Paddle Posts

The Last Paddle, into Seward, 8/17

You got it, another rainy day. We paddled almost all the way into Seward in the rain. The wind was not bad and all but stopped as we got closer to Seward. A very peaceful paddle day. 

Greeted by two bald eagles at the entrance to Seward Harbor. 


So that’s it for an absolutely fantastic adventure. 16 days around the Kenai Peninsula, over 230 miles, six days greater then 20 miles. One 27 mile day, three no paddle days. Everything from glass and sunny to ten foot seas and windy, rain and clouds and everything in between. Angela was a fantastic guide, camp chef, and paddling partner. I also count her as a good friend. Angela and Matt run Expedition Engineering and do adventures all over the world. I’m already planning to paddle with them next summer and Julie will be able to join the fun πŸ˜ƒ. You should check out their web site. 

Happy Paddling

Scott 

Off to Sunny Cove, 8/16

A quick update for 8/15. I had inadvertently hit “publish” at the start of the 8/15 post. As a result, those of you that get the Paddle Posts in your email will have to go to the web to see the entire post. Sorry about that. 

OK, on to this day. Contrary to the name of our destination on Fox Island, the day was really socked in and rained on and off all day. No worries as it was still a great paddle. We got up and had another great hot breakfast and we’re on the water around 1000. Angela was already out and I was just launching when a humpback whale surfaced about 50′ in front of me. What a beautiful site and so close. I got so excited I almost fell out of the kayak πŸ˜›. Sorry I was not quick enough to get the camera out for pics. Here are some other shots for the day. 

Bear Glacier is in the clouds in the picture above. The next shot is when we started to cross Resurrection Bay. 

We got to Sunny Cove and set up the tents and then went back out to paddle around the south end of Fox Island. 

And the last camp kitchen. With all the rain, we were looking for a good spot to set up the tarp. No need as we set the kitchen at the entrance to a small cave on the beach. It was just far enough under the cliff above to be out of the rain. Pretty nice. 

That’s a wrap for this day. 

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

An Orca Morning, 8/15

We had another big day planned so we got an early start. The weather was nice and we left Verdant Cove before sunrise. First up was a big crossing to get to the other side of Aialik Bay. We headed out to the north end of Harbor Island and then across the rest of the bay. That’s where the magic started. 

Starting out early and watching the colors is the best way to get going. 

And then the Orca came. There were ten that we could count and four or five decided to head our way. Pretty amazing! You might have to zoom on the pictures. 

And the most unusual kitchen yet πŸ˜›

That’s it. We were all settled in for the night at Bulldog Cove. We’ll sleep in for a later start tomorrow since it will be a short day. 

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

A Glorious Day in Alaska, 8/14

We were planning another big day pushing 24 miles so we got an early start. We crossed Paguna Arm, rounded the point, crossed Sandy Bay and headed into Harris Bay for another good sized crossing. We had lots of sun and perfect paddling temperatures with some of the best scenery imaginable. 

Catching the morning sun behind the cliffs. 


After crossing Harris Bay we rounded the north end of Granite Island and headed south through Granite Passage. 

About 3/4 of the way through Granite Passage we found the best place available for a lunch stop. 

Cheese, crackers and salami- good stuffπŸ˜ƒ

And off again we go to round the point and head towards Aialik Bay. We’ll go just a little into the bay and then tuck into Verdant Cove for the night. 

Here’s Verdant Cove. Just like a beautiful mountain lake. 

A few notes about this camp site. This was the first official site we camped at. It was really nice and actually had a bear box. We were not worried about bears since I was able to pick a bowl full of wild red raspberries. Really good and a good sign that there were no bears around or the berries would have been gone. When I checked out the box I found a voluntary registration sheet on the inside of the door. It was neat that Freya was the last person to sign the log before Angela and me. We did have a wild critter encounter in the middle of the night. I woke up to Angela throwing stones at the porcupines that were messin around by my tent. Pretty funny. Also odd is the fact that we saw porcupines at each camp site for the remainder of the adventure. 

Getting near the end. Only a few days left. 

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

Into the cave & More wind on the way, 8/12

We headed out from our spot last night understanding that we needed a sheltered spot for the night. The wind was expected to pick up to 30 knots for the following day so we planned on sitting it out again. It ended up being a pretty short day of only 13 miles. We had marked a spot on the chart a fair way up Paguna Arm but were keeping our eye out for a good spot closer to the mouth of the bay. This would reduce our mileage when we did take off. We expected two long days to follow. Off we go. 

And into the big cave. We had gone in a bunch of smaller ones but this one was great. 

