Waking up on a boat at anchor is a lovely experience. The gentle rocking, cool air and quiet mornings are the perfect way to start a day feeling refreshed and at peace. As we left Dundas Bay, large mud flats were exposed by the low tide. Sea otters floated on the surface, turning their fuzzy heads to look at us as we passed. The very bottom of the nearby glaciers were visible this morning, but the peaks were hidden in cloud. Misty clouds hung low and the water was glassy except for the ripples from light raindrops and our passing boats.
We hadn’t been underway long when we were surprised by orcas! Their forceful exhales broke the stillness of the quiet morning. They surfaced multiple times only feet from our boats. It was a small group of transient killer whales. These whales travel in family groups of typically 5 or less. They are stealthy hunters, and their prey consists of marine mammals such as seals and porpoises.
It was a windy, wet day out on the water, and we were happy to be able to cruise from our comfortable heated cabins. At one point the fleet had to slow as a humpback whale passed in front of us, no more than 50ft off our bow! It is incredible to see these large animals at such close proximity. Discovery managed to catch some more fish near Point Adolphus. By early afternoon, we arrived at Excursion Inlet.
We cruised to the back of the inlet, where another humpback was feeding. Gulls circled noisily overhead trying to get in on the fishing. Steep, green mountains rose sharply from the water, and a stream emptied into one side of the bay. We rafted all six boats together in order to easily enjoy our last evening together. We had the anchorage completely to ourselves, however as we sat on board, we noticed movement on the beach. Our first bear sighting! We watched as the medium sized black bear foraged for food along the beach. We were able to observe him for about 10 minutes before he ambled back into the woods.
Everyone cooked up their remaining provisions and we had a delicious feast on Deception. It was a great way to conclude the trip. Dining on great food and drink, and enjoying one another’s company. We were able to swap stories, insights, and photos from our journey together. It is hard to believe that our trip is already coming to an end, but we aren’t back to civilization yet! We will be enjoying our last night out in the wilderness of Alaska.