From Kanaan’s weather conditions journal on Solstice…
Ideal conditions to enjoy the longest day of the year. Warm overcast with perfectly refreshing showers and comfortable penetrations of light rays. The surface of Rocky Pass was glassy and smooth until the dialogue between earth and moon made things more interesting. Ripping through The Summit – ´Aa Kakookaayí Yé – That Place Is Too Narrow, the planetary forces delivered me to that unique state of being that is commonly sought but rarely acquired. As we stood in the afternoon light on the thick grassy shores of tonight’s home, a northerly breeze picked up, beckoning me to yearn for that powerful place of power.
Prince of Wales Island
After we left Kake the group was in pretty high spirits and didn’t think the trip could get much better, however it managed to do just that managed. As we pushed south from Kake we weren’t sure what to expect of Rocky Pass (the strait that would be our route to the south), we had heard of its beauty but also of its strong currents. The three days we spent there surpassed our expectations – beautiful weather, fresh oysters, much wildlife, and contributive currents made us all fall in love with the whole pass.
The final day we flushed out of the Pass on a late afternoon tide and had a breathtaking cruise to Point Barrie, positioning ourselves for a crossing of Sumner Strait. The next day we woke to ideal conditions and made the crossing in bright sunshine under a cloudless sky, singing our way across to Prince of Wales island. For many of us this was our first time on POW and we were welcomed with a picturesque beach, a green algae filled creek – perfect for bathing, and a stunning sunset. The next day may have been the hottest we’ll see this summer- over 88 °F! With little clothes and glassy seas our day down the east coast of POW was unreal. The most major issue of the day was amending our usual snack breaks for sunscreen breaks.
The marine forecast for the following days wasn’t sounding too favorable so we decide to take advantage of the island’s geography and make the short hop over to the west side where Lucy’s family has a cabin. We paddled into Whale Pass to get on the road system and hopefully hitch a ride to the other side. Not even 15 minutes after stepping onto the dock in Whale Pass multiple friendly residents had graciously offered to give us a ride. Although the next two days were quite wet, it was warm and dry in the cabin. We took a break from the outdoors and did laundry, cooked over a stove, took hot showers, and watched movies. We occasionally forced ourselves outside and explored some of the neighboring caves, jumped off of the Squibb’s unfinished dock, and stretched our legs.
Today we are in Coffman Cove waiting for the weather to improve. Last night we stayed on Barnes Lake, which is all salt water (making us curious about the definition of a lake) and feasted on crab the the group caught. A short, protected paddle allowed us to get to Coffman Cove this morning and allowed us to see what Clarence Strait is all about. But hopefully today’s forecast will hold and the seas was clam tonight and we’ll be paddling again tomorrow on our way to K-town. Talk to you then!
Check out our Flickr for more pictures
The first leg of the trip has been spectacular. After leaving our friends in Tracy Arm we were escorted by Captain Hal Gieger and First Mate Hunter Brown down to Windham Bay. The next few days consisted of exploring Port Houghton and Cape Fanshaw. This included a welcomed gift of King Salmon and King Crab from a local troller. After postponing a day for weather we made a 4am crossing of Fredrick’s Sound that couldn’t have been more beautiful.
We arrived in Kake on the 15th and have be overwhelmed by the generosity of the people here. We have had the privilege of interviewing many knowledgeable people and are excited to continue. Thanks to Dave and the high school for internet access, another Dave for the fresh halibut and boat rides, and everyone else who have made our stay great.
Tomorrow we head south into Rocky Pass on our way to Ketichkan. We hope to have more internet access there and be able to give you more pictures and words.
A Trip to Tracy Arm
The crew has made it to Tracy Arm and back out again. On Tuesday June 5th a group of three kayakers joined the group of 12 for their journey through the Arm. The group consisted of Me (Ryan Lindsay), Owen Kelley and Kayla Janell. On the 5th , we were dropped off by the Adventure Bound Tour boat at the mouth of Tracy Arm near Harbor Island. 15 minutes after we were dropped off we were radioed by the Adventure Bound informing us that our friends were 10 miles down the arm on a beach near a point called Big Bend, being the 90 degree right turn. We paddled for a few hours and just as we were about to lose hope of finding them for the night we saw 12 brightly colored kayaks in the distance. As we showed up at the beach the every face lit up with excitement as well as confusion and exhaustion. The group’s mood was very positive despite the rain and exhaustion. The night before they had paddled through the night under the moonlight to get to their present campsite. The water was a little rough, which made for a very long night. Everyone cooked extravagant dehydrated meals and called it an early night.
The next morning (6/6) we woke up at 7 to a beautiful sunny morning and finally made it onto the water by 11. After a few hours of paddling we made it our next campsite. There are only a few areas along Tracy Arm that are flat enough to put a kayak and a tent, especially when you have 15 of them, so we had to be strategic about where we stopped paddling for the night.
We pulled over in a beautiful valley and were even greeted by a black bear in our campsite. We spent the rest of the night playing hacky sack, eating fiddle heads and just enjoying the weather.
On the Morning of 7th we woke up and it again took us a good 3 hours to finally get onto the water; we finally started paddling at around 11. As we headed toward South Sawyer Glacier we had to push our way through thicker and thicker patches of icebergs the closer we got. We were about a mile away from the toe of the glacier when the ice was too dense to continue. We turned around and headed to our final camping destination at a spot known as Feng Shui Heights, near the toe of North Sawyer Glacier. To enter this spot it was necessary for the tide to be completely high if we didn’t want to carry our kayaks up steep rock faces. We made it just in time and get our kayaks out of the water with ease, sort of. We carried our stuff up the rocks to one of the most beautiful places I have ever camped. The next high tide was at 4:20 am the next morning so the plan was to wake up at around 2:00 am in order to make it into the water on time. The smart half the group set up tents on the rocks, the dim-witted half of us set up tarp shelters for our short night of sleep. As we settled down to sleep, a downpour hit us. The majority of the group became absolutely soaked as the rainwater flowed into our “shelters.” The rain didn’t hold up for a second while we all tried to close our eyes long enough to get a minute of sleep.
4:00 am finally arrived. We all scrambled to put our wet gear away and to eat anything available. We started paddling around 6:00 am with the intention of riding the tide out all the way back to the mouth of Tracy Arm back to Harbor Island. We made it 20 miles until the three of us were picked up by the Adventure Bound tour boat on their way into Tracy Arm. The 12 continued paddling and eventually made it all the way to Harbor Island. As we boarded the dry tour boat and watched our friends continue paddling for 10 more miles, there was a sense of relief to be dry and be on the way to a bed to sleep in, but at the same time, the last 4 days had been so much fun that I found myself a bit envious that, despite the rain and cold, I won’t be a part of this group of 12 people who are going to the have the time of their lives for the next 3 months.
With the sun over head and the winds at our back we couldn’t ask for a better send off. Thank you everyone for the support and we’ll talk to you in Kake!