2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1B, Day 8 – Lowe Inlet – Kumealon Inlet | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1B, Day 8 – Lowe Inlet – Kumealon Inlet

We left Lowe Inlet in style, and as the fleet untied the raft, raising anchors with muscle memory, we got underway with ease. By now, after many mornings of routine coffee and breakfast, line tossing, and falling into our formation, we look pretty good doing it. Following our lead, we reentered Grenville Channel and continued northward on our journey into Kumealon Inlet.

Leaving our anchorage, we said goodbye to the black bear who kept us company throughout the night and caught a glimpse of it revisiting the shoreline. As it meandered onto the tidelines, we watched it munch on another meal of grasses and scour for intertidal marine creatures.

Lowe Inlet was a fun place to call home for the evening and it’s exciting to know that as we continue our journey, we will be stopping in a few more popular and protected destinations, offering environments of conserved wilderness, and both rich cultural and natural histories.

The fog began to set in over the steep peaks and our day transitioned into a shockingly beautiful intermittent overcast. The clouds draped along the mountain sides like snow, and the whites vibrantly highlighted the many shades of green. Exploring within and around rainforests offer the ability to witness color tones shift so quickly from direct sun exposure dissipating to a hasty cloud cover. It’s quite an astounding sight, and hard to replicate. These are the type of moments that make the most impact when you get to be present for them.

Our 28 nautical mile cruise flew by us and finally strolling into Kumealon Inlet was a breathtaking sight for the entire fleet. From stunning islets to remnants of old growth forests, it was powerful to see the shores of the inlet presenting its resilient healing through visible new growth and dense biodiversity. With anchors dropped and vessels tied up, we all shared our thoughts and excitement about how this anchorage felt like one of the most comfortable and beautifully remote destinations we’ve experienced yet. Readying our kayaks and launching our dinghies, we were prepared to investigate the inlets winding nature.

While kayaking along the shoreline, low hanging cedar branches created nooks and crannies of openings under the forest canopy that felt like a fairy tale. Sneaking our kayaks into these alcoves, the low tide allowed us to inspect the exposed rocks for unique minerals, resident creatures, and robust vegetation. Mink and river otters scurried around us, all while harbor seals watched from a distance.

Kumealon is known for its phenomenal lagoon, varying in accessibility from fluxing tidal ebbs and floods. As water moves into the inlet, it then creates a waterfall flowing into the lagoon a few feet high, forming powerful currents. On the contrary, as the flood switches to a receding ebb, the lagoon cannot empty quick enough to keep up and the waterfall reverses its flow back into the inlet. Seals and other marine critters will stand by waiting for fish to catch in the white water and a chance to pounce on meal.

A few of us poked around and anticipated entering the lagoon as the tides were shifting, watching the waterfall inwards slowly even out as the tide slacked. Timing our entrance perfectly, we paddled on over to the other side, excited at our opportunity. The lagoon was a lot larger than we had expected and the time we spent in there felt very energetic, incredibly worth the wait and all our logistical planning. The clouds sat high on the mountains as blue skies teased through, the silence so loud that every bird call, splashed kayak paddle, and animal noise seemed to ring around us with an echo.

Back at the vessels, crew cleaned up and places were set for dinner. It’s such a great feeling to hunker down with a smile on your face, knowing that these experiences we are living through are quite unique and full of nothing you could expect out of an ordinary adventure. With the raft and our anchored vessels all secured for the evening, the setting sun cozied us all into our unwinding’s for the night. Tomorrow, we cruise into Prince Rupert, our first docking since Shearwater! We’ve greatly appreciated the ability to stay remote for these periods of time, rafting and spending close time with our fleet, but we are all very excited to step foot ashore and take in all that the seaside town will have to offer.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Email us to reserve your spot on our 2023 Mother Goose AK Flotilla. charters@nwexplorations.com 

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