Day 63 - Monday - July 28 - Haines to Skagway
The weather today was beautiful and provided a perfect end to my Inside Passage kayaking adventure. Sunny skies and calm seas had replaced the windy, rainy, and cold days of the past week. Skagway was only 21 miles away and I could hardly wait to get there.
I launched at 6am and headed across Tanani Bay and the mouth of Lutak Inlet. As I rounded Taiya Point and entered Taiya Inlet, I was amazed to see the hulls of massive white cruise ships at dock in Skagway, almost 15 miles away. My final destination was in sight at last. Two years of planning and preparation had paid off and the trip was nearing its end. I had met many interesting people, had a great adventure, and luckily had not had a single serious injury.
I had been saving digital memory space throughout the trip by not taking many video clips. Now that the trip was almost over and I was in the final stretch, I set the waterproof camera on the deck in a tripod and caught a few scenes of what the view looked like from my kayak.
Cruise ships at dock in Skagway.
The end of the line at the boat launch ramp in Skagway, Alaska.
I paddled past the now familiar line of cruise ships and into the small boat harbor in Skagway. At 12 noon, my bow crunched onto the gravel beach and the trip was over. There was no one around, so I gave myself a little cheer, broke into a huge smile, and began laughing aloud.
I could hardly believe it was over and I had actually paddled my kayak from San Juan Island in Washington to Skagway, Alaska. I had spent a total of 68 days paddling and 19 days either sitting out bad weather or visiting the ports of call over both legs of the trip.
I spent the next three nights in Skagway at the Pullen Creek Campground that is right next to the spot where I landed. The trip back to Port Hardy on the AMH and BC ferries was interesting as I was able to see many of the routes I had paddled and campsites where I stayed from a different perspective.
After driving just over 4,000 miles, I arrived back home in New Orleans on August 23rd. having been gone since May 19.