Alaska Adventure Journal



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June 2008 - Alaska Inside Passage Exploration

Northern Portion ABC Islands

Admiralty, Baranof, Chichagof Islands 

June 14, 2008 ~ Saturday

Got up and had breakfast tacos for the morning meal. Warm and hot they really hit the spot!
Tried our luck at halibut fishing on the North side of the Inian Islands, but had no luck, not even a sculpin. While fishing we heard the roar of sea lions so we decided to check them out. Not far from the unproductive fishing spot was a large rock formation jutting out of the ocean which was covered with sea lions and cormorants. John motored in for a closer look where we were able to hear their grunting and groaning. A large bull was very prominent and was the most vocal of the colony. The tidal currents in the area of the sea lions was extremely strong.
Off to explore Elfin Cove which is a small village with no road access.

Entrance to Elfin Cove
As we made our way through a small shallow channel toward the floating dock we found a cluster of small buildings nestled inside a protective cove. This place possesses the ultimate in protection if you’re seeking shelter from rough seas. The small village was busy with charter fishing boats docking and unloading their catches. The buildings were all connected by a well laid out boardwalk. After tying up to the dock we were approached by a older lady. We immediately thought we would be asked to relocate the Tomcat. Much to our surprise she worked for ADFG and was doing a fish survey. When asked if we’d caught any fish, we sheepishly replied , NO. It was like talking to your mom as she said it was O.K. as fishing had been slow and they weren’t expecting a banner season. John tried to reaffirm we really did know how to fish and we always caught our limit in south central Alaska. The lady blamed all of the bad fishing and crabbing on otters. She said that a few years ago that there were rafts of up to 300 otters at a time which wreaked havoc on the fishing industry in the local area. We strolled up the board walk to explore what there was of the cove. We stopped in front of the post office which consisted of about 30 post office boxes. Shanna took a photo of John and Jeff standing in front of the Elfin Cove zip code sign displayed on the side of the building.

Further down the boardwalk we passed the small power generation station which is run off of diesel. On a small front porch was a small attempt at recycling. Various types of clothing and goods were offered free of charge. A small note on a luggage trunk kindly asked that the trunk be left behind so it could hold future “goodies” for the taking. Further down the boardwalk we passed the fuel depot for the entire cove. Next to this we saw the small area where the locals incinerated their burnable trash on the waterfront. Can’t say we intended to visit the local dump, but it makes you think about how remote areas dispose of their trash and appreciate the fact you can place yours on the curb and come back later and find it gone. No stop is complete without a visit to the local bar, when available. We decided to pay the Coho bar and grill a visit to take in some local color. As we entered we learned we were the only patrons which probably isn’t uncommon for these folks. We had a couple of drinks while visiting with the proprietors and learned quite a lot about the area. After finishing our second round we said our goodbyes and headed down to the grocery store. This store was much smaller and less equipped that the one at Gustavus. Shanna asked if they had any ice which they promptly replied “no”. You would figure a place as cold as Alaska would have a limitless supply of ice, no such luck.

Shanna on the boardwalk in Elfin  Cove
We started out with plenty of snow packed in our coolers from outside of Haines, but we were in search of drink ice. Maybe we would have better luck in Pelican. We made our way back to the dock and prepared to shove off. A fishing boat was cleaning their catch and John struck up conversation relating to fishing. They were a group from Whitehorse who come down on the weekends to Skagway to fish. Their advice was to fish off the coast in the Gulf of Alaska.
During the conversation bait and water must have turned up as we purchased some herring from them and they offered us the ability to refill the freshwater tank via their water hose. They explained to us that our next destination of Pelican had a “boil your water” alert.
As Shanna motored us out of the narrow channel we saw a float plane taking off, what a neat ending to our visit.
We are now under way for the 21 mile trip to Pelican which will put us there at about 7:50 PM.


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