It is hard to leave the beauty and wilderness of Red Bluff Bay. Consequently, as we made our way out, I took one last photograph while passing the misty waterfall. Leaving the calm of the fjord, we entered the chop of Chatham Straight, more typical than the flat calm we have experienced up to now. It would be a short two hour crossing to Security Cove. We didn’t see any whales today, but a sea lion was just outside of Security Cove bidding us farewell.
While out in the chop of Chatham Strait, flocks of sandpipers captured our attention with their swerving movements and instant changes in direction that results in a dizzying, swirling, mass of birds making frequent and sudden turns as if they were all one. It is rather entertaining to watch them because their bodies are all oriented in the same plane and as a result, they almost disappear as they tilt laterally.
Once in Security Cove, the water was again calm and we were greeted by local sea otters curiously swimming and ducking under the water, only to reappear a few feet further along, back-peddling through and joining together to share a secret.
I spotted a sea otter hauled out on rockweed covered islet. I had never seen their entire body and I was surprised to see how big they are! Their skin is so loose around their short arms and fore paws. The extra skin accommodates “pouches” to store their food as they swim and hunt. Their loose skin made them look as if they were wearing oversized pajamas.
Pairs of tiny Marbled Murrelets weighing only 7-8 ounces bobbed along with their bills pointed skyward. They swam quickly away and then quickly jump forward, headfirst, and disappeared. Like so many others in this area, the tiny 8-ounce Murrelet, as well as the 30-ton humpback whale, all depend upon forage fish like herring, sand lance, and capelin to sustain them.
Once we all settled in for the day, Henry and Alix from La Vida stopped by in their kayaks to inquire more about the proximity of Halleck Harbor where there is a pictograph on the cliffside. We assured them that it was outside of kayaking or dingy range. Undaunted, with big smiles and keen anticipation, were on their way to another adventure to nearby islands within Security Cove, unfazed by the conditions in Tongass National Forest. Hey, it is a rainforest after all.
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