Subsistence Kayaking VI

 Fredrik Norrsell
This squirrel was busy dropping cones on our tent all night, and caching them for the coming winter.
 Fredrik Norrsell
One of the squirrels many food caches.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy with a nice Chanterelle harvest.
 Fredrik Norrsell
All the wildlife were fattening up for the winter, including this Brown Bear sow and her 2 cubs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A big plate with pan-fried Silver Salmon, Chanterelles and Beach Asparagus. A great late summer treat.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Found amazing tide pools full of anemones, sponges, and limpets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Sunset in Chatham Strait.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We got winded in and camped a few miles short of Angoon on our last night. Awoke during the night to this spectacular Aurora and the sound of a breaching Humpback Whale.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Leaving Angoon on the ferry.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A spectacular last sunset, as we were heading north towards Haines on the ferry.

Subsistence Kayaking V

Finally back for the last entries about last summer. Held off publish some images since some publications wanted to buy first time rights. More to come.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A stack of rock fish fillets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy cleaning rockfish. Rock fish was a stable in our diet, and our favorite meal.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Weather turned wonderful for the last 10 days of our trip with many stunning sunrises and sunsets.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Shorebirds were abundant at the end of the summer, as the fall migration had begun.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The small town of Baranof. Hotsprings and a great friendly community. What else can you wish for.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A sleeping Stellar Sealion.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We watched this bubble-net feeding Humpback whale for well over 1 hour.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The humpback whale coming up close for a breath.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Anemone in a tidepool.
 Fredrik Norrsell
As we crossed Chatham Straight the weather detoriated and heavy rain started.

Subsistence Kayaking – IV

After Goddard Hot Springs we turned back north past Sitka, through Sergius Narrows to Hoonah Sound. As we returned into a more sheltered environment we found a larger variety of beach greens and they were more abundant.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Wild crabapples were flavorful, but time consuming to collect and process.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Thimbleberries didn’t grow along the outer coast. As we returned to the inner channels (Hoonah Sound) we found the last delicious berries of the season.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Fishing for salmon continued to be poor but we caught a few pinks. Learned later from ADFG biologist that the fish had gone straight up the streams as rains and high stream flows arrived the same time as the salmon. Here we are eating salmon, beach asparagus, and hedgehog mushrooms.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Found great crabbing in Hoonah Sound. What a tasty threat.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A flock of Common Mergansers in morning fog. It was nice to find calmer sea conditions in Hoonah Sound after all our time on the outer coast.
 Fredrik Norrsell
We really liked the ocean in Hoonah Sound but it was sad to see how heavily logged the forest had been.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Recent clearcuts in Hoonah Sound.

Subsistence Kayaking – III

The unsettled weather continued during our trip down to Goddard Hot Springs, so we decided to portage into Redoubt Lake and from there hike the historic trail to the Hot Springs. We quickly found out how much richer the marine environment is, and we had to work hard to get enough food and use our saved supplies.

 Fredrik Norrsell
The old boardwalk – trail between Redoubt Lake and Goddard Hot Springs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Along the trail to Goddard Hot Springs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Boiling Limpets. Since limpets are grazers they are not susceptible to PSB poisons. We were able to collect limpets along our hike from Redoubt Lake to Goddard Hotspring.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Huckleberries were abundant near the Hot Springs.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Blueberry Cobbler for breakfast.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Goddard Hot Springs, what a wonderful threat to soak and rest our tired bodies.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Twisted stalk salad with smoked salmon and huckleberries.

Subsistence Kayaking – II

The he trip is going well after 45 days and over 300 nautical miles we have reached Sitka. Here we are re-supplying on spices, oil and sugar. After several weeks of fantastic weather we now have a pretty good storm moving through. Hopefully we can continue towards Goddard Hot Springs tomorrow.

Good weather allowed us to paddle the open coast on the west side of Yakobi island.
Brekers along the outer coast of Chichagof Island.
Deer are abundant along the coast and can be amazingly approachable when approached slowly.
Nancy proudly showing off her catch. The first salmon Of the season for us.
Nearly 40 pounds of fresh salmon that will feed us for many days.
Smoking salmon is working well as a way to preserve fish, and it is delicious. The evening before we caught 7 large Keta salmon.
This dinner was a highlight. Pan fried rock fish, with rock fish ceviche, shrimp and fresh picked berries.

