We woke to a cloudy, cool morning in Santa Anna Inlet. As we left the bay and began our cruise toward Berg Bay the scenery just kept getting better! The glacially rounded mountains gave way to taller, sharper peaks with deep snowpacks. Dall’s Porpoise and Surf Scoters greeted us in the channel. Not long after we slowed to watch a couple of humpback whales feeding along the shoreline.
After much debate over whether it was a bear or a rock, the Deception crew spotted the first bear of the trip foraging on the shore of Wrangell Island! It was a good-sized black bear. In the spring, black bears primarily feed on vegetation, like sedges, which have a high protein content. We were able to cruise in close to shore and watch as the bear grazed in the marshy grass.
Once in Berg Bay, we spread out and anchored individually for the evening. The crews from Eldean and Arctic Star joined us on shore for a walk through the forest to a large tidal marsh where the Aaron Creek empties into the sea in a wide delta that nearly empties at low tide. The flat, expansive marshlands extend to steep forested mountains still capped in snow. It is a beautiful, serene spot with buttercups, shooting stars, and marsh marigolds dotting the grasses. We didn’t see any wildlife but saw lots of moose tracks and a few large bear tracks.
The other crews focused on their fishing, crabbing and dinghy explorations. The Thea crew managed to get nine Dungeness crabs of keeping size within the first few hours of our arrival! Finn cleaned and cooked the crab on Deception’s back deck, and they had a crab feast for dinner. A drizzle picked up in the evening and we snuggled down for a cozy night onboard, safely tucked in away in this beautiful corner of the world.
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