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 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.

 

Wonderful winter in Baja

Many people would probably celebrate the lack of winter in Alaska this year. But for me and my wife Nancy which love snow, cold, and backcountry skiing it was quite depressing with rain, warm temps, and a thin crust of dirty snow in the backyard. Photographically it was a disaster, how do you convey the feeling of winter when the snow is dirty and there is dead brown sticks everywhere?

The solution escape to Mexico where there is no expectations of snow. We started out with a week long backpack trip in the Laguna Mountains, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The friendly rancheros that live in around the mountains was a highlight, especially Prisciliano at Rancho Ecologico Sol de Mayo. Most tourist come here for a few hours to see the amazing waterfall, but be wise and spend a few days, explore the area, learn from Prisciliano and enjoy the amazing hospitality.

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Yet – another amazing swimming hole. Please be careful to not contaminate the precious desert water with sunscreens, soap, and other chemicals.

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Yes – we actually got three days of straight rain, and in our infinite wisdom we didn’t bring a rainfly to our tent as it never rains in the desert. Luckily this boulder had a great overhang that sheltered us for one of the nights.

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The terrain is steep and rugged with granite slabs and boulders, surrounded by lush and very diverse vegetation.

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The higher elevations has an amazing forest with Oak and Pine tress mixed with Joshua trees, and covered in lichen and moss communities.

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After crossing the range from east to west, we enjoyed another stormy night on the Pacific Ocean.

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With sore knees and feet the ocean was calling us, and we went sea kayaking around Isla Espiritu Santo.

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Amazing sunsets was one of the highlights, but so was the wildlife. Fun to see the American Oystercatcher patrolling the beaches, and the Magnificent Frigatebird at their nesting colony.

 

 

 

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