2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 6, Day 4 Tracy Arm to Foot Island | NW Explorations
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2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 6, Day 4 Tracy Arm to Foot Island

The weather was sensational today as we departed Tracy Arm Cove on our way to Foot Island, a fair-weather anchorage. Athena joined us as we traveled over the moraine and Arctic Star decided to use the day to check out Ford’s Terror in Endicott Arm and meet us in Foot Cove later. Harbor seals were hauled out in various spots, easing into another beautiful day. In Fredrick Sound, Dad and son pairs, John and Jet and Chris and Sean on Athena stayed back to spend more time fishing. What terrific memories they are building with their boys!

While crossing through Fredrick Sound the remaining four boats happened upon a Stellar sea lion haul out. Most sea lions were sleeping in awkward positions while others were growling and bantering with each other. None of them were expending much energy, this was not a rookery with fighting bulls and groups of females, this was simply a summer haul out for resting before starting to fill their bellies with pink salmon.

Within half hour, we noticed breeching and pectoral slaps on the far shore, so we slowly made our way over for a closer look since it was on the course. A group of six humpbacks were leisurely feeding but occasionally they would breach and slap their pectoral fins on the water, so we idled up, shut down our engines and patiently watched the show. We were lucky to capture a breech and a few slaps at close range but mostly it was easy feeding dives.

We continued onward to Foot Island and everyone anchored out, unloaded kayaks and dinghies, and headed out on various adventures. We saw pink salmon jumping all around us and we could hear the humpbacks surface for a breath although they were too far to see. Sound travels so well across water, especially when there are other sound interferences.

One salmon jumped onto Kit’s kayak! It slipped off back into the water… almost had a free dinner! The water was glassy calm with no current, so we enjoyed peering into the kelp forests from above, getting to see the private underwater world shared by sea stars, barnacles, anemones, urchins and every sized bivalve imaginable. Suddenly, two sea lions popped up and snorted at us. They were curious and kept disappearing and reappearing a bit closer for a better look, providing Jane with ample photo-ops. Clint decided to try his hand at fishing for pink salmon from the dinghy and was successful while Annette and James circumnavigated Foot Island with Kit, Jane and Oliver.

While kayaking, Bob, Kathy, Roper and Susan from Sea Stock stopped by in their dinghy and shortly thereafter, Athena arrived, and Jet and Sean proudly showed us their fish they had caught today. Athena found a good spot to anchor, and around sunset Mike and Linda returned from Ford’s Terror. As they arrived, they announced that there was a humpback at the entry to our cove. I looked up from making dinner and saw the humpback from our gally window, what a delight! As they settled in with the rest of the Mother Goose flock, the sky turned shades of red…sailor’s delight.

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