Day 55 - Sunday - July 20 - Auke Bay to Point Bridget
Launching from Auke Bay on a calm morning.
The storms of the past two days had given way to a beautiful calm morning on Lynn Canal indicating a good omen for the last big push of my trip. Today’s destination lay 29 miles away at the south tip of Berners Bay, and marked the last big open water crossing I would have to make. I hoped to reach this spot, as it would put me in a good position to make the 5-mile crossing of the bays mouth first thing tomorrow morning before the winds could build.
My first look at Lynn Canal.
By 5:30am my kayak was in the water and I was headed north up Lynn Canal. It is too bad they call it a canal because it is one of the prettiest channels along the whole Inside Passage. Snow capped peaks are visible down the entire length as long as the weather cooperates and the clouds are not too low.
Heading north up the east coast of Lynn Canal.
A highway parallels the eastern coastline all the way to Eagle Beach State Park so there are many homes visible along the route. Tee Harbor indents the coast a few miles north of Auke Bay and may offer amenities for a paddler although I did not stop to investigate.
The gravel bar at the mouth of Eagle River.
At 9:30am, I had reached the huge gravel bar that juts out into Lynn Canal at the mouth of Eagle River. If conditions were favorable this would make a great campsite located a convenient one day’s paddle from Juneau. I did not stop here to look around, but a grove of trees at the highest point on the bar indicated that it was safe from even the highest tides.
My campsite at Point Bridget on Berners Bay.
The current and a light breeze were both with me and I made good time covering the 29 miles in 8 hours and 10 minutes arriving at Point Bridget on Berners Bay at 1:40pm. There was a small private cabin at the point on the edge of the forest but no one was home. I was able to find a nice tent site, well away from the cabin, and high up at the top of the beach in an inconspicuous place. The beach here is composed of smooth rounded cobblestones that would be fine to land on and launch from at any tide level. Someone however has cleared a path through the larger stones to the small gravel underneath, which goes all the way down to low tide level and makes access even easier.
If all goes as planned, I should be in Skagway in 3 days.