Friday, August 20, 2010

Tutka Bay Kayak Trip Details

Just a quick post to share some details and photos of our last couple of days in Homer, Alaksa.

Matt did the "man thing" and hunted (well fished) for our food.  He went on a Halibut fishing trip from Homer with Inlet Charters.  He caught his limit of two halibut and described landing them as "pulling a sheet of plywood from the ocean floor".  The halibut were about 20 pounds (and yield about 60% of their meat to eat) each so it provided lots of great fish for us and for mom and dad.

Here he is with his and several other fishermen's catch of the day.

That;s a pretty small boat...  Glad I wasn't on it...

We left for our kayaking trip across Kachemack Bay on Sunday, the 15th.  We woke to lots of wind and rain (surprise, surprise).  We met our guides at True North at their office on the Homer spit and took a water taxi over to Yukon Island and their base camp to pick up our kayaks.  The seas were pretty rough on our boat ride over, but thankfully dramamine did the trick and I didn't get sick (although we would learn that it is possible to get sea sick in the kayak).  We watched playful sea otters and harbor seals all around us while we toured the rocky coastline of the island.

Here we are all bundled up against the wind and rain on the water taxi ride over to Yukon Island (pictured behind us).
Since this is our first time in a sea kayak, we signed up to paddle around Yukon Island with a guide so that we could learn how to manuver the boats.  Lets just say that we now want rudders on our whitewater kayak boats... talk about being a lazy paddler and you still just go straight - Incredible!!

Me paddling around Yukon Island with this really cool plant life in the water.

Matt kayaking around the island.

Now thats a big grin...  just figured out the rudder...  NICE!!!

Rafting up for a quick picture
Matt taking a photo of the group as we kayaked around the island - I'm in the green boat just ahead
Once we determined that we could safely make the channel crossing and the weather had improved, we set off on our own to make the 5 mile paddle into Tutka Bay and our yurt for camping the next two nights.  We were a bit nervous as the seas were a bit rougher on the crossing and we had to watch out for large boats in the main channel of the bay. 

Me cooking dinner in the yurt - Well, OK, boiling water for our freeze dried dinner.
We woke the next morning to howling wind and driving rain...  Needless to say, we were not all that much in a hurry to head out to paddle in the kayaks.  We had a great morning lounging around the very warm yurt before deciding to take a short sheltered paddle to the Tutka Lake Lagoon.
The next morning, I was served coffee while still in my sleeping bag...  Talk about spoiled...

This is the yurt - It was a beautiful location and very warm with its wood stove.

Matt taking some photos of some eagles on our paddle

Our boats...

The opening of the lagoon of the lake that was very sheltered

Me on our beach as we returned from our paddle in the afternoon.
Our last day of the trip, we woke to light rain and dead calm seas.  For most of our paddle out, we would have seas of glass that made it so great to spot star fish, otters, seals, crabs and lots of fish on our way out of the bay.  However, in the afternoon as we neared the main channel for our crossing, the wind and waves kicked up.  We would make the crossing with about 2+ foot waves.  Not very large, but looking much larger from our kayaks.
The view from our camping beach the morning we left.  It was so beautifully still.

Paddling out of the bay - Still very calm waters.

Matt paddling down the bay on our way out.

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