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.
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.
A photo gallery and short story about our trip was published in Outside Online.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was recently in New Zealand teaching a month long Sea Kayaking course.
We had an amazing opportunity to stop at Motuara Island, were we got to see several endemic and endangered birds.
New Zealand Robins are tame and charismatic birds, often chasing insects in the duff by your feet.
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.
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.
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.
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.