With only 20 miles to go today we enjoyed a late departure from Stag Bay. Our crews were out and about early fishing and exploring in their dinghies. The water was perfectly calm and the reflections of the surrounding mountains were crystal clear. The fish were biting this morning, but most were small rockfish which we threw back. The Bonum Vitae crew and Helayne from Exact all went for a morning kayak. In the kayaks, we could cruise in close to shore in the shallow water. We floated along in the incoming tide looking through the clear water at the fish, kelp, and jellyfish below.
We had a beautiful cruise today, with the mountains of Chichagof Island poking through the misty haze. As we traveled, we had multiple great bear sightings along the beaches. Both times we saw two large brown bears feeding next to one another in the sedge meadows. We also had lots of good sea otter sightings, including some females with their pups on their stomachs. A small portion of the day was exposed to the Pacific Ocean. The swell was calm today, and we admired the rugged shoreline and many sea stacks and rocky cliffs that had been eroded by the sea.
Arriving in Elfin Cove, we were happy to find the outer dock empty with plenty of room for all six of our vessels. Once tied up, our crews headed out to explore this tiny town perched on the edge of the water and connected by boardwalks. The town sprang to existence with the commercial fishing industry in the Gulf of Alaska in the early 1900s. It is a very well protected harbor within close proximity to some of the world class fisheries of the Pacific. Today, the town is still used as a stopping point for commercial fishermen but has also developed into a tourist destination for those seeking the Alaskan fishing charter experience.
We had a nice visit to the well-stocked little general store and souvenir shop. Some of our crews decided to try out the restaurant that was offering to-go options. The report was good for the fish and chips! A walk along the boardwalk trail to the inner harbor lead us through lush forest with rushing creeks and an assortment of garden gnomes staged in an array of funny poses. Back on the dock we watched a humpback whale swim around our harbor and surface within 20 yards of our boats!
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