The schedule that follows is only a representative timeline of events and may change do to weather or other factors.
Pre-trip meeting with your guide the night before we depart
We meet in the morning to check our gear, discuss the weather and make our plan for the next 3 days of sea kayaking and exploring. After we go over a short safety briefing we will finish stowing our gear and shove off into the fjord that surrounds Haines. Before we venture too far we will discuss paddling techniques and our plan for traveling as a group safely on the water, then once everyone is comfortable, off we go in the direction of our first camp. This first morning of paddling will be about getting our rhythm so we can stop frequently to adjust our boats or just stretch our legs and have a snack. By mid afternoon we are starting to think about our first camp and by late afternoon we are pulling in and scouting out a nice dry bench above the high tide line. Welcome to the Tongass National Forest our nations largest at 16.7 million acres.
Waking at a respectful time we can relax with a hearty breakfast and take some time to scan the water for spouts from Humpback or Killer whales who cruise these waters, some of the deepest in south east alaska. As we break camp and load our boats we can talk a bit more about paddling technique, tweaking things just slightly can take some of the work load off of tired muscles. Hugging the shoreline or deciding cross the fjord we have plenty of options depending on our weather and everyones comfort level but no matter what keep an eye out for Stellar Sealions. Endangered as a species but common here in theses waters, these marine mammals are curious and will pop up behind you some times just a few feet away to check us out. Stopping again for lunch and some impromptu beach combing we can cruise the beaches looking for treasures or venture into the coastal temperate rain forest of the Tongass. Climbing back in our boats we will discuss where we want to camp for night number 2 and then come up with a plan for our afternoon of paddling. Choosing our second campsite with the tides in mind, which can swing 20 feet or more form low to high tide, we will pitch our tents and secure our boats in some nice beach grass and have a fire on the sand below our camp.
Our final morning over coffee or tea and of course another delicious breakfast has us contemplating our arrival back in civilization. On this day we can choose to stay in camp exploring the area around it and maybe catching a glimpse of a brown bear, from a safe distance of course, while we wait for a water taxi to retrieve us and take us to Haines. If the weather seems a little dicey we can hike to an airstrip and catch a quick flight aboard a bush plane back to Haines international airport or if everyone feels fresh and the weather is looking good we will pack our things, climb into our sea kayaks and finish our journey back to Haines the way we started. No matter how we arrive we will be back in Haines and off to a well deserved and needed shower.