Loc: Lituya Bay
Dist: 48,0 km
Start: 05:45 End: 14:05
Well rested after a day off, we headed out again in rain, but wonderful east and south east wind. Even the rain stopped at some point, and it was sunny most afternoon!
We mad good speed along rocky and sandy steep beaches, the surf looking very different in the different sections. It was 1,30-1,50 swell height, in the right beaches with the right timing, landing should be quite doable on a single dumper. On other spots, the swell and double beach breaks looked quite intimidating. Mike thought there would be no landing at all possible, but I taught him to tell the different conditions apart, just in case we needed to go in somewhere earlier than Lituya Bay. and I taught him that one can paddle much much closer to the beach break than he would and has done by himself 20 years ago! After all, I liked to watch the coast which looked like a wonderful hike along the beach top on grass upfront the forest.
Many different glaciers were lurking in the distance, more or less visible in the clouds, in between the highest peaks which at least occasionally showed up. La Perouse glacier touched with his wide rocky and icy tongue the sea, a wonderful and impressive view on paddling slowly past the 3,4 km wide area!
When the tide was turning at 11 am, the wind picked also up, and wind against tide created some good waves. We would be landing at 2 pm right in the maximum flood tide, streaming, according to my GPS information, with 5 km/h into Lituya Bay. There were two navigation markers to be lined up to find the best pass through the relatively narrow entrance. It was not really rough, just choppy and much stronger current than I was expecting.
We chose the beach to the right to camp on, and Mike decided he would like to paddle fully into the bay to see (again) the three glacier tongues at the end while I preferred to stay “home”. He set up camp and paddled with the unloaded boat while I made a fire, edited pictures and updated my blog as usual. It was even a sunny afternoon! One single, but not fresh bear track at the beach – my assumption is like we found mostly only one single track, mostly not even fresh, that the “local resident bear” is not patrolling “his” beach every day…hopefully I am right!