2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 7, Day 11 Poole Inlet to De La Besche Inlet | NW Explorations


2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 7, Day 11 Poole Inlet to De La Besche Inlet

Departing Poole Island under sunny and calm conditions, we backtracked north around Burnaby Island and into Juan Parez Sound. As we neared Ramsey Island, conditions improved and the cruise to De La Beshe was warm, sunny, and delightful.

De La Besche Inlet is made up of a combination of small coves including Sac Bay. Both bays were glassy calm with mirror reflective waters. All boats anchored separately because we were still within the boundaries of the park where rafting is not allowed. Deception and Sea Stock anchored in De La Besche while the others were in Sac Bay. This bay had interesting small coves and creeks and a few waterfalls hidden in the trees. One creek opened into a lagoon in the back of the bay. To enter the lagoon would have required a short portage but it was getting late and there were so many other interesting places to explore. Eagles and king fishers were plentiful and large schools of tiny inch-long fish filled the bay!

Andy on Arctic Star radioed from Sac Bay about a large group of playful otters swimming by their boat. The otters were so fast that Andy was unsure if they were river otters or sea otters. Shortly after sunset while there was still some light, the same large family of river otters swam into De La Besche right near Deception. They were super playful and swimming so fast!  They all scampered up onto a smooth rock landing while the first one remained in the water to keep a look out and was the last to climb up onto the rock. They rolled around and paused long enough for a family portrait then ran down the rock and dove back into the water. They kept up the antics and entertained us by running up onto the rocks and back into the water until finally they ran up a rock and into the forest and settled in for the night. By then it was almost too dark to see them, and it was definitely too dark for photographs.

As we have experienced in so many places in Haida Gwaii, the conditions in De La Besche that night were flat calm, silent and we were the only boats in both bays. According to online weather forecasts, conditions surrounding the islands included intense winds and waves. Chris had made an excellent decision to return north to Queen Charlotte City to refuel, reprovision and wait safely for an opportunity to cross back over to the mainland. In the interim, we will enjoy the beauty, solitude and peacefulness of this magical place.

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