Sunday, July 20, 2014

Kadashan, Tenakee Inlet to Pavlof Harbor

Days 61-64                  21.4 nm

Hah! Who needs to run rivers to see bear? On the way out of Tenakee Inlet we paused to watch a sow and her older cub chase salmon in the shallows and pools of Kadashan Bay, a huge estuary totally filled with low, marshy ground and mudflats. 

This pair lumbered along the flats, occasionally putting on bursts of speed as one or the other splashed through the shallow water to bite or swipe at a salmon. Their fishing technique wasn’t always effective, but it was fun to watch.

Surprise! Pavlof Harbor was empty when we arrived, so we had our pick of scenic spots to drop the anchor. We headed for our favorite location, away from the reefs and rocks but with a great view up the slot to the waterfall and fish ladder, backed by tall timber and the mountain looming tall in the distance. In past years the best bear watching has been at the base of the falls or the fish ladder, but this year we saw grizzlies more often on the gravel beaches and trails around the small harbor. It was interesting to see how how the bear timed their appearances after several more vessels arrived.

This grizzly ambled along the favored hiking path immediately after one group of cruise-ship hikers had rounded the bend and before the next group had arrived on shore via inflatable. 

Several hours later the bear sauntered along the grasses on the favored “dog-walking” and “stretch-your-legs” gravel beach, disappearing over the berm into a stream outlet every now and then. I was content to stay afloat, ignoring the chance to go hiking with a Pavlof brown bear. 

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