2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 1 – Petersburg to Snug Cove | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 3, Day 1 – Petersburg to Snug Cove

A spectacular start to our adventure! The weather is sunny and pleasant with light winds and calm seas as we cast off this morning from Petersburg, a quaint Norwegian town built on Mitkof Island at the northern end of Wrangle Narrows.

Within the first ten minutes after departing the harbor, we encountered our first wildlife… maybe not so wild… Steller sea lions hauled out onto the large red buoys that mark the channel entrance to Wrangle Narrows. It seems incongruous that those huge bodies could leap 3 or 4 feet out of the water onto the narrow buoy platform, but they somehow manage and it’s on a first come basis. Once the territory is staked out, they don’t make room for newcomers that swim around longingly searching for an opening and occasionally leaping up only to be rebuffed by the residents.

Within a half hour of departure, MOJO alerted the fleet to the first Humpback sighting shortly followed by Arctic Star announcing a blow as another Humpback surfaced. The Humpbacks kept us alert and entertained throughout the long eight-hour passage from Petersburg to Snug Cove. Thea reported seeing Pacific White-sided dolphins, highly acrobatic and inquisitive animals capable of somersaults, breaching and often keen to play in bow wakes.  Although they didn’t engage in our wake, they did show off a few leaps. Many of the boats in the fleet reported Dall’s porpoise sightings with their characteristic “rooster tail” caused by white spray that flows over their body as that dart through the water at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. They too, often play in bow wakes and hopefully we will experience this another day.

Anna, on Thea, is a keen birder. Today we saw plenty of Pigeon Guillemots with their white wing patches and characteristic bright red feet, a few Common Murres that quickly dove below the surface using their wings for propulsion and Bald eagles in flight. As we passed a tiny island with a white shell beach, two eagles demonstrated the difference between the adult and juvenile plumage of eagles. The adult with its characteristic white head and tail vs. the juvenile brown with white blotches. Once anchored, Ravens and Stellar Jays were spotted.

Following a long eight-hour passage, we were all pleased to enter Snug Cove for the evening. Once situated in the raft or anchored out, glasses of champagne jumped into hands on Koa Lanai  and, most likely other boats had similar experiences, consequently kayaking/hiking adventures would wait for another day. Gary set his crab pot and Matt went fishing and caught cod for tomorrow night’s dinner on Deception. It wasn’t long before we all settled in for a quiet relaxing evening.

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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