Subsistence Kayaking – I

 Fredrik Norrsell
A beautiful sunset. The rainy SE alaska has offered more sun than rain.
 Fredrik Norrsell
The first ripe strawberries. What a threat.

Our trip and in SE Alaska is going well. We started in Haines and paddled to Gustavus. Had to take a detour to Juneau to replace a broken fishing rod, but we still have eaten well. The first Salmon have arrived, but we haven’t caught any. Looking forward to them arriving in large numbers. We have primarily subsisted on Dolly Varden, Halibut, Cod, and a mixture of beach greens. Berries has also started to ripen with strawberries being our favorite. Crabs has been hard to catch but delicious when we succeed.

Limpets a tasty treat especially on days with poor fishing.
A delicious dinner with fresh crab, salad, bull kelp and stir-fried veggies.

Subsistence Kayak Trip

We are leaving for our summer of subsistence sea kayaking in SE Alaska, until September (is the plan). Will start paddling in Haines, and paddle in the direction that seems to have the best catching and harvesting. Our fishing gear, shrimp pots, crab snares, etc. are ready to provide the catch as we collect edible berries, plants and mushrooms. A well stocked spice kit will help us prepare some delicious meals (we hope). A few pictures from last summers trip below. I will try to update this page if we stop in a small town.

Want to hear more about how it is going? We are planning to post several updates with Adventure Kayaker.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Dinner with rock fish, shrimp, wild weeds, and mushrooms.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Nancy Pfeiffer picking blueberries.
 Fredrik Norrsell
Stir-fry with wild mushrooms and greens cooking over a fire.
 Fredrik Norrsell
A nice collection of fresh harvest, watermelon berries, chanterelles, blueberries and chitons.

 

Endemic New Zealand Birds

I was recently in New Zealand teaching a month long Sea Kayaking course.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Paddling in Pelorus Sound. © Fredrik Norrsell

We had an amazing opportunity to stop at Motuara Island, were we got to see several endemic and endangered birds.

 Fredrik Norrsell
A charismatic South Island Robin. © Fredrik Norrsell

New Zealand Robins are tame and charismatic birds, often chasing insects in the duff by your feet.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Bellbird coming down to drink. © Fredrik Norrsell

Bellbirds are known for their beautiful song, and on the predator free Motuara Island the bird song was almost deafening. It really highlighted how human impact and introduced predators have decimated birdlife on the mainland of New Zealand.

 Fredrik Norrsell
Yellow-crownd Parakeet. © Fredrik Norrsell

It was delightful to see the Kakariki (Yellow-crowned parakeet) again. A few years ago I caught a glimpse of it on Stewart Island. To watch numerous of them coming to drink and bathe was an amazing experience.

 Fredrik Norrsell
South Island Saddleback taking a bath. © Fredrik Norrsell

We even got to see the critically endangered South Island Saddleback. Pretty sure I even saw a few juveniles. Thanks to hard work by DOC and volunteers it is slowly making a comeback. The population is estimated at 700 individuals up from the original 36 birds that was rescued in 1964.

Wild Food Recipe

What a great dinner! We had a few requests for the recipe of our: “Fresh caught shrimp, baked rockfish and beach pea salad.”

First catch and clean a rockfish, then bake it over your camp stove in a big frypan. Season with salt, black pepper and stuff the belly with beach loveage.

Next, find a good shrimping spot, catch a handful of shrimp, boil for a few minutes in salt water and serve.

Third, take a walk and collect the following for the salad: Shelled beach peas, sour dock (otherwise known as mountain sorrel), wild violet leaves, twisted stalk leaves, or whatever greens you happen to have (chopped fine). Add the following from your extensive kayaking spice kit, a tiny bit of red onion, sesame oil, crystallized ginger and lime juice to taste.

Fourth, collect a handful of hedgehog mushrooms during your walk, sauté them in oil and season with salt, pepper and rosemary.

Note: Beach peas can be plentiful and easy to pick, although shelling them requires a zen approach to time. They can contain small amounts of toxins that accumulate, but are considered safe to eat occasionally.