Swikshak Bay & Shakun Islets- A Hidden Jewel

July 12, 2013 | Captains bLOG | 0 comments | Author:


This was to be our last day of the survey.  One group would run be running along the coast in a skiff from Sikshak Bay to Cape Dougals, a run of a little over 20 miles.  A second group would be dropped off at Shakun Islets to survey birds, look for otter skulls, and collect other data.

After we dropped off the coastal survey group, I decided to run Dream Catcher between the mainland and the islets into an area with depths ranging from 18’ to 36’.   Free of any shoals our course simply required  me to weave around the areas shallower than 2 fathoms.

Anchored off the islets, defined as small islands in 20’ of water, our second group headed out to complete their work.  With a night crossing from Cape Douglas to Homer looming I had visions of securing my pillow, an exercise matt, and stretching out on the flying bridge deck for an afternoon siesta while soaking up the sun’s rays.  Star, however had other plans for her mate.

10 minutes later we were bound for Shakum Inslets in our skiff.  These islets looked more like bumps of rocks with sparse green vegetation growing on a few than islands.  I was in for a surprise!

As we ghosted up the southern end of the islets, the leeward rock face was bristling with activity.  Puffins!  Lots of puffins!  Star’s camera was whirring as she snapped off photo after photo. Being focused on her prey, the puffins, she was oblivious to the screaming eagles chastising us.  One was now circling over head, while the other perched on a rock above the puffin colonies was screeching like a banshee.

I started searching the rock face above us and was rewarded with an eagle nest just above us. A lone eaglet was sitting in the nest, thus the  reason for the two rather angry parents.


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