Our water taxi service was provided by Gustavus Water Taxi out of Gustavus, Alaska. Legal obligations keep each operator to 5 passengers, so we employed the use of Gustavus Water Taxi and Bud Rosenbruch, owner of Southeast Alaskan Adventures.
“Us and all our gear where loaded on to two water taxis for the trip out to Yakobi Island. The boat ride out was great the captain and his friend who was acting as deck hand were a wealth of information and darn good company. We saw Humpback Whales Stellar Sea lion and Dall’s porpoises on the way out and were given advice on possible camping spots and bear avoidance.”-Mike-
In our boat, Pilot Zach and crewmate , Brock, kept a watchful eye on the ever-changing environment (in flood state at that time), as well as the shoreline, constantly watching for wildlife. We did pause our journey to watch a small pod of whales.
“…South Inian Pass. The chart stated that currents could reach 8 or 10 knots, I wanted to see what I was in for! The Pass was well behaved that day. I started to feel more comfortable.” – Sharell
Zipping along at 25kts, we wasted little time to get to our destination. We needed to get to Greentop cove so they could unload us, and gear and get out while the tide was still high.
Fresh air and unbelievable scenery was in abundance. Sharell rode the deck of her boat and Katie rode the deck on her boat the whole way.
“I told him [The boat pilot] we would be traveling the 80 miles by kayak in the allotted 3 days. I couldn’t read his expression. It was somewhere between doubt and disbelief.” – Sharell
Grasping our last signs of civilization, a cup of coffee from a cafe, Michelle and the rest of us take in the surroundings. Soon, we were following along with our fingers on the chart and making notes as Zach and Brock pointed out prominent features and possible camp sites. This would be our return route via kayak to Hoonah.
The Lisianski Strait separates the Baranoff Island from Yakobi Island; after that nothing but ocean. As we entered this waterway, we turned to look back at the other boat and were rewarded with this fantastic view of Mt Fairweather and an ice field.This Fjord like waterway would be our return route via kayak if the ocean proved to be too vigorous. Zach chose this route this day for that very reason.
Once way came out of Lisianski Strait, we had the full view of the ocean and were aware that the motion of the water had changed. We had little time to take it in, however because our attention went to the serious matter of getting into the cove.
Even at high tide, there was treacherous rocks that posed danger to the boats. With Zach watching the GPS and Sonar, Brock was at the bow (he donned his life jacket) peering for obstacles below the surface. The Alaskan Hunter followed our exact route.
As you can see, the high tide is already going down and we need to work quickly.
“When we arrived at Green Top Harbor cabin there were some folks occupying it. Brock our deckhand politely and diplomatically evicted them for us, what a great kindness.” -Mike-
We worked quickly to unload our gear and say our goodbyes to our new friends. Their faces and words expressed concern for our welfare, but they were assured of our skills and plans.
We wave goodbye and are left with a calm and silence.
Finally, we had arrived!