Under welcome sunshine and clear skies, guests have settled into their perspective boats. The boats are all located within close proximity, providing opportunities meet each other on the docks and at the orientation meeting. Surrounding Petersburg, bare rocky spires flanked by ice and snow fields provide a scenic backdrop as eagles perch atop pilings and a large male sealion swims through the harbor.
Leaving Wrangell Narrows, a large red buoy draped with seven sea lions provides our first wildlife sighting while underway. They look blissful as they rest their heads on their friends back, eyes closed and a smile on their face. The water is calm, and the clouds are low-lying but above it, the bright blue ice of both La Conte and Paterson Glaciers can be seen hanging on the mountains as we start our journey north to Snug Cove.
Arctic Star, La Vida and Thea all reported humpback whale sightings with a few whales right near their boats! Black and white Pigeon Guillemots keep us entertained as they try to lift off by running across the water with their red feet. Chubby, dog-like harbor seals pop up their heads and watch us with their big, dark eyes as we pass through their territory. Nearing the outer islands of Snug Cove we see white shell beaches with harbor seals of all colors from silver to black, brown and spotted, hauled out on the beach. They are so well camouflaged that it is difficult to distinguish them from the rocks.
The small islands in the fog have dramatic rocky shores topped with thick mats of green, brown, and gold moss. Witch’s Hair lichens hang from the Spruce tree branches lending a bit of a haunted look. Shortly after anchoring and rafting, Trey, Kim, Bennett, Nicole, and Jane all go kayaking up to the head of the bay. Nicole took a detour to each boat as she delivered the cookies she had baked while we were underway.
Rocky outcroppings, similar to those we passed on the way in, are at the head of the bay like gates to the many creeks that flow from the forest. Pink salmon jump out of the water in what resembles frisky play as they que up to enter the creeks once the tide returns. We paddled around for a while and then decided to get out and walk around to stretch our legs a bit. Bennett stopped by a local crab fishing boat to chat with the fishermen. They were cooking up some crab for dinner and offered Bennett a bag of cooked, cleaned crab. They were happy to talk to him and show him a live Dungeness crab since he had never seen one. We returned to our boats and the Bonum Vitae crew added the fresh crab to their grilled steaks for surf and turf. Tomorrow we will continue north in Fredrick Sound and on into Stephens Passage as we make our way to Tracy Arm Cove.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org