It was a beautiful clear morning in Petersburg as we cruised out of the harbor. The coastal mountain range on the mainland was just stunning this morning. The 9,000 ft, triangular peak of Devil’s Thumb that marks the US/Canada border was clearly visible. So were the large icefields that are the accumulation zones for the LeConte Glacier as well as some other smaller glaciers in the Stikine valley. As we cruised, the top section of the LeConte came into view and looked impressive even from our distance.
Out in Frederick Sound, we had some great wildlife sightings. We traveled through multiple pods of Dall’s porpoise that were feeling especially playful today. To our crews delight, the porpoises wouldn’t leave our boats alone and sped through the water alongside us for extended periods of time. They splashed and flashed through the water. We also saw lots of humpback spouts alongside the shore of Kupreanof Island, but the highlight was the pod of killer whales we came across! They appeared to be a small pod of transients. The male’s tall dorsal fin sliced through the water as he surfaced near our boats.
Admiralty Island, our destination for the evening, has the highest concentration of Brown bears found anywhere in the world. The typical range for a coastal brown bear is between 15 and 40 miles, yet here on Admiralty island the resources are plentiful enough to sustain one bear every square mile. As we were pulling into the anchorage, we saw our first bear on the shore munching away on the sedges. More bear were seen on shore as we anchored!
This afternoon the crews of Eldean and Arctic Star joined us on shore for a tour of the Pybus Point Fishing Lodge. The lodge hasn’t opened for the season yet, but the staff were there getting set up for a busy season. They were very friendly and welcomed us onto the grounds. We had a nice chat with the owner Scott, his wife Jody and some of the fishing guides.
Pybus bay is a well-protected cove with a beautiful mountainous backdrop and rich salmon stream that flows into the bay. The curved sides of the basin were still snow covered this time of the year, but tens of small streams of ice melt ran down the hillsides. Some high clouds rolled in for the evening and we enjoyed a comfortable night at anchor in this peaceful, scenic bay.
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