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Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 2”

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Club Expedition to Alaska “Day 2”
17th August (Friday) – Decision Point to Perry Island


We awoke early after our first night’s camp in Prince William Sound. From the campsite at decision point we could see three ways along three fjords hence the name. We were on the water about 50 minutes early all eager to start paddling. We headed south across to Surprise cove for elevenses. Surprise Cove is maintained campsite, very picturesque with good facilities and very sheltered. From here we crossed Cochrane Bay to Culross Island . We had lunch on a small pebbly beach in the rain but managed to find shelter under a small cave with an overhanging rock. From here we had great views north all the way up Port Wells Passage to the massive glaciers at its head (Harvard and Yale to the right and Barry’s and Cox glaciers to the left).

We paddled across the entrance to Culross Passage and around the northern tip of Culross Island where we spotted a couple of fishing boats putting out their circular nets to scoop up the migrating salmon. We headed off across the sound towards Perry Island where the map indicated that a good beach could be found for camping. When we got there we could only find a very small area above the expected hightide mark. We cooked up a very late afternoon tea and although it had been a very long day thought we had enough day left to make it around the tip of Perry Island to a circular cove and idyllic campsite with plenty of space.

The rock slabs on the NE corner of Perry Island had 100s of Stella Sealions basking in the afternoon sun during our last trip but we were a little disappointed to find that the colony was not there this time. We did spot two or three sea lions in the water and they followed us for a few miles from a distance. However, they were soon forgotten when Mike noticed a water spout just off shore. Then another, and the chase was on. We paddled to where we thought the Humpback Whales was going to surface again. Some of us got close enough to see the whale’s surface and even saw a few tail flukes as they dived to feed in the deep water along the cliffs. This delayed our progress along the shore line somewhat, but we never got closer than 75 metres however it was certainly the highlight of the day.

As the sun began to set we headed around the corner into our cove. Boats were carried up the beach, tarp and tents deftly erected and our petrol stoves roaring away with hot brews and evening meals.

Mark Pawley 
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