not sure what we are all looking at. val and scott and our guides monica and adam

these two pictures are from val's collection. thanks again val. there were actually 3 humpbacks cruising along pretty close to us as we paddled through south inian passage. they weren't actually all that close, but they look huge when you are on the water in a kayak. this was probably the closest we got to whales while on the water.

it was definitely sensory overload that day. along with these humpbacks we were surrounded by many sea lions as well.

back to my pictures...we also saw several seals and otters.

wish i could have just stopped and taken pictures, but we really had to be serious paddlers for these few hours. some memories will just have to live on in your mind.

suffice it to say that i'm extremely happy that we were able to add george island and the inian islands to our visit. it was definitely a highlight. all that wildlife in such a small area was a sensory feast for all.

hopefully, i can get my act together these next few days and enjoy some more alaskan scenery. everyone is predicting an early winter this year. the fireweed is crazy right now and fast approaching the tops. they bloom upwards and it's said that once the blooming hits the top you can expect winter in 6-8 weeks. or is it 6 or 8 weeks. can't remember...soon though. there are already some minor changes, some leaves have started giving it up.

it's 1am already so if i have any hope of waking up at a decent hour i'd best get to bed.


  1. LOVE that top picture of you! Gaw-geous!

  2. thanks...i keep waiting to wake up an old lady one day. thankfully, my eyesight is getting worse as i age. hehe!