Saturday, June 17, 2017

Eastern and Western Coves

 Another two weeks done, and I'm back in Juneau.  I completed the Eastern and Western Coves trips, which go to and from Ketchikan, and I like those trips a lot.  Its always hard to say which is my favorite, but I really like going to Tracy arm and Endicott, and that is what we did.  We also went to Ford's Terror, and how I like that place!  I saw a Trumpeter swan.
And a bunch of Harbor Seals on the ice.
Endicott had a lot more ice in it than I am used to.  The glacier had retreated a lot since the year before, and there were huge chunks of ice floating around and signs of lots more to come.  I fear for the longevity of the ice there.
 Then we went to Baird Glacier, and found some Harlequin Ducks.  In dawes, I took a skiff way way up the river and into the glacier lake that is forming as the glacier retreats from its old terminal moraine.  Previously this lake was not accessible, but the ice dams have broken enough to allow passage in now.  and so I went in, and drove around and found it to be vast and wonderful.  
 Near the brother's Islands we found Sea Lions
 And a Loon
 And in Shrimp and Klu bay I found baby harbor seals next to their mama.
 And a black bear in a meadow.
 And an unhappy eagle
 and one of my fellow guides, Dan.
 One of the things I love the most about the Eastern coves trip is going into Misty Fjords and in there there is a tiny little hidden cove that I call fern gully and it has the most wonderful drips...
 And a few mergansers.
 Then we started the Western Coves, and started out with a bang.  We saw Orcas three times this week and had nice sea lions to begin.  This one has something dangly hanging on and I cant figure if it is testicles or penis.  Testicles seem like they should be inside, right?  Maybe it is neither.  For a marine mammal, it makes sense to keep stuff inside and out of the cold.
 Our second orcas were a transient pod and I think they were finishing up eating something when we came upon them.

 And a humpback in the kelp kept us happy in Fredrick Sound.
 Along with a small group of Brants
 And I got a nice close-up of a Jaeger!
 Then we went to Sanborn Canal, and I did an all day hike up the river there.  Last year I did a long hike with Danny, and we paddled up until we couldn't paddle anymore and then walked a long way, but the tide was lower this time, so we got dropped off and walked the tide flat for a while before coming to the grass.  Then in the meadow we tromped along with eyes open until we found a moose coming the other direction.  We found a good spot to look from and the moose came along and we got a nice close view, from about 100 yards.  It finally saw us and then looked back and then went along its moosey way.  I love them.  They are so weird looking and big.  It was a nice week and I have one more until I am on break.  Alaska is nice, but also cold.  There was fresh snow yesterday in Tracy Arm for us, and I was driving around the skiffs in sleet.

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