Alaska - June 2011 travel blog

Shelli and Carol

Getting Outfitted

Our Destination - Pleasant Island

Shelli and Arch

The "Skirt" Sealed Us In

Uninhabited Beach

Shelli

Exploring

The Muskeg at the Top

Loved the View

Not Our Lunch

Shelli and Carol Prepare Lunch

Relaxing on the Beach

The Trip Back

Given the "Eagle Eye"

Homeshore Cafe


Today was a full day of kayaking to Pleasant Island.

We chose the Spirit Walker company and their Wilderness Isles trip for this experience based on the recommendation of Aimee where we were staying. She had made the reservations for us ahead of time. We didn't have to drive anywhere since we were picked up at our guest house in the Spirit Walker van. There were two guides and us,

so it was a great experience. We had tandem kayaks; Shelli went with Arch and Carol went with me. We were happy to have them with us, since it was our first time.

First thing they did was get us outfitted in the proper gear - tall rubber boots, rain pants and jackets.

We put these on over top of our other clothes. We also wore our hats, since it was a beautiful sunny day. The last item was the kayak "skirt" which sealed us into the kayak. We then had a short lesson on getting into and out of the kayak and unsealing the "skirt" should we roll over. (luckily we didn't need to do this)

We left from the Gustavus Beach, and Icy Passage, which we had to cross, was a mile wide. On the way we saw a sea lion, a river otter, and a whale feeding. We watched the whale for quite a while and heard him breathing and saw him coming up with his mouth open to catch the food. He also spouted several times.

After we landed on the beach

we explored

the uninhabited island for about one and a half hours. We ended up at the top in a muskeg area.

This island is estimated to be around 10,000 years old, since it had never been logged or burned. The whole forest was covered in various kinds of mosses and lichens and ferns. Shelli and Carol knew all the plants and there were many different varieties that were new to us, including a very tiny orchid about an inch tall.

Lunch was a picnic on the beach provided by the guides.

We had one of my favorites - smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches and a variety of other foods to satisfy our appetites. While sitting there we watched the eagles soaring above. What a serene setting.

When we got back in the kayaks we continued on along the shore of Pleasant Island

until it was time to turn around and paddle back across Icy Passage. We saw some huge sea stars in the water. The guides were very knowledgeable and were always pointing things out or telling us about this or that. We saw an eagle up close sitting on a rock as we passed by.

It was almost 4PM when we arrived back at the beach where we started.

After relaxing for an hour we headed to The Homeshore Cafe,

the only restaurant in town. A drive out to the national park completed the day.



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