2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 9 – Tracy Arm Cove to Sandborn Canal | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 9 – Tracy Arm Cove to Sandborn Canal

Sandborn Canal is a beautiful narrow, protected inlet off Port Houghton with rocky shores with a wide protected estuary at the head of the bay. Flocks of gulls glided to-and-fro inside the estuary, beckoning us to come back and explore.

As soon as we arrived, I knew where the Thea crew would be headed once they anchored! Bob, Kim, Lynn and Dick from Bonum Vitae and Alix and Dave from La Vida joined Jane and Nicole for a walk on the beach towards the estuary. On our walk, we noticed Tiffany, Liza and Ben on the sandbar already actively catching pink salmon! Tiffany and Liza shared a high-five as they each caught a salmon almost simultaneously. There were so many salmon returning to spawn, Ben commented that they couldn’t help but catch them!

Karen and Bob from Arctic Star kayaked into the estuary and disappeared for a few hours. We had heard from previous guests that moose had been spotted back there so, in addition to the flocks of birds, the possibility of a moose sighting added to the desire to explore the estuary.

La Vida invited the entire flotilla over for drinks, appetizers, and socializing. We are a large group, but La Vida is so spacious that we all were able to mingle on different decks with plenty of room. A little later, Karen and Bob arrived on their kayak with big smiles on their faces and, although they had not seen a moose, they reported that the estuary was secluded and an extremely beautiful example of absolute, untouched wilderness.

During the gathering, Alix of La Vida shared her illustrated journal with a few of us… what an imaginative way to remember her experiences! She writes a few notes on what she sees, hears and learns each day and illustrates them in ink and watercolor. She gave me permission to photograph a page in progress and include it in the blog. Using needles that she brought with her, Alix weaved a beautiful, intricate basket and a lid with a pinecone handle. It is so perfect and a stunning example of what can be made from nature if you have the knowledge. It reminded me of the myriad of weavings created by the Tlingit People of this area to make clothing and baskets. Such a gift of creativity.

After a few hours of socializing and laughter, Henry organized everyone for a group photo. Later, Suzy explained to us all about “Clapping us home” which is Henry’s tradition after parties to clearly define “closing time.” We all boarded our dinghies and returned to our perspective boats before the last clap. Time for an evening meal and rest up for Thomas Bay tomorrow.

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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