ALASKA: LEG 5 DAY 9 – ICY BAY TO YAKUTAT | NW Explorations
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ALASKA: LEG 5 DAY 9 – ICY BAY TO YAKUTAT

After a blissful night of sleep we got underway Tuesday morning and pulled back out into the gulf to find that yesterdays confused seas had transformed into more well ordered and regular swells rolling in from the southeast. The regular rhythm of the seas made for a more comfortable ride, while twenty knots of breeze raised a wind chop that made for some great views of the boats as they powered through  the waves and threw off great sheets of spray as they rose up to shake green water off their bows. Ajax and AnamCara, two of the more powerful boats in the fleet made the decision to increase their speed and were soon lost from sight as they cruised ahead towards the remote port of Yakutat.
Nature continued to surprise us, with sightings of a whale between wave crests and quick views of open-ocean seabirds jaegers, shearwaters, auklets, and phalaropes flitting closely over the surface. The shoreline drifted in and out of view in the mists and rain, offering glimpses of the forested foot of the massive Malaspina Glacier, an ancient edifice of Pleistocene ice that sits at the foot of towering Mount Saint Elias and spans more than 40 miles of coastline between Ice Bay and Yakutat.

We arrived and had all the boats tied up by late afternoon in the tiny marina surrounded by deep, primeval forests that stretch out in all directions for hundreds of miles.  Our neighbors here include a couple from New Zealand nearly done with their long round-the-world voyage aboard their nicely trimmed 60′ sailboat and a few small long-line boats in port between long offshore fishing trips. As with all the small ports of Alaska, everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming, and provides advice on spots to explore as we set out to walk the quiet streets of Yakutat and stretch out our sea legs.

 

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