Culpepper Lagoon

I had planned for us to spend 2 nights in Culpepper Lagoon, and I was glad of it. The morning was sunny and calm, without those crazy winds of yesterday.  We were certainly slow to get going. I wanted to take the dinghy back to the narrows and go out again at low tide, to check out the head of Kynoch Inlet from the vantage point of the dinghy, and just tool around a bit. Brian had told us that he finds slack to be about an hour after Tom Bay, rather than 15-30 minutes before Bella Bella, which the guidebooks suggest. So we wanted to check out how close the Tom Bay calculations matched the actual conditions at the narrows.

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Snow Ice still sits at the foot of this waterfall at the head of Kynoch Inlet. Even more amazing since it faces south.

The fact that we were so slow to get going was a bit of a problem, because by the time we got in the dinghy it was howling wind again and there were whitecaps in the Lagoon. It was going to be a wet ride up to the narrows! But, the narrows were nicely slack at about 1 hour after low tide at Tom Bay, so we now will use Brian’s method of calculating slack at Culpepper.

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Karen capturing more memories during out dinghy ride

We exited the lagoon, tooled around the head of the inlet near the mudflats, and then headed over to Riot Creek (back inside the Lagoon) where an old cabin used to be located. There were no signs left of the cabin, but the creek was beautiful and the current was riotous. It hit the water of the lagoon and made some choppy waves, but as soon as we headed back to the boat, there was no more wind and chop. We passed by ‘seal rock’ and saw the seals basking in the sun again.

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Riot Creek earned its name

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Rock + Sun = Seal haul out

We agreed that we needed to go kayaking when the tide was nearing the high, so that we could go across the mudflats and up Lard Creek as far as possible. There was time to kill, so Bob worked on pictures while I sat upstairs and read. Apparently the hummingbird from yesterday came back into the boat through an open window, and Bob had to don his oven mitts and rescue it again, freeing it from captivity inside of Alaskan Dream. It must be attracted to the red kayaks.

We were anxious to kayak, so we left a bit early, say at mid-tide, rather than nearly high tide. We crossed the mudflats with no issue and soon were paddling up the creek with the stony bottom clearly visible in the clear water. We went a good ways up, and had to battle the creek’s current. We were finally blocked from proceeding further by rapids over a downed tree. We needed at least another foot of water to move ahead, and so we turned around.

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Warm sun, clear river, snow capped mountains in the background. Pretty great!

The ride out was great, due to the favorable current at our backs. We saw bear prints in the muddy banks of the river, but none of the animals themselves. The creek banks were full of lavender fireweed, and we enjoyed some photo ops in the sun.


We think the name of the purple flowers in the background is lavender fireweed.


Paddling back to Alaskan Dream


It's a short sleeved day. A first for this trip!

As we headed back to the boat, a Sailboat appeared and the wind started to pick up. The sailboat was apparently single-handed by a man – he set his anchor twice, was satisfied the 2nd time, dropped his kayak overboard and immediately went for a long paddle. The name of his boat was Imagine.

We had my favorite meal – Bob’s meatloaf – with drop biscuits and mashed sweet potatoes for dinner. We turned in early, because we had an early departure (6:30am) to catch high slack at the narrows to exit the lagoon.