Day 27 - Sunday - June 22 - Kanagunut Island to Cape Fox

Launching this morning was exceedingly troublesome. The tide was out and still falling and I had to carry my boat and gear over a field of slippery seaweed covered cobblestones for about 80 paces. It was necessary to keep moving the kayak further out into the water as I loaded it, to compensate for the tide continuing to recede. If that was not bad enough, gnats and mosquitoes were constantly buzzing around my face trying to steal a meal from any exposed flesh.

Looking across Nakat Bay toward Cape Fox and Fox Island.

I finally launched at 7:50am and with a light wind at my back headed up Lincoln Channel toward Nakat Bay. Along the channel I saw dozens of commercial fishing boats tied up to docks and small floating camps. They were no doubt staying out of the wind and waiting for conditions to improve offshore. As I rounded the north end of Kanagunut Island a strong wind was blowing out of the west straight at me.

Tongass Island in Nakat Bay.

I passed the southwest corner of Tongass Island at 9:15am and, after taking a big drink of water, started across the wind whipped waters of Nakat Bay. Across the bay I could see the navigation marker showing on my chart as Boat Rock, 2 ½ miles away. I kept the bow of my boat pointed at it and after 45 minutes of hard paddling was passing it heading southwest toward Cape Fox. Now that I was close to shore, the wind was not a problem and I could take my time and enjoy the view of distant islands and mountain peaks.

Starfish and Sea Anemones on the rocks in Nakat Bay.

Cape Fox was not far off and by 11am, after paddling only 9 miles, I was pulling my kayak up onto its protected sandy beach. Fox Island lies just offshore and it, along with a few other small rocky outcrops, forms a sort of protected harbor. When I arrived here, three small commercial fishing boats were anchored in its calm shallow water. This spot is particularly pretty with an emerald green bottom showing through its crystal clear waters.

Fox Island lies just offshore from Cape Fox.   

If the winds had been calm, I would have bypassed this spot altogether and headed another 15 miles up the coast to Foggy Bay. The entire shoreline north of Cape Fox is exposed to Dixon Entrance and any conditions the Pacific Ocean wants to send its way. Wind and sea swells that approach this shallow, reef-lined coast can create dangerous conditions for any paddler attempting to navigate its waters. The fishing boats anchored here were an indication to me that even they thought it was a good idea to stay off the water the rest of this afternoon.

The beach at Cape Fox.

The beach here is very nice consisting of shallow sloping sand interspersed with solid rock outcrops. A flat area at the top of the beach provides tent sites that are above even the highest monthly tides. Although there is no flowing stream here, I was able to filter enough water to top off my supply by using the small puddles created by indentations in the solid rock outcrops above the high tide line.

My kayak high-up on the beach at Cape Fox.

I did not know it at the time but the next three nights would be spent here waiting for the winds to die down and the weather to clear.