After several days in Ketchikan (probably too many) the majority of the group decided to take a tug-boat ride with our new friends Pam and Stretch south of town. Elyse and I (Chris) decided to hang out for the day and check out the festivities in the community of Saxman on the south side of Ketchikan. The day was dedicated to the raising of two new totem poles on the infamous Totem Row St. Torrential down-pours dampened the ceremonies outside, but traditional Tlingit song and dance in the Long House livened the party.
We were wowed by the booming voices and energy that came from the dancers. These people were obviously proud of their heritage and the excitement was contagious. Song and dance was followed by a pot-latch and we enjoyed visiting with the totem carvers, native elders and community leaders. Although we would have loved to stay longer, it was getting late, Elyse and I hopped in our kayak and paddled south to catch the crew.
Saxman Long House Dancing
Beautiful Caribbean-style beaches were scattered on little Islands outside of Very Inlet. White sand and sunny skies made for a great lunch break before the exposed section of coast prior to Dixon Entrance.
Relaxing at the Beach
Elyse Excited to Stretch the Legs
We made our way through the large swells of Dixon Entrance, across Nakat Bay and into a great beach. A stunning sunset kept our attention as we ate our dinner.
Elyse Balances the Sunset
Near Nakat Bay
Hard to complain with weather like this! The next day brought us across Portland Inlet and a tough westerly wind pushed us into the little town of Port Simpson. Although we did not have time to stay, I definitely want to check this place out in the future.
Finally we caught back up with the group in Big Bay and spent a great day wrestling in mud bogs, playing capture the flag, and marveling at yet another great sunset.
12 people have a ton of gear!
We are now in Canada, stopping in at Prince Rupert to re-fuel. Next stop is Bella Bella and the adventure continues!
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURES!!!
Check out a sneak peak at some of Lia’s photos from the last couple of weeks. There will be many more posted following the kayak portion of the trip.
Made it to Ketchikan
The crossing over from POW to the Cleveland peninsula was done with glassy water and sunny skies, an unexpected afternoon both for us and the weather service.
The weather sure picked up the next day and and after paddling an hour into a strong headwind we had only made a quarter-mile so we decided to pull over and wait for the water and wind to improve. However we didn’t exactly rough it that day and we entertained ourselves that day with a homemade hot tub (keep checking the blog for our step-by-step guide on building your own hot tub on a weather day!)
The next day the weather improved and our 5 am start got us to the northern edge of Behm Canal by early afternoon where we serendipitously met Herman Stiphout. Herman is similarly paddling the Inside Passage except he left Seattle in April and is heading north to Glacier Bay. Check him and his adventure out at http://paddleforapurpose.org/. Herman had heard about us during his stay in Ketchikan where Southeast Exposure had housed him. Additionally he said that Southeast Exposure, – a kayak, zipline, and bike company based out of Knudson Cove on the north side of Ketchikan – houses passing kayaker and sent us that way.
Following Herman’s directions, we were met by a bunch of kayak guides who became our guides to Ketcikan for the next few day. Our crew couldn’t have had a better time because of the hospitality of Southeast Exposure and all the awesome guides who worked there. So if you’re ever in Ketchikan check them out http://southeastexposure.com/.
Tomorrow we take off from K-town and head towards Dixion Entrance, Canada, and Prince Rupert and couldn’t be more excited for what lays south.