Day 12 - Saturday - June 7 - Klemtu to Green Inlet
My tent and kayak on the dock in Klemtu.
It started raining overnight at my campsite on the dock in Klemtu but I was ready for it this time so it was no problem. I woke up at 5am and walked the ¼ mile to the bathroom then came back, made some coffee, and got ready to go. After launching at 7am, I paddled off in a light drizzle that continued throughout most of the day.
Today’s route would take me north out of Klemtu through beautiful Tolmie Channel. The overnight rain had swollen dozens of waterfalls that were now cascading down the steep cliff faces and through the dense evergreen forest. As they roared down, I passed quietly, paddling slowly in the misty drizzle. Clinging to the rocks below the high tide line were hundreds of purple and orange Ochre Sea Stars.
A Sunflower Sea Star.
I spotted a Sunflower Star along this stretch, which was one of only two that I saw on the trip.
A colony of Sea Anemones is exposed at low tide.
One of the most amazing creatures that I spotted along the entire route was clinging to rocks along this section. I believe that it was some type of Anemone. It was tube shaped, flesh colored, and moved slowly as it hung from a rock exposed by low tide. This was the only place that I spotted a colony of these creatures along the entire route.
Boat Bluff Lighthouse at the southern tip of Sarah Island.
At one point, a huge sea lion surfaced in front of me and just watched as I approached, not showing any sign of fearing me. For a moment, I thought it could be a bear swimming with its big wet furry face out of the water. When I was only a few feet away from him, I put on the brakes with the paddle and he quickly dove out of sight. It was a sea lion.
Cutting across Tolmie Channel from the Swindle Island side to the Sarah Island side.
As I paddled north from Klemtu in Tolmie Channel, I hugged the shore of Swindle Island until reaching Split Head where I cut across to Sarah Island and paddled close to its western shore. At Sarah Point, I cut across the opening to Hiekish Narrows and continued up the mainland shoreline.
About half way up Sarah Island in Tolmie Channel, I ran into the roughest water of the trip so far. It looked like two currents were opposing each other at an otherwise normal looking spot. Steep two-foot waves were hitting me from the rear for about 100 yards.
Heading up Tolmie Channel.
Today was one of the coldest, wettest and most uncomfortable days yet on the trip. I had to stop and add an extra layer of insulation under my paddling jacket just to stay warm. My fingerless paddling gloves were replaced by articulated neoprene gloves that kept my fingers warm as long as I was moving. Snow pack was starting to become routinely visible on the nearby hillsides down to about 1,000 feet.
My campsite in Green Inlet looking toward Graham Reach.
Even though the wind and current were with me a good part of the day, I only managed 3 mph. I had hoped to go 29 miles today to Flat Point but by 3pm and with 24 miles behind me, I was ready to stop. When I reached Green Inlet, I could see a nice flat grassy spot a short distance from the main channel. This turned out to be a small islet, only connected to the shore at low tide. As soon as I landed I spotted the tell tale signs that bears had been feeding on the nearby vegetation. I decided to take a chance and stay, as I had seen no other possible place to camp anywhere else nearby. I felt that since it was somewhat isolated from the mainland any bear feeding in the area would be able to avoid me. The rain stopped just long enough for me to set up camp and take a few pictures before it started up again.
A couple of Orcas surface near my campsite in Green Inlet.
As I was cooking dinner, a pod of Orcas came into Green Inlet and I was able to get a few photos before they quickly disappeared. These were the first Orcas I had seen on the trip including the first leg of the trip last summer.
I noted in my logbook that this was the best campsite so far this year. The scenery was beautiful and the level grassy spot made staying here a pleasure.
I spotted the Alaska Ferry heading north up Graham Reach from my campsite in Green Inlet.