We woke early to a foggy morning in Excursion Inlet. We were underway by 7am and cruising out into a beautiful, calm morning. The sun shone on the tops of the surrounding mountains, but a thick layer of fog hung low on the water. We navigated carefully through the fog, and once out of the inlet the dense cloud bank lifted and the sun broke through.
For most of the day we had partly sunny skies and calm waters. Salmon jumped all around us, and we passed the occasional sea lion, eagle and humpback whale. There is such an abundance of wildlife here that it seems odd to travel for over an hour without seeing a whale! As we got closer to Juneau the wind picked up and we found ourselves rocking along with the waves. Luckily, the choppy water didn’t last long and it added some excitement to our day.
As we neared Juneau, the boat traffic increased. Many sightseeing and whale watching boats gathered around the humpback whales that were surfacing and feeding. It made us extremely grateful for the experience of solitude and wildness that we just had. It is always difficult to end a trip and return to the “real” world. Here we are though! Most of us are already trying to plan for our next trip.
We fueled up and found a spot on the busy docks to park our boats. Then it was time to explore. The Patos crew took off for a tour of the Mendenhall Glacier, which is right above our marina in the mountains. Many crews opted to stay on board for the night and cook up their remaining haul of freshly caught fish. Others, walked up to the nearby pub to enjoy a night off and toast to a successful trip!
We return to Juneau with incredible memories and unforgettable experiences. We have also gained some great new friendships and so much knowledge. Each crew has learned a lot about their vessel, how it handles and how to navigate in these wild Alaskan waters. We could not have asked for a better group on this trip and I am sad to see them go. Each crew brought such a positive energy to the trip. The group continually impressed me with their kindness, enthusiasm, and patience. Wishing them all fair winds and calm seas! Until next time…