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Alaska Kayaking Recap

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June 28th (day 0)

We took off from Denver around 10PM.  The flight was a short 5.5 hours which felt even shorter since we upgraded to 1st class.  We were very happy to see that all of our luggage arrived with us in Anchorage.  Our original plan was to take a taxi to a hostel the first night but since we got to Anchorage a few hours late due to some delays we decided just to take a nap in the airport.

 

June 29th (day 1)

We grabbed a taxi to a department store from the airport and same waited outside with our luggage while I went inside and grabbed the final supplies that we needed.  While I was in the store I was able to talk to a angler who was able to give me some useful hints about fishing up in Alaska.  

After shopping Sam texted our ride "Hillary" who promptly picked us up, took us all over town to A. go to the farmers market B. Grab some breakfast and C. Stop by Sam's friends house for some supplies we shipped up there to meet us.  Hillary is a very kind and fun person.  She drove us from Anchorage all the way to Whittier and then wanted to actually come kayaking (paddle boarding for her) with us.  It took quite a bit longer to ready our gear and she wasn't able to come with us.

Finally, after we got all our gear sorted out our kayak rental company Sound Paddler took us, our kayaks, and gear down to the beach.  I really enjoyed working with these folks as they were miles ahead in regards to professionally when compared to other places we had rented in Alaska.

After dropping us off at the beach it took Sam and I about a hour to get all the boats loaded and on our way!  We paddled only a few miles this day because we got a late start and lost a few things when we packed up.  After, just a few hours of paddling we found a decent beach to camp at and settled down for the night.

 

June 29th Camping Location "Shotgun Cove" - 60.800533 N 148.590145 W

June 30th (Day 2)

Woke up to rain on our first full day our kayaking.  I can't say it wasn't expected as last year we got rain every day we were kayaking. We paddled for a few hours after getting a late start and found a nice little beach out of the wind that we thought about camping at.  While checking out the beach Sam noticed a forest sign.  Come to find out we were at Decision Point where there were some raised platforms for our tent!  we were very excited by this and the fact that there was a outhouse at the location!  So we looked around a bit and finally decided on which of the 4 platforms we wanted to set up the tent at.  After doing the tent setup we walked back to the beach and noticed that what was an empty beach when we showed up was now starting to fill up with people!  Over the next few hours more and more peopel came until there was about 15 of us at the site, all four paltforms taken. 

Some of the people we met that night we felt were kind of dicks but the next morning when we woke up we found that one of the other people there had given us marshmallows and chocolate and put in the bear box on top of some trash we stored in there overnight.  We were very happy to be able to have a smore or two in the morning.

June 30th Camping Location "Decision Point" - 60.800823N 148.453637 W

July 1 (Day 3)

First Rain Day - Today we decided to stay at Decision point due to the rain.  It was quite hard to think of leaving such a nice, flat, semi-dry spot since we didn't know what laid ahead.  We basically just chilled around the tent this day and really didn't do too much.

July 2 (Day 4)

The rain calmed down enough this day where we could leave the comfort of the platforms.  We got out at a good time and then proceeded to cross Blackstone Bay.  This was our first "major" crossing of the trip and was super easy. After making the crossing we went to Surprise Cove where we unfortunately did not notice that there were more platforms so we ended up camping on a small island.  This wasn't a bad choice by any means as we had a nice spot for our tent but we made the mistake of not putting the kayaks high enough to save them from high tide.  Therefore, around 8PM at night I had the unenjoyable task of wadding across a stretch of water to move our kayaks to a higher location.

Me Walking back after securing the kayaks

The Kayaks at High High tide - I moved them from about 6-8 feet where the water line is!

 

Camp site

July 2 Camping Location "Surprise Cove" - 60.756053 N 148.38935 W

July 3 (Day 5)

We woke up at low tide so it was very easy to get to the kayaks and get them loaded.  We then headed off to do the Cochrane crossing which would be the largest crossing of the trip.  The weather was alright to start with but then started getting worse during our crossing. the fog started coming in but we were able to make the crossing before loosing site of the land!  The really rough part was after the crossing when we were rounded Cochrane Point.  The water was just crazy with waves coming in from every direction.  It was tiring but I actually enjoyed it.

After we made our crossing we decided to take a break, get out of the rain, and get some food.  We found a nice little cove that had just enough "dry" space to be able to relax for a bit and get recharged.

Sam enjoying a bit to eat

We made camp on the inside of Culross Passage on what turned out to be another low lying area.  We had to pull our kayaks all the way up to the tent and then we were only about 2-3 feet about the high tide mark.  Needless to say, it was a stressful night until high tide hit, then we knew we were ok.

Camp Location "Culross Passage" - 60.739115 N 148.249335 W

July 4-6 (Day 6-8)

Getting out of camp was hard due to the rain never letting up!  Both Sam and I did not want to stay another night in this swamp so we decided that we had to get out and try to make it to Goose bay where I remember seeing a cabin on a forest map before we left for the trip.  So we manned up and paddled a few miles in the pouring rain until we got to Goose bay.  We were VERY happy to see as we rounded a corner in the back of the bay, a cabin!  Not just any cabin but one that was CLOSED due to snow load damage a few years ago.  Lucky for us someone left the front window open so we were able to get inside and get out of the rain.

The Cabin at Goose bay