Monday, May 21, 2012

Unalaska - glimpses

A few more pics from Unalaska, as we journeyed from winter towards spring...
'the world at my feet'
'special places likely only seen like this very occasionally'
I remember this day well, the wind was light : ) off the water by 5pm.
a breathtaking Aleutian morning - literally
Stella Sea Lion haul-outs along the way. Like Sea Otters they are protected by federal law and any disturbance of them is strictly prohibited.
(believe me, if you've seen a lone bull sea lion rise up in front of the kayak out in the swell, its huge flanks making a bow wave as it dives beneath you, approaching a group of them is hardly inviting)
tried for a team pick at a break round a sheltered finger of rock...
The view from above our camp site - the wind can go from 40 knots to 5 within a hour or two.
Most of what we had were 'wind seas' with a little bit of swell.
This was how we saw many of the Sea Otters, others were swimming on their backs, tiny furry bundles lying on their bellies... so cute!
Unalaska has sections of 'fingers of rock' reaching out, with deep bays and inlets between them, the ideal places to funnel wind... We relished the delightful solid few days of constant pressure from driving our kayaks up each bay, then a steep ferry angle for 1-2 miles with a strong offshore wind, then turn and run with the wind to the end, a brief section of shelter, then do it again.
At each sheltered rocky headland, there would typically be sea otters playing in the kelp, balancing their little uns on their bellies, or peeking at us. We counted 50-60 sea otters each day along the Unalaska coast, marking off sightings on the maps, as well as Sea Lion haul outs, and occasional sightings of common seals.
more pics to follow : )

1 comment:

Rachel Smith said...

Hi K
photos look amazing - and it seems like you have made good progress. I don't fancy the wind and snow much but the scenery and wildlife looks amazing!
Safe paddling
Rach x