We have had a great week of adventures in Juneau, AK and Gustavus, AK/ Chichagof Islands. We have been graced by many sun filled days in Alaska. After everyone arrived safely in Juneau we headed off to the Mendenhall Glacier, with breath taking scenes, and our first glimpse into the last frontier. Our first experiences in Juneau together included seeing this vast glacier, icebergs floating in the icy water and a roaring waterfall. This was the first of what would be many extraordinary moments on the trip. Our day ended with a delicious meal consisting of tortellini, garlic cream sauce, spinach and sauted chicken.
The next days were fast moving completing a few more tasks before our sea kayaking adventure. We took a small bush plane from Juneau to Gustavus, where we chartered a boat to our drop off at Chichagof Islands.
The bush plane ride from Juneau to Gustavus was a highlight for all of us, but especially Ray. Prior to the flight he gave us the ins and outs of flying, and briefed us on a few more details while we were flying. We flew over snow capped peaks, with bits of lush green falling in between.
Once in Gustavus we headed out on our charter boat otherwise known as the “Taz”. Here we saw our first sightings of whales, and not just one but many pods. Our journey began at Idaho Inlet on the Chichagof Islands. We paddled for the next three days along the coastline. We saw the drastic tide line move in and out, and dozens of otters playing about in the water. We felt like we were on a safari kayaking trip in Alaska. Harbor seals began to stealthily follow our boats, dozens of Bald Eagles were perched in the evergreens, whales began to breach around us and we even saw one sleeping! Brice’s curiosity for the animals and the marine life kept us all engaged. He continued to point out the wildlife and everyones head would turn in amazement. The highlight for many of us was the mother grizzly bear and her cub. Isaac and Adam kept us all entertained on the water when they began to name the animals around us that began to follow us. Isaac also gave us a glimpse into his cooking skills when he made pizza pitas.
We are off to Haines, AK now, traveling on the Alaskan marine highway on their newly refurbished and freshly painted ferries for the celebration of the 50th year anniversary. Once in Haines we will embark on our next adventure ice climbing.