The day following our long boat ride, we opted for something a little smaller and self-propelled: kayaks. We launched from the rocky beach just below our cabin and paddled through the handful of boats in the harbor to the opposite shore. It was a flood tide with only light wind and a nearly cloudless sky, temperature in the low 60s. In short, a perfect day to be on the water.
Once across the cove, we headed west along the shoreline of Lester Island, looking for wildlife.
Dale paddled close to shore, in search of orange starfish. The shoreline looked like this all the way to the point on Glacier Bay ahead of us.
We were happy to have single-person kayaks and well-maintained gear for the day.
I stopped briefly to scoop some kelp out of the crystal clear water.
Out in the channel, we saw a small school of harbor porpoise break water and then spotted a sea otter lying on its back. I paddled out to it, approaching from down wind, but he/she heard me, stared me down and then dove out of harm’s way.
We continued our journey along the shoreline, chasing a frolicking raft of sea lions.
Tiring of the chase, we stopped paddling and turned around.
As we retraced our route, we saw a single sea lion down the shoreline. We put down our paddles and awaited his approach. Suddenly, his head popped out of the water right at the bow of my kayak, so close that I could count the whiskers on this salty dog!
Raising his flipper and slapping it on the water, he splashed me in an attempt to warn me off his turf! An amazing experience; Dale confided later that she was glad it was mine as she would have been shaken by the experience.
We finished the day around the lodge and the next morning went for a walk along the southern shoreline of Bartlett Cove before heading to the airstrip to begin our journey back to Haines.
We enjoyed our time at Glacier Bay, but we’re also anxious to get back on the road. Next stop, Canada’s Kluane National Park.