Kayaking in Tebenkof Bay Wilderness
August 2 8, 2004

In our group were four couples: Randy Robinson and Jane Hadley, Lynn and Malcolm Best, Bill Alves and Mary-Carter Creech, and Dick and Marjy Fiddler.

On Saturday July 31, 2004, we flew via Alaska Airlines to Petersburg, Alaska, a small Norwegian fishing town in Southeast Alaska southeast of Sitka. We spent Saturday and Sunday shopping for last minute food and camping/fishing items and eating at restaurants and taking a hike.

On Monday morning Aug. 2, we flew in two "shifts" of four people each on a seaplane from Petersburg to Long Island in Tebenkof Bay. The Tebenkof Bay Wilderness is in the middle of Kuiu Island (pronounced "Q-You"), which is southwest of Petersburg and southeast of Sitka. It is part of the Tongass National Forest and also part of Alaska's Inside Passage.

Kayaks were waiting for us at Long Island. We brought along our own collapsible Feathercraft double kayak, but rented two other doubles and two singles. Upon arriving Monday at Long Island, we immediately packed our kayaks and paddled about six miles west to the Windfall Islands, where we camped Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. We took day trips from this location each day -- exploring, whale watching, bird watching and fishing.

The whales were incredible. We could see their spouts from quite a distance and the sound they made when they were breaching was incredibly loud. A huge "whummmmp" that carried for several miles.

Randy and I fished out of a double kayak. Randy was in front paddling, and I was in back trolling a line with spoons on it out to the side and behind us. We didn't have a net to land the fish, so that part was tough especially for Randy. I wore the fish out as much as possible by playing them and then when I got them up to the side of the boat, Randy picked them up by the gills and put them into his cockpit. He klunked them with a large rock to put them out of their misery as quickly as possible. We then strung them up alongside the boat in the water.

On Thursday, we packed up and paddled back to Long Island, where we stayed Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. We took daytrips out of Long Island as well.

On Sunday morning, the seaplane came to get us and fly us back to Petersburg. On Monday Aug. 9, we flew on Alaska Airlines from Petersburg back to Seattle.