2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1, Day 13 Alexander Inlet to Aaltanhash | NW Explorations
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2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1, Day 13 Alexander Inlet to Aaltanhash

Today was a whale of a day! We traveled from Alexander Inlet to Aaltanhash, a 36 nautical mile journey that was chock full of active wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

From sheer granite cliffs with countless cascading waterfalls tucked along tidewater cracks everywhere we looked, to Dall’s porpoise riding our bows and playing in our wake, there was rarely a dull moment through Princess Royal Canal.

As the passage narrowed and the tree lines crept closer, the vibrance of the forests were captivating. It was incredible to see the massive waterfalls exposed as we rounded corners, and with our binoculars we made a fun game out of tracing these falls to the melting snow or lakes that fed their flow.

Getting closer to our next stop along our route to Ketchikan, we find ourselves among a mother and calf Humpback Whale playing in the waters close to shore right outside our anchorage! How lucky are we?!

The mother whale presented a very impressive scar above her dorsal fin and boasted discolored scars all along her back that made for a bittersweet viewing. These scars showed resilience, and they also made our minds wander around the idea of what kind of encounter could have caused such an injury.

It was beyond an honor to throttle back and spend some time with these two astounding marine mammals. Her young calf came a tad offshore and spun around between our vessels, waving its pectoral fins in the air, and rolled belly up, swimming close to the surface for some time. Waving our own hellos and goodbyes we fell back into line and made our way into Aaltanhash.

Stern tied and home safe, we all celebrated and smiled at the fact that tonight was our first full fleet raft! Bringing everyone to the bow the lead crew rounded the neighborhood in our dinghy and snapped a really neat picture of our flotilla family so happy and so silly next to their loved ones, there is nothing more we could ask for.

Every day we grow more and more thankful to be sharing such an experience alongside such an astounding group of people. Tomorrow, we will make our way to Bishop’s Bay hot springs and spend a lay day soaking in the warm waters and enjoying each other’s company with a “block” boat party BBQ! Until then, thanks for reading 🙂

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