We left Glacier Bay on July 29 and crossed to Pt. Carolus in thick thick fog. We had checked that no cruise ships would be entering the bay during the day but it was nerve wracking progress as we kept listening for any smaller boats.

We listened intently, hearts in mouths, as one boat could be heard approaching from abeam. We encountered it's wake soon after we u heard it cross our bows. Too close for comfort! We vowed not to do cross shipping lanes in thick fog again.

After the tortuous six mile crossing, Pt Carolus finally loomed out of the fog. We were greeted by a chorus of mews and whistles coming from a large group of sea otters living in the extensive kelp beds.

We continued through the fog to Pt Dundas but were too tired and disorientated to cross North Inian Passage to the Inian islands even though it was slack water (Inian Passsage can hit 9 knots on big ebbs) so made camp.

Leaving Glacier Bay in thick fog

The next day was also extremely foggy so we decided to stay on shore. A good decision as regular soundings of ship fog horns indicated a busy day for big boat traffic through Inian Passage.

The next day loomed overcast and windy but with no fog. Although white caps were visible in the Strait the Islands were only 3 miles away so we decided to go for it. In the middle of the Strait we encountered some big seas - 15 ft rollers from Cross Sound were hitting the last of the ebb tide and steepening up. Here the wind was also being funneled and was hitting 30 knots. It was a welcome relief to pull into the lee of the Inian Islands and allow the white knuckles to relax. While Kev was loving it it was a rude introduction to paddling outside waters for Garth!

By the time we approached South Inian Passage the flood tide had started and that along with the wind prevented any forward progress. Making camp we were treated to a humpback breaching out in the strait and two other humpbacks surfing in the current just below our campsite on a rocky headland.

Brooding weather, brooding scenery and brooding kayakers. For the first time on the trip Garth was having doubts about whether he was a strong enough paddler to complete the return trip on the Outside.

After the winds died down the big rollers remained and, after a quick visit to Elfin Cove, we rode the coastal roller coasters to the outside of Yakobi Island. Here we alternated between the chaotic seas occuring at the headlands and protected channels inside a chain of small islands.

Stopping for a visit to the old community of Greentop on Yakobi island we enjoyed a whirlwind visit from Chris Howard of Howard Charters. With a big powerful charter boat and a carefree attitude, here was a man who loved his job.

Crossing the mouth of Lisianksi Strait to Baranof Island we had thread the needle through a set of boomers into Islas Bay and White Sulphur Hot Springs;a bathhouse, indoor and outdoor hot pools, a cabin and hot running water. We had found paradise!

Here we met Don from Gustavus who had booked the cabin but was generous enough to share it with us. he also gave us our first taste of moose stew - good stuff!

A group of 8 kayakers from Sweden turned up while we were there, heading north from Sitka to Glacier Bay. Chris Howard, his girlfriend Paula and some young friends working at the Elfin Cove Cannery also turned up and soon had a deer roast going on an open fire. Paradise had become crowded but the food was sure good.

The seas died down during our stay at White Sulphur Hot Springs and we had pleasant conditions for the rest of our trip to Sitka. As time had become a concern we decided to take the shorter route inside Kruzof Island. A big day had us reaching Sitka late in the day. Unable to find camping access close to the waterfront we ended up making camp on a rocky public beach.

We were woken in the early hours by some guy yelling that a bear had run through our camp. Rather nonplussed we merely grunted acknowledgement and rolled over to try and go back to sleep. We were more worried that the cops who we were told had had been called would make us break camp! Kev in particular was unconcerned - the bacon we had bought for breakfast was in Garth's boat - not his problem if the bear went after it.

A great couple of days were spent in Sitka. A fortuitous meeting with Darryl and Nels provided us with a bed aboard Darryl's 22 ft catboat. It also introduced us to the best coffee shop we encountered on the trip - The Backdoor. Run by Darryl Rehkopf, his wife Bernadette and their daughter Sarah.

Darry and Nels introduced us to their kayaking friend Jay who had kayaked the outer Coast of Chicagof Island a number of times. On one occasion he had taken 32 days to reach Port Alexander, a distance we covered in only 2 1/2 days. Whereas we were fixated on making distance Jay took his time, explored every inlet and climbed to the tops of the biggest peaks. We had to wonder what we were doing - rushing by all this incredible scenery and admired Jay for his more relaxed approach to expedition kayaking.

Humpback, South Inian Passage
Sea conditions outside Yakobi Island
White Sulphur Hot Springs, Yakobi Island
Outside coast of Chicagof Island
Sarh, Darryl & Bernadette at Sitka
Sitka Harbour
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