Kelp Bay and Lake Eva

Jun 14, 2018 - National Geographic Sea Lion

Today we explored different areas along the northeastern shore of Baranof Island. We started the day leaving our anchorage at Warm Spring Bay where we spent a quiet and restful night and slowly made our way north along the eastern coast of Baranof Island. 

Not long after, we discovered several blows far away across Chatham Strait and National Geographic Sea Lion directed her bow towards them. We delighted watching several humpback whales and many Dall’s porpoises swimming around in the calm waters, presumably feeding on small schooling fish, possibly herring. A few harbor porpoises were also present and six or seven bald eagles tried too to grab some stunned fish or scraps from the surface. All that before breakfast! 

We sailed back to Baranof and entered the large and protected Kelp Bay, where we continued our search for wildlife. Some more Dall’s porpoises and the occasional humpback whale were spotted here and there, until something walking on shore called our attention: a brown bear! 

Baranof is one of the three ABC islands of the Alexander Archipelago, famous for their large population of brown bears, and this one looked at us for a long time while we watched him, before heading back into the forest. A short time later, we discovered three Sitka black-tailed deer on the beach; two bucks and one doe of that sub-species of the black-tailed or mule deer, endemic to the Alexander Archipelago. They allowed us to watch them for a long time, something that this shy creature rarely permits. 

We spent the afternoon hiking and kayaking the area around Lake Eva, facing the infamous Peril Strait that separates Baranof from Chichagof Island. There we had a great time admiring the beauty of the temperate rainforest and stretched our legs on the very nice trail created and maintained by the Forest Service. Red squirrels, red-breasted sapsuckers, Steller’s jays and many other inhabitants of the forest welcomed us to their home. What a beautiful day we had in Southeast Alaska!


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About the Author

Carlos Navarro

Undersea Specialist

Carlos J. Navarro is a biochemist specializing in marine biology, a M. Sc. in Environmental Management and a freelance wildlife photographer/author. Carlos has spent most of the last 30 years living along the shores of the Sea of Cortez and participating in numerous scientific, conservation and environmental education projects on the vaquita, marine invertebrates, sea birds, great white sharks, baleen whales, jaguars and crocodiles. Carlos’ six years of jaguar research provided the basis of ONCA MAYA, a non-profit organization dedicated to jaguar conservation based in Cancun, of which he is a founding member and still serves as a scientific advisor. He loves being underwater, either free-diving or using SCUBA gear and have had the chance to explore the underwater realms of Alaska, Mexico, Svalbard, the trans-Atlantic ridge islands, the Caribbean and both coasts of South America from Panama to Chile and Brazil to Argentina. 

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