Husky House

Aialik Bay and Humpy Cove

With the increasing daylight and the more hospitable temperatures, my urge to ski or skijor in Denali Park is gaining momentum.  Anything to visit my favorite place.  Around mid-March the spring road opening will begin, and “shortly” thereafter so will vehicle access to Teklanika, until the season begins around Memorial Day.  I’m so excited!

I’m continuing my project to recreate some of the  posts that disappeared when the old site went offline.  Fortunately for the viewer, the new posts will not be as verbose and will serve primarily to introduce the photo galleries.  With my thoughts racing toward summer, I’ve chosen sea kayaking for today’s undertaking.

If you want to go anywhere other than around a lake, sea kayaking (as opposed to white water kayaking) is limited in the Fairbanks area to either the Chena or Tanana Rivers.  Therefore, we prefer to travel to someplace where we can really sea kayak, such as Seward.  Since such adventure can be time consuming and expensive, we don’t do it nearly as often as we would like.

In August 2009, we loaded the kayaks on the Jeep and ventured to Seward to explore Aialik Bay.  We did  other things along the way, but kayaking was the ultimate destination.  This was a spur of the moment trip (I think we were escaping smoke from wildfires around Fairbanks), so we were limited by availability to one night on Orca Island and two days kayaking.  These two days were the most perfect kayaking I have experienced; the weather was great, the guide a perfect match, the seas accommodating, and the yurt Utopian.

We had to take about a 30 minute sea taxi ride to reach our yurt on privately owned Orca Island.  There are only three yurts on the island, and the night we were there, we shared the island with only two other people, the ultimate in solitude.   No phone/cell phone service, no power for your computer, no TV, read a book by the light from propane lamps, grill a tenderloin on the deck, enjoy a couple beers from the cooler, fall asleep to the rhythm of the changing tide and awaken to the sounds of the Kittiwakes.

Unloading the taxi at Orca Island. That's our guide in the red life jacket.

Our little yurt in paradise

View from the deck

On arrival day, we kayaked around Humpy Cove with our guide, eventually paddling up a stream to a waterfall where Bill decided to check out the icy water.  After a relaxing evening in the yurt, the water taxi picked us up and we rode a couple hours to Aialik Bay where we set out on our day-long journey around Aialik and Pedersen Glaciers.  I had dreamed of kayaking around a glacier and I can only describe this as awesome, breathtaking, stunning, imposing, incredible.

Bill enjoying the frigid water in the waterfall pond

Returning to Orca Island

On the taxi heading out to Aialik Glacier

John and Bill enjoying an Alaskan Amber in front of Aialik Glacier

A black bear strolling along the shore by Pedersen Glacier

Bill and John paddling among the berger bits at Pedersen Glacier

Our water taxi pickup in Aialik Bay at the mouth of Pedersen Glacier, three others shared the taxi with us

There are more photos of Aialik Bay and Humpy Cove in my gallery.

Comments are closed.