Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guest Log: August 7-14

Sitka Harbor to Kalinin Bay 
Slone and Peter arrived on the 9:00 a.m. flight and we were out of the harbor by 10:20, cruising through the outside islands south of town and heading north to Salisbury Sound. There was a brief pause around the Magoun Islands for a photo op with an obliging sea otter, then on to anchor in Kalinin Bay for two nights.

This latest Kalinin stay featured sunshine, fishing trips (catch-and-release pinks, some cod and 1 nice coho), frequent eagle sightings, a close encounter with a whale who surfaced about 200 feet away from the skiff, and a distant grizzly spotted on the beach after dinner. Nice start to an Alaskan cruise with guests.

Some afternoon sunshine encouraged a hike up the Sea Lion Cove Trail. 
We climbed up giant steps through forested hillsides,

 ... trod boardwalks across boggy muskeg and meadows, 

Why is there a diving board here? recreation for an aquatic bear?
... and trekked up boulder-filled and tree-root strewn paths. 

Finally, we stopped at the lake high above the bay, part way to the westside cove - I ran out of energy and enthusiasm at that point. No matter, the outing was still fun. Amazing how the downhill return to the bay went a lot faster than our ascent! 

There were a few scattered bear pawprints in the mud along the estuary’s saltwater shore when we arrived in the skiff, and piles of bear scat all along the trail as we hiked, but we had no actual bear sightings that afternoon. That was fine with me, I would rather see grizzlies when they are on shore and I’m not.

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