2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 7 Leg 5 | NW Explorations

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2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 7 Leg 5

Snug Harbor to Tracy Arm Cove

Flat calm seas and little wind last night made for another comfortable, quiet evening and well rested crews. We set out of Snug Harbor and as we neared the point we noticed an eagle in an awkward posture with wings held out to the side half unfolded as it attempted to dry out its feathers after what was probably a wet fishing event. Harbor seals were hauled out atop the algae covered rocks as flocks of surf scoters flew this way and that.

As we worked our way up to Tracy Arm Cove, common murres and the occasional loon floated and fed atop the glassy-calm water. We noticed our first icebergs far in the distance; a clue that our destination was nearing.

The Stikine Icefield feeds many of the glaciers that cling to the soaring Coast Mountains including the Sumdum glacier of Mount Sumdum visible through the broken clouds near the opening to Holkam Bay. The opening appears wide, but the terminal moraine left by the Sawyer Glacier during the height of the Pleistocene has but a narrow opening where swift currents flow through a channel marked by two large buoys. It should be two, but today we see the red can leaning over as the currents push past and the green can is completely submerged under the raging water! Mother Goose makes her way through the currents well within the range markers and as we turn into Tracy Arm Cove, we are greeted by a large, handsome brown bear on the point.

Ben and Matt’s senses are on hyper alert, and they make plenty of noise as they climb onto the banks, not far from where the bear was spotted, to set the stern line. Once the raft was complete and everyone settled in, the large bear lumbered back out of the trees. It walked directly behind the boats, across the stern lines, paused to smell the area where Matt and Ben had been minutes before, completely unfazed by the quiet crowd gathering to view him only 25 feet away. We all watched with intent enthusiasm as it made its way along the water’s edge to a nearby beach. It provided more photo-ops throughout the day.

A group of us, Eldean, Exact and Thea all went ashore to see if we could locate the beaver dam in the drowned forest behind the beach. The going was more challenging than it looked from the beach so we decided to head back. Later, the brown bear returned to a different near-by beach and Emmanuel, Abby and Jane kayaked in for a closer look. In the silence we could hear the bear grazing on mouthfuls of sedge grass, a seemingly unlikely food source for an animal armed with 4-inch claws and huge canines!

Bob pulled his crab pot and caught 8 3/8 crab and is giving Russell a run for his money in the gargantuan crab competition!

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Reserve your spot on our 2022 Mother Goose AK Flotilla today. 

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