Loaded, launched and leaving on a 5m outgoing tide. Glassy waters, misty haze across the bay as the tide pulls us towards Cook Inlet and the Gulf of Alaska. An easy 3.3 – 3.9 knt current eases us towards Halibut Cove, past the Oyster beds and derelict dinghy halfway up the cliff face. H.C. is a protected by Ismailof Island which has houses stuck on stilts embedded into cliff faces with floating docks below. We ease over the shallows into the main waters and aim for the narrows bearing for Nardelli’s Floating Espresso Bar.
This is day 3 of our kayaking trip and there’s a small problem with my required fluid calculations. We’re down to 750 ml of water, and D is rationing us to 2/3 bottle of Red per day. (I could call Mako Water Taxi for more Red Wine, they’d do it, but I don’t) Jim’s welcome is warm & generous, just like last time. After x3 Espressos (me) and a Latte. Jim has not only offered us a shower but replenished the water supply and sends us off with a thermos of “real coffee”. So its exit H.C. and across the mouth of Peterson Bay. As the tide is working for us, we don’t take the shortcut and do the portage across the isthmus between Peterson & China Poot Bays. The tide is due to turn in the next hour or so, we bear off to Gull Island past Seals, Otters and through the swirling clouds of Gulls and Murres. Bonus time is seeing a Puffin up close and personal! Tide’s turning and China Poot is the heading. Nearing Moose Head Pt a kayak guide hails us that there are Bears on the 3rd beach on the left as we enter. We only saw the one, as the tide pushes me shoreward while I’m trying to get a decent photo D is strongly hinting that I’m within swim & attack distance. It’s only as I start to back paddle that the teenage Black bear acknowledges my presence with a look before he returns to his mussel & kelp snack off the rocks. Now that the tide is incoming we’re floating along @ 1.5 – 3 knts, the skies have cleared and I’m finally able to shed some of the warm outer gear as we drift in
companionable silence on reflective waters towards the head of the bay. The beach is sandy in the middle and strewn with rocks either side. So we’ve beached and are stretching ours legs when we realise that the bar hides a lagoon between us and the Yurt! It isn’t a 100m to bed it’s about 500m. An inward tide is great to get here but a beast for unloading. Grab 2 dry bags, hike 30 m, run back, lift kayak up beach, grab 2 dry bags… Its while carrying gear to the Yurt we see a humungous amount of Bear scat & tracks but at least the ‘long drop’ is enclosed on 3 sides – the surrounding Spruce offers privacy with a view along the bay.
Kayaks beached, gear stowed, now where’s the bear-proof food trap. Oops the hook is jammed in the pulley 4 m up! Finally released and food is stored, safe from Brer bear. There’s 2-3 stink boats Salmon fishing below us from late afternoon ’til past 10pm (its still light, so you can’t blame them) The prolific (humungous) scat is playing on our minds after the previous night so we basically hid in the Yurt until tide time the next day. I woke about 4:30 to the sound of stink boats returning for that Salmon they must have missed the night before!
The last of Kachemak Bay trip
We woke (officially) to the sound of Salmon slapping onto the waters. While we loaded
the kayaks and paddled out it was to the sight of ‘jumping’ Salmon making their way to
China Poot Creek.The run out of China Poot is easy and almost a non-paddle event until we hit Kachemak Bay itself. The tidal swirl across the face of China Poot to Anisim Pt makes us start to work, this is also the longer leg of the days paddle. We cross Salmon nets as trawlers work the tidal inlets and stream mouths. Seal, birds and Otters hold our attention and thwart our attempts of ‘perfect pictures’ when a 4 man Canadian canoe bears down on us. This decorative craft is manned by a ‘mad’ father and his 3 ‘mad’ sons who are known for pushing various outdoor activity limits (so we’re told later). Anyway, we’ve seen an authentic Canadian canoe under full steam. Their steersman picked the Kiwi accent as D greeted them while obtaining the regulatory photo. After the previous days 18 km paddle and 2 sleepless nights, the distance is starting to tell as we’re looking for Anisim Pt which is only 750m from showers and a bed (plus bar & restaurant). We’re delayed by an inquisitive Seal playing tag between the two kayaks. Then there are the Otters fore, aft, left & right but none within photographic distance as we approach Lancashire Rocks. There resting in a rock hollow are two Seals and a pup! As we frantically try to photo without disturbing by our ever increasing proximity we have the
one and only disagreement of the trip. “Otters” No, Seal” What the heck they are now officially an new discovered fauna to be known as Sealotts! (D was right they were Otters)
Anisim Pt and again delayed as we watch a Trawler lift is netted salmon catch aboard.
She leaned a good 30 deg as the net swung aboard! Otter Cove Resort: and its a case of hiking up a 20 deg beach then a 30 deg pathway to our cabin called ‘Forgetmenot’ (as if I would after the 3rd trip) Strewth we had some gear in those kayaks, and I didn’t carry enough water or wine for the trip! Wine! I spend the next 2 days dodging, conniving as I want real food not the freeze dried meals of the past 3 nights. Alaskan ‘Summer Ale’ is a fine drop, and when that ran out the Alaskan ‘Amber’ is also a fine drop! D just had to have Alaskan Snow Crab while I managed to push down a bowl of Clam Chowder (finally tried something I’ve read about for years and I’ll eat it again if its on the menu, no worries) Next is Lands End Resort, Homer Spit for a massage, dinner and a fine drop of Red – perfect exit to Homer & Kachemak Bay.
Now you’ll need to head for the Seward page… sorry about that!