Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 4 – Octopus Islands to Forward Harbour | NW Explorations
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Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 4 – Octopus Islands to Forward Harbour

At 0630 Captain Brian had hash browns, maple sausage, eggs over easy, and a fresh pot of coffee brewed for the crew as the flotilla raised anchor and began another beautiful day in Desolation Sound. I was a bit heart-broken to leave such a tranquil anchorage provided by the Octopus Islands, but with so much to many great places to explore it was time to be underway.

Each vessel kept tight spacing as we navigated through the narrow islands and their passages and proceeded Northwest through the daunting tidal currents of Upper and Lower Okisollo Channel. Our mechanic and navigation office Rich Fitzpatrick timed the fleet’s arrival perfectly so we had little more than a knot of tidal current making this stretch very simple and quite pleasurable.

All of the sudden I heard Captain Brian exclaim, “Well, that’s a first for me!” as he pointed out over our starboard side to a mountain goat who was grazing on a small isolated island in the channel. I didn’t think goats were good swimmers, especially in an area known for strong currents, but there stood our first wildlife sighting of the day, chewing on the lichen that covered the granitic rocks.

The weather was perfect. A cloudless, blue sky of a day with a gentle breeze that kept us cool, while temperatures reached the mid-seventies. We arrived early to our destination at Douglas Bay in Forward Harbour, giving everyone the opportunity to stretch their legs. I lead the group ashore through the old forest to a white pebble beach on the other side of the bay. There Doug, from Victoria spotted a harbour porpoise a few hundred feet off the beach.

Just before we dropped anchor, I baked some fresh cookies, which were a perfect aperitif to our hike in the woods.  Later, Jack and Jan invited everyone over to Patos for an ice cream social to share stories and relax after dinner. It has been a real pleasure to cruise with such remarkable individuals and I look forward to the many adventures we have yet to have together!

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