July 5th, 2016
We are at sea and the great adventure has begun! Captain Ted on Hele Mai led the fleet off the transient dock just before 8 AM. We passed the seiners in their slips and wove through the tenders anchored off the three fish processing plants. The outfall from the Trident Seafood plant fed at least 2,000 glaucous-winged gulls, all noisily contending over a bite of breakfast. The whole of Cordova seemed to be powered by fish!We saw perhaps a couple dozen sea otters, some eating, some sleeping, and most unconcerned by our presence. Mom otters with a pup riding aboard or splashing joyfully alongside were particularly cute.
We found a couple of big Steller’s sea lions hauled out on one of the green entrance buoys, and small groups of harbor seals basked on every other rocky beach. We even got a brief glimpse of a stealthy harbor porpoise. It was a pretty good day for mammal viewing.Almost everyone found a smaller boat to play in as soon as we anchored in Beartrap Bay. Sandy and Jay kayaked the calm waters of the bay just inches from the hundreds of chum salmon that had returned to spawn. The rest of us puttered around quietly in the dinghies. It was exciting to see more than a dozen bald eagles that had come to feast on the spawned out salmon. They perched in many tree tops all around us.
Jodi and Randy on Koa Lanai arrived in Cordova early to do a little fishing at the Orca Lodge. Their success formed the foundation of a halibut-centered pot luck for the entire fleet. All the boats contributed a dish, but It turns out that, just like Cordova and the eagles at Beartrap Bay, we are powered by fish, too!