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Hoonah to Excursion Inlet

The weather was supposed to pick up in Icy Strait on Friday afternoon and continue through Saturday, and since we needed to be in Gustavus to pick up Tiffani and Deke on Saturday, we figured it’d be a good idea to be nearer than Hoonah, so we left on Friday morning and headed for Excursion Inlet, just east of Gustavus.

Calm in Hoonah harbor:

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No cruise ships here during our visit (which might explain why the brewery was closed):



See you in a couple days, Hoonah!


We saw some splashing in the distance as we made our way across Icy Strait…there were a few humpbacks over by the Porpoise Islands doing a whole lot of breaching and fin slapping, so we headed their way and watched them for a bit before going on into Excursion Inlet.


The east arm of Excursion Inlet is not part of Glacier Bay National Park, but the west arm is, so on the right side you’ll see houses dotting the shore, a seafood processing plant, and a gathering of buildings up from the public dock that was a prisoner of war encampment during WWII, but now houses a store and a small museum.


We continued up the left arm toward a little cove called Sawmill Bay. There were two humpbacks making their way along the shore (taking advantage of the large schools of tiny fish we could see on sonar, I assume) and we had to wait for them to finish up in our cove before we could anchor. We anchored in about 60 feet. Gorgeous here!

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Sam on Safe Harbour met up with us a few hours later and once it stopped raining we went exploring in Sam’s (fast) dinghy.

Tons of jellies in here:

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Cannery remains (I think) in the east arm:


Cabin on the shore:


We tied up to the public dock, which looked quite a bit better from Airship as we passed it from a distance than it does up close.

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The little store (Coho General Mercantile) has a surprising selection of goods! The Cannery Museum appeared to be closed:


Our friends Tiffani and Deke were scheduled to come into Gustavus last night, but their flight into Seattle was too late to catch the connection, so they stayed in Seattle last night and are booked on the flight into Gustavus today. We just stayed another night in Sawmill Bay and had a nice time cooking dinner with Sam. We rafted to each other this time…eliminating the wet rainy dinghy rides to and fro.

View from Airship this morning:


The route from Hoonah to Sawmill Bay in Excursion Inlet (25.4 miles, 4 hours 47 minutes):


We’re in Gustavus now, tied up to the public dock waiting for “the jet” (as the locals call it). The guy working the dock here was super friendly and told me that the few taxis in town are usually booked ahead of time for when “the jet” comes in. We still had a few hours before “the jet” arrived, so I was able to call and reserve “the cab.” Whew!!

We’ll get T&D and then head across Icy Strait this evening to meet back up with Sam in Flynn Cove. We’ve got a Glacier Bay flightseeing trip scheduled for tomorrow at 11:30 out of Hoonah, so we’ll be in Hoonah tomorrow for that, as well as some provisioning (and maybe some touristing out at Icy Strait Point).

Posting might be less regular for the next couple weeks, but I’ll take tons of photos (of course) and catch up when there’s time.

Happy Sunday!