It’s Saturday morning, and I can see out into Revillagigedo Channel where the seas and wind are calm. NW breeze is predicted for later today, so I’ll take advantage of that. Another great paddling/exploration day yesterday. I heard Sandhill Cranes calling off in the bush nearby. I tramped through the stunted cedar and muskeg for a while to try to get a glimpse, but I think they might have heard me coming ( I can’t imagine how), and they quit calling. Then I paddled to the SW to Foggy Point and found some nice little pocket beaches, and a ruined shake cabin. On the way back across Foggy Bay I could see a big seabird feeding flock and it looked like a bunch of Fulmars mixed in with the gulls, but I couldn’t steady the binos enough to be sure. In the evening I again paddled up Very Inlet to explore the south arm. The incoming tide caused mild rapids at the narrows which were fun to run down. They proved too rapid to paddle against on my return, despite maximum effort. I could have waited 2.5 hours for the current to diminish, but it would have been dark. So I scrambled along the cliff in the dusk and rain dragging the kayak. Lots of fun. Today I’ll head for Cape Fox where there are beaches reported, and Port Tongass to anchor for the night. Then tomorrow, into Canada, that fabled land to the south.
It’s still not foggy here, but worse weather IS coming; tomorrow. Meanwhile, today I kayaked all the way up Very Inlet, which adjoins Foggy Bay, and saw several more streams absolutely packed with spawning salmon. Incredible numbers of salmon in many,many streams. That`s good. I wonder if the same holds true a little farther south, into BC. Then I went out into the island group just outside of Foggy Bay, and saw whales. Humpbacks. There were Black Turnstones, Rhinoceros Auklets, White-winged Scoters (I`m not sure about this), and a shorebird that could not be identified by me, even with decent photos and a video, and 4 bird books. The closest match I could find is a Ruff, which seems quite unlikley. A little mustelid swam in front of me and ran up the rocks with a fish nearly as big as him. The forecast is for SE winds tomorrow and most of Saturday, so Sunday is the likely day for the 40 mile run to Prince Rupert. I guess Monday is a holiday, so I,ll be spending at least 2 days in that town.
A sunny calm day to motor the 32 miles from Ketchikan to Foggy Bay. This is, by forecast, only a one day respite from the south winds, but I’ll take it. Norm of “27 Cents”, an F27 trimaran, is rafted alongside. He’s on his way back to Hyder , and then home to Idaho, after a month or 6 weeks cruising SE Ak. This looks like a great area to explore by kayak, so I hope to stay here tomorrow to do that. Had good contact on the radio today with several people who I haven’t chatted with in a long time: Norm W, Karl S, Linda Fear ( who’s doing a relief light keeper job at Scarlet Point with Ivan D, as well as Roly who’s dawdling around Quatsino now that he’s scooted around Cape Scott. A kayaker was just disappearing to the south as I entered Foggy Bay. That is the only evidence of kayak travelers I’ve seen in Alaska. However I’m sure there are others I haven’t seen; skulking in the shadows. I refuelled with 80 US gals of diesel, which apparently is what we burned since Juneau. So begins the last leg of the journey.