Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Kayaking in Prince William Sound - Culross Passage

It's been over 20 years since I first visited Prince William Sound, and 10 years since I last visited, so Clare and I decided to plan a seakayaking trip for the end of August. We knew we wanted to cover some ground and spend several days exploring, so we scheduled an 8-day trip in the Western Sound, starting in the north end of Culross Passage and finishing down south in Deep Water Bay.
Although the first few days were pretty rainy that didn't stop us from getting out and seeing the sights. The paddling in Culross Passage was really good and the wildlife was abundant. Picturesque Cove was the highlight of the first few days, particularly when the monsoon-like rains ended and the sun popped out to provide a rainbow.
The camping beaches in Culross Passage were perfect for kayak camping. The sites were well protected from the strong east winds that were blowing at the time and most of the beaches were composed of small, rounded gravel or sand, which made landing our fully loaded fiberglass boats much easier.
Several of our nights were spent camped in close proximity to salmon spawning streams.  Chum salmon were spawning at the time and their carcasses littered the beaches and mouths of the spawning areas. The dead and dying fish also drew in a number of predators including lots of gulls, harbor seals, and bears.
After a few days in the mossy rainforests of Culross Passage we made the transit down into the glacially carved fjord lands of Port Nellie Juan.  We had perfect weather for the 14 mile trip from Picturesque Cove to Dereksen Bay and we took our time to enjoy the scenery. 

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