Another item on our "Alaska to do list" was sea-kayaking, and so Daniel and I headed down to Whittier again, this time by car. We queued up for the exciting trip through the tunnel, the only access into the small coastal town. We were quite excited by the first glimpses of sunshine we'd seen in ages; we even managed to see a glacier with blue sky and sunshine in the background
As we exited the 2 1/2 mile tunnel, we drove into a fog so thick that we could see neither the harbor nor the famous Begich Towers. Whittier only exists for two reasons: the fishing industry and glacier cruises out of the harbor; and the hardcore Alaskans who live there year-round in the one building (which has a tunnel to the school behind it...). Our launch site looked pretty eerie in the morning mist, but we summoned our sourdough spirit and took the plunge.
We did the Passage Cove outing with Alaska Sea Kayakers, and we just had the best time ever. They supplied us with every conceivable waterproof garment, and our guide was so patient and friendly that we confided half our life story to him! Our first stop was at a little beach. We pulled up on the pebbles and clomped into the forest in search of salmon berries and blue berries. The waterfall and magnificent view of Billing's Glacier were just a bonus!
We paddled further along the south shore until we reached a river mouth that was home to spawning salmon. We managed to concuss a few with our oars as we hovered around the mouth. Most of the salmon had completed their reproductory efforts and, having returned to the sea, were slow and sluggish. Our guide even caught one with his bare hands!
We paddled a mile across Passage Canal to the north shore and stopped for a delicious salmon picnic! We stopped off at the kittiwake rookery before battling the winds blowing off the glaciers on our return across the passage. My shoulders had long started to hurt and Daniel valiantly brought us into the harbor. I'm not sure if we'll go back for more, but we really did have such a great day out!