Alaska Flotilla: Leg 3, Day 4 – Dundas Bay to Swanson Harbor | NW Explorations


Alaska Flotilla: Leg 3, Day 4 – Dundas Bay to Swanson Harbor

The morning started off with calm weather and a tidal pool excursion. Even in these well protected waters, deep in the Dundas Bay fjords the low tide provided lots of living creatures to examine. The most interesting of them all was the orange ribbon worm found underneath a cobble stone. Interesting fact, marine worm invertebrates outnumber all living creatures in the ocean! No surprise that we found a bunch of them, some colorful like our orange ribbon friend, others not so much.

Experience has proven the more time spent looking for organisms, big or small, the more will be found. Sounds simple enough, right? After twenty minutes, the group discovered: butter clams, blue muscles, our famous orange ribbon worm, rock isopods, sitka periwinkles (adorably small snails), bent nose macomas (another type of clam), and lots of barnacles clinging to every surface of the rocks. Not too bad considering the water to be brackish, super silty, and low in ocean-rich nutrients like the outer coasts.

A short hop and a skip landed us on the docks of Swanson Harbor. The docks looked a bit worn, in need of repair before the next winter hit, but overall the area was gorgeous. Handfuls of wild flowers dotted the landscape where raw, basaltic rock intruded the scenery with ferrous oxide reds in contrast to the dark lava rock. An evening hike shore-side provided a needed stretch for the legs and an opportunity to observe the local birds that call this harbor home. A distant sailboat swinging at anchor added to the splendid scenery with dusk beginning to transition the evening sky casting pastel tones of soft blues and yellows upon the topography.

What a day, full of calm waters, easy-breezy weather, and the Captain’s famous meat-loaf for dinner. A special thanks to Bonnie and Jan from Patos that brought over a delicious caprese salad for the crew of Deception.  It was all too easy getting in a good night’s rest, and we all looked forward to the morning when we continue further north on our way towards the striking beauty of the coastal mountains that surround William Henry Bay.

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