2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 8 Leg 4 | NW Explorations
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2021 Alaska Flotilla – Day 8 Leg 4

Explorer Basin to Halleck Harbor

Our resident Explorer Basin humpback was back for another short show off Deception’s starboard side  this morning. A mini tail flick was all that could be mustered in such a tight space between shore and the boat. Thea was off and running for the elusive halibut and Arctic Star, Eldean and Exact all headed out to Chatham for a sequel to the Bubble net feeding whale show of two days earlier. Konrad and Lea of La Vida were on their own adventure over in Red Bluff Bay.

Mark from Bonum Vitae was scheduled to fly out on a float plane at 10:00am so Deception decided to remain anchored until we were sure Mark’s plane arrived. The pilot was right on time and it was entertaining to watch him land in the harbor. Gratefully the resident whale was not in the vicinity any longer. David gave Mark a dingy ride out to the plane, Mark got in and the plane took off right over Eldean. Now we have only the “Brothers-2”.

As Deception and Bonum Vitae departed the basin, we spotted 3 orcas, including one male with a very tall dorsal fin, feeding at the mouth of the basin. We rejoined the rest of the fleet and we all headed north for Halleck Harbor on Kuiu Island. There was a bit more chop but humpback viewing was still possible so we enjoyed the journey with the added entertainment.

Halleck Harbor is situated in the northeast side of Saganaw Bay. As we neared the limestone cliffs, we all cruised close to shore in search of a pictograph of the sun that was reported to be there. We didn’t see the pictograph, but the limestone cliffs were absolutely beautiful! The cliffs were draped vegetation; Kinnikinnick, Indian paint brush and bluebells clung to the steep walls. The base of the cliff with riddled with shallow caves at the water line. The scenery beckoned to be explored further in kayaks!

After everyone was anchored, Tom, Nancy, Rick, Cheryl, Floyd and Jane ventured out to get a closer look at the caves. In the kayaks we were able to take our time and paddle into the little inlets and even into a few caves. As we marveled at the sheer size of the cliffs and enjoyed photo-ops in the caves, we noticed pigeon guillemots nesting in the cracks. As we headed back, we took our time along the shoreline looking at different species of sea weeds, colorful sea stars and we even saw a black bear on the shore.

Thea returned with news of catching 4 halibut! Two they kept and two others were “barn door” sized, too big to fit in their already over-sized net or in their fishing boat but they did get pictures! John and Gail on Arctic Star also caught a large halibut. Generous fishers supplied the entire fleet with dinner. Thank you Thea and Arctic Star!

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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