On June 18th 2015 after 5 days of rock gardening, playing in the waves, journeying to a hot spring and having a blast on the outer coast of Alaska, it came time to leave the Greentop Cabin and journey back to Hoonah. We began much of the preparation for our journey back the night before. After discussing the projected tides and currents for the day, we decided to leave at 6 am. For a large group to leave on time on a kayak journey is a “daunting” task. I think that we were all very motivated to not get stuck in an ebbing tide so we made sure to leave on time.
Once we were on the water, we saw many jellyfish. I think we saw more leaving than we had seen all week. I think they were saying bye and wishing us a safe journey. We paddled approximately 15 miles on our first journey day. We stopped around noon on the northwest side of Yakobi island at Hoktaheen Cove and decided to stop for the day. The tide was set to change in a couple hours and out next stop was more than a couple hours away.
We set up camp at Hoktaheen Cove and spent the afternoon relaxing, exploring and watching the salmon jump to prepare for their swim up the creek to spawn. After a great night’s sleep in the Alaska wilderness, we left around 10 am for the next leg of our journey back to Hoonah.
The second day of the journey was a long but very relaxing day. The water was calm and we got to see a lot of wildlife and sea life. We all had a great time exploring rocks, playing in the current and enjoying everything that the Alaska Wilderness had to offer. When it was all said and done, we had journeyed 30 miles on the second day. A few of us had enough energy for a short race to the next campsite at the end of the day.
We set up camp later in the day and found a great campsite. We could see the high water line and prayed that we would be up high enough so that high tide would not reach out tents. We found a great campsite that once again had a stream. We were careful to cook and eat on the other side of the stream to all of the wildlife away from out tents. When it came time to sleep, I do not think that anyone had a problem due to the long day. Waking up in the early morning, we all heard the tide extremely close to out tents. A few brave members on the trip got up to look how close it was. We all managed to stay dry. We packed up camp early and began the last leg of our 72 mile journey back to Hoonah.
The last day brought more of the same, calm seas and plenty of sea life. I think by this point many of us were tired but, amazed that we are getting the opportunity to paddle in this spectacular place. When it was all said and done, we had gone approximately 26 miles on the last day and arrived back in Hoonah.
Overall, I think that we had a great trip in Alaska! We are all very capable paddlers and had two great instructors on out journey that both challenged us and allowed for self-discovery. I was happy to have had the opportunity and hope to go to Alaska again in the future.