We woke to a sunny morning in Elfin Cove. Things run on Alaska time here. The café didn’t open for breakfast until after 8:30 so most of us enjoyed a leisurely morning at the dock. Those who chose to go out fishing woke early and headed out on various charter boats to try their hands at catching halibut and salmon. The rest of us wished them luck and sat back with good books in our hands.
Carolyn and Grant took the kayaks out for a paddle and had a Stellar sea lion surface about 10 ft. from them. A thrilling experience seeing that the sea lions are almost as long as the kayaks themselves! Gary, Rich and I took the dinghy over to the nearby George Islands and had a look around. It was a beautiful, partly sunny day. The rugged, forested islands and coastlines reminded us of the setting of Jurassic Park. Other than a few boats on the water, it seemed completely isolated. Once on George Island, we took a short hike out to an old WWII gun site.
In the early afternoon, the boats that hadn’t gone fishing left Elfin Cove with us for Dundas Bay. We took a scenic route through the narrow Mosquito Pass, which led us along beautiful rocky shorelines. Cormorants nested along the cliffsides, and Stellar sea lions vied for position on the highest rocks. The Brady Glacier was visible in the distance, descending from the Fairweather Mountain range to almost sea level. This massive mountain range reaches heights of over 15,000ft, and the relief that you see here from sea level up to 15,000ft is the greatest of anywhere in the world. Today, the peaks were obscured by clouds, but we are hoping for clearer weather tomorrow.
As we neared Dundas Bay we began to see many sea otters rafting together. There were mothers with pups floating on their bellies and many others cruising the area. Harbor porpoise cruised the area as well, and we even spotted a humpback in the distance. We wove our way back into the back of Dundas Bay until we were right up near the mouth of a large river. After anchoring, we took a dinghy tour up the river in search of bear and moose. Both eluded us, but nevertheless, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery. We were able to spot multiple eagles and eagle nests from our anchorage.
After their fishing trip, Patos came and joined us at Dundas Bay. It sounded like they had a great day on the water and caught both halibut and salmon. On their trip over they encountered orcas and sea otters! This is truly a wild place, and it is incredible to see wildlife in such abundance.