Black Bears, Meyer's Chuck and Canoe Pass

We awoke early this morning to do a 7am hike to Margaret Creek. This was another place where you had to have a boat or sea plane to hike here! The total hike was around 5 miles. We observed several black bears playing in the river, grabbing at salmon. One mother and her two cubs came along and attempted to eat some salmon before spotting a male bear and running away by the threat of being attacked. Ray snapped up this great shot of a black bear that was around 3 feet away from us. He seemed pretty afraid since we were towering over him on an inclined hill. I guess the trick with black bears if you encounter them on a trail is to lift up your hands, making yourself look larger and slowly stepping away, while talking to them, telling them you are human. I?m not sure that telling them you aren?t a bear is really pertinent, but that is what the guide books say to do!

We then headed back to the yacht for some delicious lunch, filled with cinnabons and eggs benedict all home made delicious goodies. Any attempt to use the adventurous travel to lose some weight is a failure with all this incredible food around us!

On our way to Meyers Chuck, the boat slowed down and the group got on deck to observe Humpback Whales bubble feeding. It’s such an interesting process. Normally humpback whales are solo travelers unless they are bubble feeding. They will travel in a group of 3 to 4 whales; one whale will circle around the others creating bubbles which has been observed to be a technique to herd herring and they’ll use their fins to create motion to help the herding process and then open their baleen to swallow the fish. Their esophagus is the size of a grapefruit, so if they accidentally swallow a bird or some larger fish, they are forced to spit it out immediately. The baleen allows them to filter out exactly what they want and then they’ll jump up, swallow and land on their side. It’s such a beautifully synchronized action and they are completely coordinated each time they do this the entire summer. They won?t eat all winter and have to make it down to their breeding ground in Hawaii, so they need to eat a lot from June to September to make it through the winter.

We then pulled up our boat to Meyers Chuck, a town with a population of 19 people. Yes, I didn’t mistype that, it is 19! This is the only town left in the entire United States that hand cancels their mail, so we got a chance to hand cancel it ourselves! They also send out mail and receive mail once a week, so you have to think ahead for grocery shopping! It is a beautiful little town and to get from one side to the other, people will take the chuck across if there is low tide. If the tide is high, they have to take the boat across to the other side.

We are now headed to Canoe Pass, where we will set down our kayaks and kayak a few miles and be able to meet our boat ahead tonight. The weather has been perfect, which is odd for an Alaskan rainforest, but I don’t mind anomalies like this one!

Well I’m off to eat some barbeque ribs, blackeye and corn on the cob! Our chef makes bread every day, so I’m curious what he’ll make tonight. I can already smell something really good!