After the cave paddle we headed around the point to a beach where the chart showed a little lake right behind the beach. We landed and pulled the kayaks up high.

Then, with bear spray in hand we hiked down the beach and back to the lake. Making all sorts of noise along the way. 

A beautiful little lake with lots of salmon swimming around. And, fresh bear tracks along the shoreline. Back to the kayaks we went 😳. We had a quick lunch and hit the water again. 

We checked out a beach part way into Paguna Arm and it turned out to be perfect. A nice flat spot on top, a good spot for the kitchen and running water πŸ˜ƒ.  Boy was that water cold when I washed up in the stream. 

The weather turned for the better and we had a really nice evening. 

A tiered stone kitchen for the Master Chef. 

That’s it for this paddle day. 

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

Glaciers, Caves, Sun & Surf, 8/11

This turned out to be our first day with a lot of sun. Very nice but hot in the dry suits. We left our little cove early again and ended up doing 22 miles. It was a very peaceful start to the day. 

First on the agenda was crossing Nuka Bay. It’s a pretty big crossing so we did it in two segments. We headed for a point that sticks into the bay about halfway across. 

We made it to the point halfway across Nuka Bay and stopped for a short break and snacks. We had a nice little surf ride into the beach. 

I was first out with a shove from Angela and made it through a small set. Angela followed and I had the camera ready. Here she is busting through. 

No sooner did she get past the break when she realized her water bottle didn’t make it and was back in the surf. Back to the beach she went to find and retrieve it. I think she really just wanted to play a little more in the surf πŸ˜›. After that it was off to cross the second half of Nuka Bay and into the channel between Ragged Island and the mainland. Caves and glaciers were all along the way. 

Our destination for the day was Black Bay. We had marked a beach on the west arm just inside the bay. Once we got there we discovered that it was a no go. Zoom in and you can see it was just all very big rocks. 

Our backup was across the bay and into the end of the east arm of Black Bay. This turned out to be a pretty good camp site but did have a very steep stone beach. 

And the view from our camp πŸ˜ƒ

That’s it for another great day in Alaska. 

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

Big Seas, Big Currents, Big Day, 8/10

With the weather breaking the night before it was time to get moving again. First up was rounding Gore Point. We got an early start and planned for a lot of miles. We ended up doing 27 miles total on this day. We headed out of Port Dick with the tide against us and into 10′ seas. It’s pretty neat being in the bottom of the swell and looking up at these big waves headed your way. Good thing they were all rollers and not breaking. If I had my Taran I would have been fast enough to ride these swells. After rounding the point we headed into more protected waters and Nuka Pass. Over the day we went from a strong wind and tides with 10 footers to flat calm and paddling in the rain. I don’t have any pics from Gore Point. We were paddling hard and about 100′ from the rocks that the seas were breaking on. I thought it best to just keep paddling πŸ˜ƒ. Here are some pics for the day. 

See the color change in the water in the next picture. It was a very distinct line where the silt coming down from the glaciers was presented. 

And a little paddling in the rain. Even a little blue sky πŸ˜›. 

We landed for the night in a beautiful little cove across the channel from the north end of Nuka Island. Very well protected and great views again. Actually no matter where you look, the views in Alaska are phenomenal. 

And of course the kitchen was set up under a tarp. 

That’s it for this day. Alaska 1, Paddlers 1 πŸ˜ƒ

Happy Paddling 

Scott 

Local Paddle Day, 8/8 & No Paddle Day, 8/9

The wind picked up as predicted so we hugged the lee shore of Port Dick and did a short paddle around mid day. 

We collected some fresh water along the way. 

After the paddle we hiked back to the east side again. The wind was howling big time but in the forest it was really neat. Especially the moss on the pines. 

A small fishing boat anchored and part of the crew hiked to the east side to take a look. They ended up heading out later in the day. If they had not, they would have been stuck like us for another day. Wind was blowing at 30 knots and the ocean was getting quite rough. 

After that we called it a day. The next day was wild windy and rainy until the evening. I spent more than 24 hours in my little one man tent. The front passed in the evening and we got a brief look at the sun. We also got the Angela Happy Dance. 

It was really nice to get a break from the wind and rain. The night before I was up and outside in the middle of the night and in the rain fixing a corner of the tarp that had blown free. I turned around and found Angela outside her tent doing the same. The wind had ripped a corner right off her tarp. We ended up moving her tent to a better spot with more wind protection. Wild times πŸ˜ƒ. 

That’s it for this no paddle day. Happy Paddling

Scott