Cloud Ridge Naturalist Trip to southeast Alaska:
Petersburg, Fredereck Sound, Thomas Bay, Baird Glacier, Endicott Arm, Brothers Islands, Pack Creek on Admiralty Island, Dawes Glacier, Ford's Terror, Stephens Passage, Gastineau Channel and Juneau
Doug & Ellen & Cloud Ridge Naturalist friends July/August 2013
Doug and Ellen took a trip, 'Conservation in Focus(2): Naturalist's Voyage of Discovery to southeast Alaska', in July/August 2013. Led by Audrey Benedict of Cloud Ridge Naturalists, naturalists Dr. Goef Hammerson and Sarah Drummond and professional photographers Bob Rosinski and Wendy Shattil, the trip consisted of 7 wonderful days aboard the M/V Catalyst, a 75', 16-passenger beautifully refurbished vessel captained by Captain Bill Bailey and his great crew, winding through seas, inlets and fiords of a portion of Alaska's Inner Passage. In addition to the both exuberant and relaxing time on the water, there was hiking, kayaking, and glacier exploring, and whale, orca, brown bear, sea lion, eagle, and seal watching.
For a map of the trip, click: Map.
Website photos, with captions and slideshows (with music):
Petersburg and surrounds: flight from Denver to Seattle to Juneau to Petersburg, exploring the fishing village of Petersburg and hiking at the Blind River Rapids muskeg, stream and slough;
Baird Glacier: across Frederick Sound from Petersburg to Thomas Bay and Scenery Cove aboard the Catalyst, spectacular hiking and exploring the foot of Baird Glacier;
Whales! Whales! Whales!: the next morning we went from Scenery Cove back out into Frederick Sound, aboard the Catalyst, and spent over 4 hours watching orcas and humpback whales swimming, feeding. blowing and breeching;
Brothers Islands: in the afternoon we headed over to the Brothers Islands archipelago. We stopped at a sea lion haul-out and observed and photographed over 100 sea lions. We then anchored for the evening in Windfall Harbor. After dinner Captain Bill took everyone over to a neighboring island beach for a bonfire of singing, poetry reading and smores! The next morning we returned to the same island and spent the morning exploring and photographing;
Pack Creek: after lunch the Catalyst headed out into Stephens Passage and up Seymour Canal to a new anchor along Admiralty Island just south of Pack Creek. Before dinner we did our first kayak paddle of the trip. The next morning, after a visit by a large male Brown (Grizzly) Bear on the shore near our boat, we were dropped off at the Pack Creek Brown Bear Sanctuary, where we spent several hours observing 1 male and 3 sows (2 with their cubs), as well as numerous Bald Eagles, all feeding on the spawing salmon in the creek. In the afternoon, the Catalyst left Pack Creek and went back down Seymour Canal, anchoring in Pleasant Bay, at its mouth,for the night. Before dinner we kayaked around the bay and up a side stream;
Dawes Glacier: the next morning it was around Point Hugh, up and across Stephens Passage to Holkham Bay, then up Endicott Arm to its head at spectacular Dawes Glacier. We spent all afternoon watching the 300 ft high wall calf -- crashing and exploding over and over;
Ford's Terror: leaving Dawes Glacier, the Catalyst headed back down Endicott Arm and then turned into the cove at Ford's Terror. Late that afternoon, and again the following morning, we hiked in the Ford's Terror highlands above the cove. Following the morning hike was an incredible kayak adventure up Ford's Terror, using the incoming tide to ease the way in and, a couple of hours later, the outgoing tide to help paddling out;
Last day - back to Juneau: regretably, it was time to head home, so the Catalyst left Ford's Terror, went back out Endicott Arm to Holkham Bay, then up Stephens Passage to Taku Harbor for the last night's anchorage. The following morning it was a short trip up Stephens Passage to Gastenau Channel and then Juneau.