Dancing Bears? Nope, Swimming Bear!


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North America » United States » Alaska
July 13th 2021
Published: July 20th 2021
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Today we awoke to a strong drizzle in Takatz Bay, which from all accounts the area is in serious need of rain. So, we tried not to complain. For the morning, Ken and I chose the open kayak, so we could head out on the water for as long or as short as we wanted, between 9a-12p. We decided to wait until the first rush was over, which became a non-issue as due to the weather, only two others were braving the drizzle. We were joined by Beth and Steven from Chicago, and we donned our life vests, skirts to keep the water out of our seat area and got a handy push off the back of the boat into the water.

We explored the sheer rock shoreline and came around a point to find a very tall waterfall cascading from the top of the mountain. We also discovered 4-5 boats of different sizes including a good size yacht all the way down to a smaller cabin cruiser all strewn around the inlet. We kayaked to the end where the water turned shallow and you could pick out the sea stars along with other ocean dwellers along the waters floor. There were waterfalls surrounding us on all sides and it was truly a beautiful and peaceful ride amongst the incredible nature. As we came out of the inlet and started heading back to the ship, the wind picked up significantly, as well as the rain and it took both of us to forcibly paddle to get through the chop.

Back at the ship we were soaked and getting into our warm stateroom and out of our soggy clothes was the first order of business. From there we had some quiet time reading, with hot tea that helped us get back to a relaxed state.

That afternoon, Ken did the bushwhack, while I chose to do another kayak. Rumor had it that the morning bushwhack was quite difficult, with some significant climbing on all fours, and an even more challenging downhill. One of our fellow passengers fell, was suspended upside down and required the guide Brady to help get her back on her feet (she was fine thankfully). That solidified my decision to not go! However, Ken did go and said the 3-hour activity stretched everyone’s ability, as it was truly difficult. Everyone felt a sense of accomplishment for
Cathy took a tumble Cathy took a tumble Cathy took a tumble

On the Bushwhack Cathy caught her boot and ended up hanging up side down. While the pic looks like she is laying down, she is actually vertical...and caught between the two trees. The group all rallied to get her out ad she thankfully was fine.
completing it!

For me, while Ken was thrashing through the forest, I was enjoying a nap and finishing my book, When We Were Orphans…. which I highly recommend. I was so nice and relaxed, I was hesitant to head out for another soggy kayak, but finally hauled myself up and out to the boats fantail to do a paddle for a bit. As I was getting in, Gretchen, a fellow guest let me know that there was a bear across the inlet, so I headed that direction. I could see a couple of kayaks and skiffs in the distance and figured that was most likely the spot.

I paddled the 15 minutes across the water and passed the kayaks coming back and they both reported the bear was gone but I continued in that direction figuring what the heck, maybe he would return. And sure enough, there he was, foraging on a little outcrop of rocks and bushes. I hung in the water and enjoyed the show until the wind pushed me in the other direction. Once I repositioned to continue my viewing, he was no longer there! Before I headed out for other views, Nate in the skiff yelled over and said, “he is in the water!”. And sure enough, there was the bear about 20 yards from me, swimming to the other shore, which was a good ¼ mile across. I followed him from afar until he climbed out onto the steep rocks and into the forest. It was definitely cool!!! No pic, as I was getting rocked quite a bit by the wind and trying to balance my oar and the phone, just wasn't going to happen.

As the wind had really picked up, it was time to return to the boat and it was a long slog back as I was being pushed around quite a bit. I missed Ken as my backseat driver as I was in a 2 person kayak but did appreciate the rudders on the kayak which are a great help in steering. We do need to look at those for home.

The evening was spent with everyone recounting their adventures and another awesome dinner. It is open bar the entire trip, so the hour before dinner is always raucous and soon after dinner, the energy wind downs quite a bit with most retiring to their rooms to prepare for the next days adventures. I do want to mention the dinner tonight, it was a crab feast and there were buckets of Dungeness Crab legs that we were encouraged to devour as much as possible. Between that, sage gnocchi, broccolini and something super chocolaty for dessert, it was a great ending to the day.


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21st July 2021

Enjoying your cruise from afar
I'm enjoying following your cruise adventure, Jenine. I probably wouldn't have been brave enough to go back out in the kayak in the afternoon and would have missed the bear so I guess he was your reward for getting back out! Enjoy the rest of your cruise and I'll enjoy reading about it!!
26th July 2021

Bear
Ha...I was so tempted to keep curled up in our stateroom with my book, but am so glad I forced myself out. How many times do you get to see a swimming bear from your kayak!

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