For most of our crews the rainy start to our lay day in Elfin Cove meant sleeping in and having a leisurely morning. Not so for the intrepid fishermen off Eldean and Thea who headed out around 6am for their fishing charter with a local guide from Eagle Charters. The rest of us spent the morning cooking up elaborate breakfasts and relaxing onboard.
By late morning, the rain had slowed and the crews of Exact, Bonum Vitae and Arctic Star joined us for an excursion out to George island. The clouds were lifting and we began to get some mountain views. Elfin Cove is perched on the edge of the Pacific and the scenery is rugged, wild and stunning. As soon as we landed on George Island a humpback whale surfaced right offshore in the small cove we were in. It was incredible to see the whale from this vantage point and see the massive size of this beautiful creature.
A short hike on George island lead us passed small coves and beaches, through lush moss covered forest and to a WWII cannon. The island had been a small outpost during the war looking out at the open pacific and keeping a watchful eye on the water. We spied a couple of humpback whale spouts on the way back and took a detour over closer to them. As we drew nearer we witnessed two full breaches as the whale launched itself from the water and did a 360 twist before splashing back with a boom.
Once back at the boats we greeted the fishermen who returned triumphant from a great day on the water. They pulled in five king salmon, two large halibut and a lingcod. All will be eating well for a while! The weather continued to improve and the mountains just kept growing larger as the clouds lifted. We stared in awe as the 13,000 ft peaks of the Fairweather mountains came into view. It felt great to shed our rain gear and soak in the sunshine.
We all enjoyed a wonderful evening onboard; content after a full day and grateful for the nice weather. Another humpback whale swam right passed our boats on the dock in the evening light. We all gathered at the end of the dock to watch as it swam out of the harbor. The line between civilization and wilderness is very thin here in Alaska. It’s an amazing feeling to be so immersed in this incredible environment.
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