Little Port Walter

About 90 minutes cruising up the east side of Baranof Island from Port Alexander is a little pocket of a bay called Little Port Walter.  It’s very protected, with a n-a-r-r-o-w entrance into an inner bay that’s very pretty.  It’s also home to a NOAA Fisheries Research outpost, though we couldn’t figure out much about the kind of research they were doing.20150618 6791 little port walter sign rI was paddling around the inner harbor and saw a gal walking along a dirt road.  She waved and I waved back, and I chuckled when I heard her clapping and singing as she walked – it’s what one does to let the bears know that you’re a human so they will avoid you.

I fell in love with Little Port Walter because of all the marine life – kayaking along the shoreline I saw all kinds of starfish – many-legged sunstars and regular starfish in a variety of shapes and colors…20150618 6673 little port walter starfish r…sea cucumbers, shrimp, anemones – bright orange ones, red ones, plumose, and green ones.20150618 6686 little port walter low tide anemone rI found a tiny nudibranch on a kelp leaf, but I only had a big telephoto lens and couldn’t get far enough away to focus on it.  I found a bright yellow fish hiding among other kelp leaves, and some large feather duster worms with burgundy “dusters” on the lee side of some exposed rocks.  I saw acorn or eagle barnacles nearly the size of my fist.  It was a bonanza!  The water teemed with zooplankton and tiny jellyfish.  Jim is the underwater video expert, but I borrowed one of his GoPro cameras and took it out in the kayak the morning before we left to try and show you a little of the life at the tide’s edge.  Bear with me – some of it is a little fuzzy, but I’m learning.  You’ll see a big sunstar, a lion’s mane jellyfish, anemones, a little thimble-sized jellyfish, zooplankton, a sea cucumber (red with orange “spikes”), more anemones, and a shrimp that leaps into view.

The area had both bull kelp and newspaper kelp – home to a lot of life, and fairly easy to paddle over.20150618 6692 bull kelp foggy morning rJust around the corner, out in Chatham Strait I saw some scoters and this arctic loon, and of course there were mink and plenty of eagles.20150618 6778 arctic loon chatham rWe want to return and spend some time diving or at least snorkeling here – what a fantastic spot!

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